Canoe Route. Dogtooth Lake-Highwind Lake-Dryberry Lake- Lake of the Woods-Blindfold Lake

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1 1 Canoe Route Dogtooth Lake-Highwind Lake-Dryberry Lake- Lake of the Woods-Blindfold Lake This is an interesting and challenging route starting and ending at Rushing River Provincial Park. It passes over many large, clear and clean lakes within the Kenora District including Lake of the Woods. When planning this trip, be sure to consider the sections of open water and the potential for delays in windy weather. Watch for the pictographs in Route Bay! There is an alternate route for the more adventurous paddler that would take you through sets of rapids. Length: 103 km Portages: 11 (a few long ones) Estimated time: 6-8 days Rating: difficult Topographical maps: 52E9 Longbow 52F12 Dryberry Lake 52E8 Sioux Narrows 52F5 Caviar Lake All distances are approximate. GPS (Global Positioning System) waypoints are given for the start and finish of each portage for both directions of travel where possible. All portages are marked with yellow, blue, red or orange markers. It is recommended that you use the topographical maps listed. Please leave nothing but footsteps and take only pictures. If you pack it in, pack it out! Bottles and cans are not recommended, as they are heavy and bulky, full or empty. Reusable containers are recommended and please use biodegradable soap products. Keep your campsite clean and hang your food pack. Build campfires on rock whenever possible and away from combustible material. Remember boating regulations (1999) require canoes or kayaks to have a red, yellow, or orange lifejacket for each person, whistle, waterproof flashlight, throw/tow rope and an extra paddle on board. Let someone know of your route and expected day of return. You may leave this information at the park office. Know your level of canoe experience. Some lakes are large with high waves in windy weather. Rapids are for experienced paddlers only!

2 2 Many types of fish are in the lakes and fishing regulations vary. Obtain a copy of the most recent regulation guide. Rushing River Provincial Park is located on Hwy. 71, 25km from Kenora, Ontario. This is a full service campground and is open mid May until mid September. If you wish to camp in the park during July and August, reservations are recommended ( ). The park has 2 well maintained boat launching areas with good docks. There is no fee to launch your canoe. Parking is available at no charge in the lower parking lot. The campground is located on Dogtooth Lake and it is the first lake on your trip. Dogtooth Lake is scenic with private cottages and powerboats on the lake. You will notice on your journey the large number of young jack pine trees. This is regeneration after a huge forest fire ( hectares) that burned through this area in Your Route Leaving the park (N49 degrees W094 degrees ), travel east along the south shore of Dogtooth Lake for 6 km until you come to a narrows. Paddle through this narrows and around a point keeping to the north shore for 4 km. You will reach the river system by passing under a bridge that leads into Kilvert Lake. This river system is home to many birds and mammals. There are 2 campsites located before the bridge. Continue east on Kilvert Lake narrows for 3.5 km to where the lake opens up to the main body. There are several suitable campsites on the large islands on the north shore. Continue across the lake (east) for 2.5 km to the portage to Gale Lake. The portage starts near a cottage on a sandy beach. Note the scenic cliffs along the south shore of Kilvert Lake. These were the result of glacial erosion. PORTAGE # 1 Kilvert Lake Gale Lake 250 meters N49 degrees W Gale Lake Kilvert Lake N49 degrees W093 degrees This portage is generally flat and easy walking through a mature red pine stand. Markers are yellow/black with an orange square. There is an excellent campsite at the Gale Lake portage. Leaving the Gale Lake portage (west side) paddle across the lake 2 km to a beautiful sand beach and the portage landing to Ethelma Lake. The beach area provides excellent camping. PORTAGE # 2

