Boland River Canoe Route

Duration:   5 to 6 days
Distance:   64km
Portages:   7+

Description

This longer route starts at the access on the north shore of Mount Lake and heads east through the new Rawhide Lake Conservation Reserve.  It then joins the Boland River, flowing westward through a new addition to the Mississagi Provincial Park to Flack Lake and the takeout by Highway 639.  The route along the Boland River is mostly wetland and therefore provides exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities.  It also means tripping in early spring and late summer through fall will avoid the worst of biting insects.

Paddle to the east end of Mount Lake and through the narrows into McElrea Lake.  Just past the narrows on the south shore is a portage leading to Rottier Lake.  Rottier Lake is pinched in the middle by a peninsula pointing to a short portage on the south side of the lake.  It leads to Grey Trout Lake.  At the east end of Grey Trout Lake is a short portage to Rawhide Lake.  This large, potentially windy Lake, like other lakes in the area, has impressive cliffs along much of the south shore.  The north shore slopes more gently from the water.  Depending on wind direction and wave action, follow the north or south shore to the east end of the lake where a portage follows Sister River upstream to Little Sister Lake.  From the south shore of Little Sister Lake a steep uphill portage leads to Book Lake.  The longest portage of the trip leads from Book Lake to the Boland River, crossing Rosemary Creek a couple of times along the way.  Fortunately it is fairly level trail.  The Boland River flows downstream, winding gently through wetlands and forests of red pine and black spruce.  Liftovers and short portages may be necessary where log jams block the way.  About 10 km downstream, the river valley opens to a broad plain for 7 km or so, then begins to meander tightly through wetlands as the hills and cliffs close in again.  The last section contains many oxbow lakes and dead-end curves but eventually comes to Highway 639. The river continues meandering west of the road through a large wetland before it empties into Mikel Lake, but you may need to take the portage.  Head east through the narrows towards the stream and portage coming towards you from Flack Lake.  Look for Old Baldy Peak to the west as you paddle southeast across Flack Lake towards the access point at the Flack Lake Nature Trail parking area.  Alternatively, you can portage across Highway 639 into Christman Lake and from there into Semiwite Lake and Mississagi Provincial Park

Alternatives:  If you're looking for a longer trip, join the Flack/Ten Mile Route at the west end of Flack Lake.