Dunlop Lake / Mace Lake Canoe Route

Duration:   3 to 5 days
Distance:   42km
Portages:   9+

Description

This canoe route begins and ends at the public access on Dunlop Lake, about 10 km north of the City of Elliot Lake.  From the public landing, there is a 2.5 hour paddle to the first portage on the far northwest shore of the lake.  A short portage leads north into Ten Mile Lake.  Both Dunlop and Ten Mile lakes are susceptible to high winds and waves so always wear your PFD and avoid padding in poor conditions.  An alternative route from Dunlop to Ten Mile involves a long portage out of the large north shore bay to Beaver Lake then a short portage north into the southeastern tip of Ten Mile.

From the long narrow northwest bay of Ten Mile, a short portage leads to Ezma Lake - the first of a string of smaller, more secluded lakes forming the western boundary of this region.  A couple of short portage options lead to Swamp Lake followed by another short portage into Upper Mace Lake.  Upper Mace is dotted with islands, has several wetlands, a sandy beach on the southwest side and a large secluded bay nearly cut off from the main lake.  The exit from Upper Mace is via a long narrow bay on the southeast side of the lake, which leads to a short portage over bare Precambrian rock.  The portage leads to an unnamed lake (called Lake #5 by some) from which another short portage takes you to Lilypad Lake, which is long and narrow with several wetlands where birds and animals are more likely to be seen.

There are usually two options for leaving Lilypad Lake-depending on water levels.  Either take the portage on the west side of the stream or simply lift-over the various beaver dams and obstructions in the stream itself.  There are several islands and campsites on Lower Mace Lake and two route options.  A shorter route, from the southeast bay, follows a portage past Beaver Lake to Claim Lake. The other takes the portage at the southwest tip of the Lower Mace to Pathfinder and Rodge Lakes then north to Claim Lake.  Both Pathfinder and Claim Lakes have campsites.  From Claim Lake there is a long portage to the western tip of Dunlop Lake from which you have a 15 km paddle back to the access point.

Alternatives:  Some paddlers choose to start the Dunlop Route then join the Flack/Ten Mile Route for an extra loop or to exit via the access point on Flack Lake.