Canoe Trip to Spanish River Provincial Park

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Jim Bailey Jeff Bailey
Mike Reilly   Bill Yacovissi
Bob Alspaugh Mike Alspaugh
Tom Kaminski Larry Nehring

The Route
Put in at Duke Lake and Take out at Agnew Lake

90 miles of paddling and 2 miles of portaging

Left Wellsboro August 4 about 4 am.  Met Mike Alspaugh and Larry in Buffalo then completed the drive up to Sundog Outfitters near Dowling.

That night we stopped by a local water fall on our way out to get dinner.

Stayed in tent cabins at the outfitter's place.

They were comfortable for the night.

The morning of the 5th Sundog drove us north to Duke Lake put-in.  

We got a nice geology lesson on the way up from the driver who was a retired geologist at the nickel mines in Sudbury.

The first order of business was to get those shoes and socks off.

The put-in at Duke Lake

The trip starts with a long chain of narrow lakes.  
Native American pictographs are seen on 4th lake.


We've always avoided whitewater of any kind on our previous trips but this greatly limits the places you can go as many trips feature some whitewater.

The Spanish River was a trip designed to break new ground for us.  The trip features class I and II whitewater so it's a good trip to learn on.

In the upper reaches the water was shallow so we had trouble in the first rapids maneuvering a loaded canoe around the rocks and mostly we ran aground.

Tom and Larry are stuck on a rock in the rapid.

Mike and Bill are stuck on a rock in the rapid.  

Our first night's camp on Eleventh Lake I think.

The camping was mostly good although there were relatively few good sites.  The outfitter circled the good sites on our map and we didn't really see that many other good sites. 

But, the sites he circled were all good and all were available when we arrived.

Tom brought a camp stool and Jim, Jeff, and Mike have the fold up type camp seat.  

This triggered an ongoing and endless debate about the merits of each type of chair as opposed to using logs and rock or the ground as an alternative.  

No clear decision was reached after days of discussion.

Jim and Jeff are still trying to figure out exactly how a canoe works.
Mike and Bob were the only ones in the group with the nerve to run this rapid.  Fortunately they made it ok.
Later on in the day Bill and Mike successfully navigate a rapid.

Our second or third night's camp 

The next morning the weather held clear and sunny as we prepare to shove off.

As always the scenery was great.  

We all made great strides in getting the hang of whitewater canoeing.

Larry and Tom do well in one of the bigger rapids.  

Mike is happy that he and Bob also had a good run.
Along the Elbow part of the river it gets narrow and rocky and there are a few portages to get over.  

The 80 pound river canoes are heavy for portaging and some of the exits and entrances were difficult.

Mike and Bob take a shortcut along the river with their canoe.
The rocks and rapids did provide a nice spot for lunch.

Our fourth night's camp

We put in a few very long days to start the trip mostly because we couldn't find good camping except at the sites the outfitter designated and they were far apart upstream.

On the fourth day we had very little distance to travel and in fact were in camp at 10:30.

After lunch I organized an expedition to bushwhack up to the top of Eagle Rock which was across from our camp.

The hike up was a bit rugged as we couldn't find a trail but it was fun. 

The views from the top were good.

Besides, it was an interesting place and it passed the time. 

Our last night's camp at mile 10

The next morning we had an easy paddle out to the Agnew Lake Lodge were Sundog met us with our cars.

The trip home was uneventful except for some detours that cost us a couple of hours of travel time.

No problems getting through Toronto and across the border.

The End