Matagamasi Lake

Wolf Lake Quest

Chiniguchi River, Temagami

July 10 - 12, 2014

Wolf Lake, Chiniguchi River, Temagami, Ontario
     

Canoe Trip Reports

Wolf Lake Quest

Day 1
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Wolf Lake lies along the Chiniguchi River in the southern portion of the Temagami area.

Wolf Lake, Chiniguchi River, Temagami, Ontario

From a conservation standpoint Wolf Lake is proudly the site of the world's largest stand of old growth red pine forest. Unfortunately Wolf Lake also has the dubious distinction of being excluded Wolf Lake Red Pinesfrom the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park event though Dewdney Lake directly upstream from Wolf Lake and Silvester Lake directly downstream from Wolf Lake are both part of the park. The administrative reason for Wolf Lake being excluded is that there are some existing mining claims around Wolf Lake - claims that were allowed to be renewed in recent years. On a positive note, Wolf Lake is partially protected as the Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest Reserve and as of 2014 it is a fish sanctuary with fishing closed year round. (Up to 2013 only Lake Trout was closed year round). However, the current protections still fall well short of what would be provided if Wolf Lake was fully part of the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park. If you want to learn more Scottabout efforts to have Wolf Lake added to the Chinguchi Waterway Provincial Park, you can check out the Save Wolf Lake website.

 

For this trip we used the Chiniguchi - The Middle Tracks map off of Ottertooth. If you are used to canoe tripping in Killarney or Algonquin this map might look a bit sparse to you, but it really did have all the route information that we needed. Shortly after the trip, Jeff McMurtrie of Jeff's Map fame released his Temagami map which provides a fair bit more detail.

 

I had been hearing about Wolf Lake for a few years and it was on my list of possible trips but since it was also a longer drive than I'm usually looking for we Matagamasi Lake Access Point - Ontario Maphadn't gotten around to it yet. Scott was working as a Student Ranger for the summer based out of Kiosk in the north west corner of Algonquin Provincial Park and they were working 10 days on, 4 days off which meant that if I went up to visit him, I could take advantage of already being in North Bay to go and explore Wolf Lake. After all, what better way could Scott spend his weekend off from interior canoe route maintenance than by doing a canoe trip with me?Wolf Lake Map - Couresty of Jeff's Temagami Map

 

The recommended starting point that I was given for the trip was to start from a public access point on Matagamasi Lake. You get to the access point by following the Kukagami Lake Road north from Hwy 17 between Sudbury & North Bay. The Kukagami Lake road was a well maintained gravel road with good signs that easily got us to Matagamasi Lake. The put in itself is a natural gravel boat launch between a couple of private residential properties. There is no parking lot, cars and trucks were parked in any available space at the side of the road.

 

From the put in, you paddle north-northwest up the western arm of lake Matagamasi until the lake narrows into the Chiniguchi River. The is a narrow section of the river that can be lined as long as you have enough water and then another short paddle to the start of the "Toenail" portage. There is no skipping this portage as it is a fair climb up to Silvester Lake. If possible, and especially if the weather is good, try to make time to stop at Paradise Lagoon about halfway along the portage. You then continue north through Silvester to another channel with a bit of a swift that you can paddle up and into Wolf Lake. That is, If your paddle doesn't break ...

 

 

 

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