Another great canoe day! Saturday, July 20 2012
Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year's La Vase Portages canoe day. Record low water levels made it a bit tougher than other years but the Lake Nipissing Pickerel fish fry for lunch at Billy Bob's was still great and made for a much appreciated break. We also made history this year - this was our first canoe day crossing the Brandy Lake portage that has just been returned to public ownership under the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority.
Stepping back in time.
The Brandy Lake or Upper Portage, links Brandy Lake, just off of Highway 17, to Perron's Pond and is the only remaining portage that has not been developed by residential encroachment or expanding quarrying activity in the area. The trail is brushed, flagged and easy to follow for those travelling the route.
Voyageurs of all ages.
James & Zack were our two youngest voyageurs this year. For Zack, with Grandfather Fred in the background, this was his second crossing of the historic canoe route.
For most paddlers Brandy Lake is the preferred starting point as most of the trip follows the La Vase River downstream. In spite of low water levels on the river itself, the water levels on the ponds and lake areas were fine for paddling.
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to paddle.
At Railway Rapids water levels were down almost three feet from their Spring frechette highwater marks. Some groups opted to portage around the rapids and follow the local streets to Billy Bob's and then again to the Kate Pace bridge to avoid the rocky sections. Others preferred to tough it out with a mix of paddling and wading. Good footwear is essential as the rocks are slippery and often quite sharp.