3 3 Gale Lake Ethelma Lake 1200 meters N49 degrees W093 degrees Ethelma Lake- Gale Lake N49 degrees W093 degrees Look for red, yellow and blue signs with an orange point. This trail is well maintained but long and challenging. The first part passes through a grove of speckled alder and may be wet. There are some uphill parts and the descent to Ethelma Lake is rocky and steep. Watch your step! Part of this portage is along an old logging road. Camping is possible at the top of the ridge overlooking Ethelma Lake. Leaving the Ethelma Lake, portage (west side), travel east across the lake for 2 km to the east shore. Continue north (left) along the shoreline for 1.5 km. You will come to a small creek marked with yellow signs. Follow this creek until you reach the bridge that crosses over a small set of rapids. At this point you will find the portage into Highwind Lake. There are campsites at the mouth of the creek. PORTAGE # 3 Ethelma Lake Highwind Lake 50 meters N40 degrees W093 degrees This portage is rocky and flat and follows along a set of rapids, which pass through a mature cedar grove. Cedar is present here because of the deeper and wetter soil. Leaving the Highwind Lake landing, follow the south shoreline for 3 km to a narrow section of the lake. Watch for reefs here! Continue heading south into a very, very narrow S channel. Stay to the right shoreline to the next portage into Hillock Lake. PORTAGE # 4 Highwind Lake Hillock Lake 300 meters N49 degrees W093 degrees Hillock Lake-Highwind Lake N49 degrees W093 degrees This portage passes through a black spruce swamp and is generally wet for the first 200 meters until you reach an old bush road/access point. This will lead you to the Hillock Lake landing. Campsites are available near the Hillock Lake landing with more on the north end of the lake. There are good sand beaches on this lake. The south end has steep rocky shorelines, so be prepared for limited camping down that end. Lake trout are the main fish species in this deep lake. Leaving the portage, paddle south 7 km until you reach the south shore where you will see the portage landing to Dryberry Lake.

4 4 PORTAGE # 5 Hillock Lake Dryberry Lake 800 meters N49 degrees W093 degrees Dryberry Lake- Hillock Lake N49 degrees W093 degrees This portage has a gradual incline from Hillock Lake until you reach the top of the ridge where it flattens out for the rest of the trail. There is a steep decline to Dryberry Lake. The path is well used and easy to follow along an old logging trail. Camping is available on the beach at the Dryberry Lake landing. Leaving this portage you will see another campsite in Northwest on Dryberry Lake. This is a large body of water and winds may make travel difficult. Proceed along the east shore traveling south for 2 km past a sheer rock face and a mature red pine forest. Continue south for 11 km into a very narrow section. This will bring you to the portage to Berry Lake. Look for the boat launch. PORTAGE # 6 Dryberry Lake- Berry Lake 1000 meters N49 degrees W093 degrees Berry Lake- Dryberry Lake N49 degrees W The portage follows an old logging road, which is rough and rocky in areas (Wilderness Resort Road). The trail is well marked and easy to follow because it runs adjacent to several resorts/cottages. Leaving the Berry Lake landing, follow the winding marshy Berry River for approx. 2 km until you reach the main body of Berry Lake. The marshy bay has lots of muskrat scent piles and beaver lodges. Scent piles are small mounds of mud the rodents leave their scent on to mark their territorial boundaries. There is a suitable campsite on a small finger on the south shore where the lake widens. Continue along the eastern shore of Berry Lake proceeding south for approx. 5-7 km. You will then come into a small bay, which leads to the Berry Lake dam and the portage. Alternate Route

