Tim River-Big Trout-McIntosh-Tim
This is one of those trips that I
thoroughly enjoyed, yet I doubt if I would repeat the same route. Donít get
me wrong, the Tim River is an excellent May trip, just donít try to do the
whole river plus three lakes in one day!
Tim River Access point #2 was easy
to find. Follow Forestry Tower Road from the village of Kearney. Before we
could start our trip, we had to obtain our permits at the Park Office in the
Kearney Community Centre.
It was the first week of May and ice
out occurred just the week before. We started our journey paddling down the
Tim River to Tim Lake. Tim Lake has 6 campsites, three of which are on an
island. It was late in the day after the long drive and we set up our camp
at the northeast site by the continuing Tim River.
The next morning we were off to
Rosebary Lake. We first paddled down the Tim River for about 8 kilometres.
The river had a well used 120 metre portage and a few annoying beaver dams.
We eventually arrived at Rosebary Lake. We seen a few moose on our way; they
were rather scruffy with their shedding of their winter coats and the males
were no longer adorned with their majestic antlers. They werenít what I
would call, photogenic.
We continued to Longbow Lake and
camped by the dam. I tried my luck fishing below dam and was rewarded with a
nice brook trout. He was far too beautiful to kill, so I released him to
swim another day.
We thought we knew what we were up
against for the next day travel. We knew we had to get up very early to
start the long journey down the Tim River. And we were aware that we would
be facing a few portages on the way. What we didnít realize was that the Tim
River is so winding, that we would be paddling twice as far as the crow
would fly if he was going the same way. The Tim River is a shallow, narrow,
ever winding creek of a river with most of the shorelines crowded with
We woke up early, packed up and were
on the water by 6:00am. We then spent the entire day, non-stop, paddling
full out, to Longer Lake. We had no rest, no time for photographs, no time
for fishing and we ate granola bars for lunch, on the trail. This day we
conquered the six portages on the Tim (P230, P90, P410, P275, P460 & P125).
We arrive at Shippagew Lake at 8:00pm. Before tackling the final 1335 metre
portage to Longer Lake, we got our flashlights out of our packs. Near
exhaustion, we portaged to Longer Lake. We were relieved to finally get here
as it was getting dark. We paddled east across Longer Lake to the nearest
campsite. To our disappointment, it was already taken. We then proceeded
south to another campsite only to find it was also taken. We looked at the
canoe map and realized that we had to back track and paddle to the far north
part to the last possible available site. By the time were arrived, it was
10:00pm, pitch dark, and we were now totally exhausted. We just paddled not
stop along with 7 portages, for 16 hours straight. What a way to spend a
The next day, with our wounds and
sore muscles, we crossed the 300 metre portage to Big Trout Lake. This was a
large, yet very attractive lake. We made our way south and then turned west
and followed the narrow passage that leads into White Trout Lake. White
Trout Lake has a nice high cliff in the southeast shore and we enjoyed
paddling under its protection. This lake lead us into Grassy Bay. Grassy Bay
is another windy body of water teaming with wildlife. It has many species of
ducks, loons, moose and marsh birds. We grabbed up a campsite on the south
Day five, we continued down Grassy
bay which turns into McIntosh Creek. It was raining steadily and the portages
on the way (P745 & P510) to McIntosh Lake were very wet and boggy. The
planks on the way kept us from sinking in the mud.
When we arrived at McIntosh, the
rain gave the lake very misty look. It was really gorgeous. McIntosh is one
of the most beautiful lakes in Algonquin. I wish we would have been able to
camp here instead of having to press on. Someday I will have to come back
and enjoy such a lovely paradise. There was even a heron rookery in one of
the bays. By midday, the it was raining very heavy. We were heading to
Timberwolf Lake. We got a little lost for a bit, but finally found the right
bay that would lead us to the 405 metre portage to Timberwolf. We chose the
site in the far north east corner by Timberwolf Creek.
By this time, we were totally soaked
and quite cold. Since it had poured all day, everything around was soaking
wet as well. We had to get a fire going to warm up and dry our shoes and
some of our clothes. This was not an easy task. We did find some dry leaves
and grass underneath fallen logs and rocks. With a lot of effort we did
finally get a great fire going.
Day six would bring us back to the
infamous Tim River via Misty Lake, Pandion Pond and Shah Lake along with
four very set portages. This included 130 Metre to Misty Lake, a 705 metre
to Pandion Pond, a short jot across the pond to the 335 metre portage to
Shah Lake. The 1125 metre portage from Shah to the Tim River was a enjoyable
portage (as far as enjoyable portages can go) as it had a extensive, narrow
(two 2x8 together which equals 14 ĹĒ), and steps leading down to the river.
We paddled a way up the Tim River and set up camp at the lonely campsite
just past Little Trout Creek.
Even though it was in the early have
of May and the water was truly ice cold, I needed to have a swim. Damn, it
was cold. That night, the temperature dropped. It was raining in our tent
from condensation. In the morning, our water bucket was a big chunk of ice.
Although we had planned to spend the
last night on Tim Lake, we agreed to paddle all the way out a day early. It
was another very long day of paddling and again we were cutting it close to
sundown before getting to our vehicle.
The highlights of this trip would be
the abundance of wildlife and the truly gorgeous few lakes like McIntosh and
Big Trout Lakes. I might have enjoyed the Tim River more had it not been all
work and no play.