Canoe Trip Log: Keith Barton, July 25-30, 1999

Cedar Lake, Catfish Lake, Hogan Lake, Philip Lake, Radiant Lake, Cedar Lake

Participants: Keith and Louise
Canoes: 17' Swift Algonquin Kevlar (approx. 66 lbs)
Highlights: First time back in about 10-12 years.....forgot how much I enjoyed the Park.
Lowlights: Portaging was a lot more difficult than I remember! A lot more people too!!!
Comments: The initial trip plan called for a two night stay on Radiant Lake and to head out from there, but with all the people and cottages, we decide to move up and spend our last night on Cedar Lake.
DAY 1 (Sunday)
Travel: Cedar Lake to Catfish Lake
Weather: Sunny and warm, light northwest breeze
Canoe Distance: approx. 9km
Portages: 5
Portage Distance: 715m + 255m + 2345m + 170m + 80m = 3.565 km
Travel Events: Passed two large groups of young campers, met three other smaller groups. Seems like everybody is headed for the wilderness!
Camp: First island campsite in Catfish Lake. Beautiful site, lots of room, nice “table”, good and flat for tent, point allows for evening and morning sun.
Food: Supper: Knox Cream of vegetable soup and bagels
Camp Events: Nice swim off east side rocks, song sparrow pretends he’s a chipmunk and runs around camp looking for bits of food. Early bed...8:30pm.
Comments: Canoe is longer and heavier than expected (have to take what is available). 2345m portage is a “killer”, yet it is like a highway...people everywhere!.

DAY 2 (Monday)
Travel: Catfish Lake, to Hogan Lake, via Bird Lake, Sunfish Lake, Newt Lake, Manta Lake.
Weather: Hot and Sunny
Canoe Distance: approx. 10km
Portages: 3
Portage Distance: 1108m + 750m + 1945m = 3.803 km
Travel Events: Finding path through swamp into Sunfish Lake was a challenge, Saw young moose at entrance to Hogan Lake.
Camp: Island campsite in Parks Bay. (Another nice site, complete with table!)
Food: Breakfast: Porridge . . Lunch: GORP . . Supper: Backpacker’s Shepard’s Pie
Camp Events: Swimming again. Fishing off island and becoming “the rock bass king”.
Comments: Another long day with lots of walking. Still no shortage of people on the portages.

DAY 3 (Tuesday)
Travel: Hogan Lake to Phillip Lake via the Little Madawaska River
Weather: Hot again, lots of sun.
Canoe Distance: approx. 5km
Portages: 3
Portage Distance: 215m + 110m + 1495m = 1.820km
Travel Events: Morning mist on the river was very picturesque. Had a loon go bezerk when we entered Phillip looked like a porpose, just barely breaking the surface of the water to scream at us and then diving again.
Camp: Furthest campsite on the lake, located at east end of lake beside the old dam. Site was fairly roomy, with nice sand beach, but have to walk “a mile” to get deep enough to swim. Minnows by the thousands.
Food: Breakfast: Cream of Wheat . . Lunch: GORP . . Supper: Fettuchini Alfredo
Camp Events: Swimming as always, reading , fishing at the dam....chub king tonight. Watched a beautiful sunset from the beach.
Comments: Finally, no people...have the whole lake to ourselves. Must be the effort of getting in and out of here.

DAY 4 (Wednesday)
Travel: Phillip Lake to Radiant Lake via Little Madawaska River
Weather: Warm, cloudy and humid. Tried to rain all day, but only sprinkled.
Canoe Distance: approx. 7km
Portages: 2
Portage Distance: 1075m + 3565m = 4.640km
Travel Events: Spent the day travelling by ourselves. So nice not to have to compete for space at portages. Not much wildlife to be seen, only scared a large brown something (beaver?) off the bank at one corner. Lots of herons though. There was a little fast water at the end of the long portage that could have been fun, but Lousie being a relatively new canoeist, wasn’t very comfortable with it. Also a lot trees, dams, etc. to navigate. Saw a family of otters just before the entrance to Radiant Lake. Missed the entrance to Petawawa River. Dead tired, canoed back.
Camp: Camped at entrance to Petawawa River. Not a very good site. Dirty and limited tent placement. Nice view and swimming ledge though.
Food: Breakfast: Porridge . . Lunch: Beef Jerky . . Supper: Burritos
Camp Events: Swimming again....have to wash off all the sweat from the portages. Reading after supper and early to bed.
Comments: The 3.6km portage wasn’t as difficult as we thought. It was long, but fairly flat...followed an old logging road. Radiant Lake is a major disappointment. Cottages, boats and people everywhere. Saw three more groups heading into the lake as we ate supper.

DAY 5 (Thursday)
Travel: Radiant Lake to Cedar Lake via Petawawa River.
Weather: Sunny and warm again!
Canoe Distance: approx. 9km
Portages: 3
Portage Distance: 860m + 685m + 960m = 2.505km
Travel Events: Petawawa River is very scenic. Met a group of American men and their boys at second portage. They also weren’t impressed with Radiant. Found the descent at the end of the first portage extremely steep and difficult. Once we were in the water, I saw the actual end of the portage was about fifty meters further along....I had followed somebody’s shortcut beside the old train bridge.
Camp: Site located on south-west corner of lake, around the bend from the portage. Despite all of the island sites being occupied nearby, this site offered surprising privacy. Site turned out to be much bigger than it looks from the water. Lots of room and a good firepit.
Food: Breakfast: Fruit Bars . . Lunch: GORP . . Supper: Mill Valley Linguini (Yummy)
Camp Events: Swimming of course! Fishing in the evening turned out to be some of the best smallmouth fishing I have ever had. I lost more four pound plus bass than I normally see in a couple of years. Did manage to boat three. Have a picture of me holding the fish at sunset that is truly remarkable ...beautiful sky framing the shot.
Comments: We made a good decision to move up to Cedar Lake. The scenery from our end of the lake was fantastic and we were lucky enough not to see any boats to ruin our wilderness visions.

DAY 6 (Friday)
Travel: Across Cedar Lake to Brent Store
Weather: Another beautiful day...sun smiled on us again!
Canoe Distance: approx. 5km
Portages: 0
Portage Distance: 0
Travel Events: Even though there was only a small headwind, once you get out in the middle of Cedar, it causes quite a stir. Not a lake to be crossing with any significant breeze.
Camp: Home to bed!
Food: Breakfast: Rice Pudding . . Lunch: Wings and Fries in Deep River
Camp Events: Fishing in the morning - another great bass’n session. Saw a moose across the bay from our camp.
Comments: As mentioned, this was my first time back to the park in quite a while. It was Louise’s first experience with tripping and even though we did a fair amount of walking (16.173km) she fell in love with it. We will be back for a weekend in August and another week in September. Will let the world know how those trips turned out when we get back.

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