5 5 After passing through the narrow section, continue paddling south around the back of an island. After the point of land, turn to your right (SW) and paddle through more narrows into the Berry River system. (See alternate route Berry River) Alternate Route: Berry River (challenging) There are several sets of rapids and waterfalls along this route and it can be frustrating at times. From Dryberry Lake to Pond Lake, you must cross a sluice gate and navigate through shallow rapids. Canoes may have to be unloaded depending on water depth in the river. Pond Lake is nothing more than a broad section of the Dryberry waterway. There are no campsites available. The water between Pond and Berry lakes has rapids at virtually every turn. Portages and landings are rough and rocky and are adjacent to a 5 meter waterfall. There is a set of rapids (100 meters long) that could be run by experienced canoeists. This route ends when the river/creek comes to a bridge and the road to Wilderness Resort. Portage this road heading south (a right turn). This will take you to a landing at Berry Lake. This landing is basically a marshy bay dotted with muskrat scent piles and beaver lodges. There is a suitable campsite on a small finger on the south shoreline where the lake begins to widen. Continue along the eastern shore of Berry Lake proceeding south for 5-7 km where you will come to a small bay that leads to the Berry Lake dam and the portage to the Berry River system. PORTAGE # 7 Berry Lake Lake of the Woods (LOW) via Berry Creek/River 850 meters N49 degrees W093 degrees LOW-Berry Lake N49 degrees W093 degrees This portage originates on the west shore 100 meters from the Berry Lake dam and follows a well used trail for 300 meters until you reach the Maybrun Road. Continue west down the road for 150 meters and then continue along the trail on the south side of the road. This leads to the landing at Berry River. NOTE: Use the entire portage because the whitewater contains large rocks in the chute. Leaving this portage, paddle along the winding river system for 3 km. You will pass under a large bridge (Hwy 71). Continue into Lake of the Woods (LOW) and follow the east shoreline north through Long Bay into Yellow Girl Bay for 24 km to Yellow Girl Point. You can camp on any of the islands along this stretch. This is an open stretch, so watch for windy weather and high waves. Continue along the east shore (Eastern Peninsula) for another 10 km to the portage, which leads into Bottle Bay. PORTAGE # 8 Eastern Peninsula (LOW)-Bottle Bay 150 meters

6 6 It is well used and easy to follow. The landing areas are rough and grassy at each end. Leaving this portage into Bottle Bay, paddle NW through a narrows for 2 km until the lake opens up into Andrew Bay. Proceed north for 3 km to the north shoreline of this bay on the Pipestone Peninsula and you will see the next portage into Moore Bay (LOW). PORTAGE # 9 Andrew Bay Moore Bay (LOW) Pipestone Portage 125 meters This portage crosses the neck of land in the center of the Pipestone Peninsula. The Andrew Bay landing is a rock shelf. The trail becomes steep as it descends down to the landing at Moore Bay. Leaving the Pipestone Portage, paddle 1 km. You will pass by several islands. Continue across the channel and into Eagle s Pass. Once through Eagle s Pass, paddle over to Fish Island and follow the east shoreline to Rushing River in Route Bay. There are Pictographs at the far end (NW) of Route Bay. PORTAGE # 10 Route Bay, LOW- Blindfold Lake 50 meters This portage is also well marked with signs and follows a boat roller system, which crosses over the Storm Bay road. On Blindfold Lake, follow the narrows and continue north for another 2 km until you reach the northern most shoreline of the lake. Proceed east along the north shore past cottages for another 2 km and you will see a narrow inlet, which leads to Rushing River and your last portage to the park. Camp Waterfall and TYC s Resorts are located here. PORTAGE # 11 Blindfold Lake Rushing River Provincial Park 1.5 km N49 degrees W093 degrees This portage begins at the resort and follows the Lower Rapids Hiking Trail north to Hwy. 71 and the park. Be wary of hikers. This portage is a flat narrow dirt path with some boardwalk sections. You will be able to put in again after the waterfall. Stay on the right side of the river. Paddle for short time upstream to the bridge at Highway 71. Cross over the highway to the lower parking lot where your vehicle is parked. This part of the river drops a gradual 30 meters from the beach area above Blindfold Lake. Moose, deer, blue herons, mergansers and mallards have been spotted along here. Long ago the first inhabitants of the area used this very portage! The river was also used

7 to run logs down into Blindfold Lake. They were then boomed up and towed to Kenora, then known as Rat Portage. 7

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