The Middle or Second Portage has several variations depending on water levels, how much you enjoy slugging it out in the swamp and how adverse to are to about thirty minutes of carrying.
Generally, if water levels are reasonable, starting just below the beaver dam at the south end of Cooper's Lake, the long channel that runs from north to south, you can simply paddle and lift over a few beaver dams for most of the route. This is typically the easiest course to take. Paddling from the north about mid way through you encounter Birches Road which is easier to walk around on the east side. The present owner operator of the existing aggregate quarry is comfortabe with canoests crossing his property but to be aware this is an active rock quarry site and is private property.
Historically the Middle Portage and a known archaeological campsite were in the area of the quarry but was destroyed and removed by a much earlier property owner in the 1960's.
The current property owner has been supportive of Friends of La Vase Portages and a portage has been allowed to be kept flagged and brushed along the west bank of the swamp ( green line ) area starting just above the beaver pond near a tall spruce tree grove and continuing to the rail tracks at the south end.
The railway tracks are still actively used numerous times each day so be careful crossing them. For those taking the water route and then encountering the train tracks, follow the trail ( yellow line )on the west embankment, follow the tracks - again being careful for trains coming from either direction, and about two hundred yards down the tracks and to the south the trail picks up and then returns to the La Vase River.
All persons travelling the area are cautioned not to enter the river before the portage trail marker as you would be within a restricted industrial area that should be avoided for safety reasons.
Once back on the river simply follow the water course to the west towards Lake Nipissing. The Lower or Third portage is about thirty minutes pleasant paddling further downstream.