Our trip started at Opeongo access. We utilized the Water Taxi as it saved a day of paddling in a huge motorboat filled lake. The taxi took about 25 minutes to get us all the way to Opeongo's North Arm near the portage (P1390) leading toward Proulx Lake. We headed in a northerly direction through Proulx Lake to a small creek that leads to Little Crow Lake. This eventually lead us to the beautiful Big Crow Lake. We set up camp on the east on the site near the Crow River. It was a large site sheltered by tall pines complete with a large beach.. Once we were set up, we hiked the Crow Lake Giant Pines Trail. Here you can stand below huge 35 metre virgin white pines. It was thrilling to see these majestic trees towering high above the deciduous forest. We retreated to our campsite where we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset, starry night and visits by the occasional moose.
The next morning we ventured east on Crow River. It was mid August, and the river was quite low. We were continually aggravated by having to get out of the canoe and push or lift it over many shallow areas. With all the pushing, lining and multitude of portages (P 240m L around rapid / dam; P155m; P1220m around rapids, East on Crow River; P385m; P170m; P205m; P110m), by the time we reached Crow Bay, it was getting late in the day. We decide to go no further and grab a site. It was a nice site with a great view. As the daylight faded, we relaxed and enjoyed Yukon Jack around the fire.
Day three we continued East into picturesque Lake Lavieille. We picked a beautiful island campsite and enjoyed a much more leisurely day of exploring and photographing.
Day four we traveled south through Hardy Bay over a P90m portage to Dickson Lake. We, again picked out a great island site and rested to prepare for the infamous P5305m Dickson Bonfield Portage. Instead of taking the actual portage, we attached our canoe to a cart and took the cart trail to Opeongo. All the pain and work involved in hauling and packing the canoe
cart since the start of the trip finally paid off. The cart trail was considerable longer than 5300 metres, and it wasn’t any quicker than doing the portage (one way), but it was a lot easier. The walk took a better part of the day, but it was very enjoyable.
We arrived in the early afternoon at the East arm of Opeongo. Here we set up camp for our final night, our refreshments were down to a mickey of vodka, half a bag of Yukon Jack and a few good shots of cognac. Since the vodka was a little harsh to be drinking straight, we mixed it with the Yukon Jack.
The mixture turned out to be surprising easier to drink than the straight vodka. When that was finished we sipped the rest of the cognac and told many great stories around the warm fire.
The next morning we packed up and patiently waited for the water taxi to deliver us back to the Opeongo access.Algonquin Outfitters provide excellent service and have a very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Their water taxi service is well worth it as it saves hours of paddling on the very large and unpredictable Opeongo Lake.
There were many highlights of this trip. The sheer beauty of the Crow River, Lake Lavielle and Dickson Lake is high on the list. The solitude of the remote area was another highlight as well as the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities.