Cedar-Radiant-North Depot-Wendigo Canoe Trip

Big Lakes, Little Lakes and a Great thunderstorm


Since it was a lengthy drive to Brent Station, we planned to spend the first night at Brent Station and arose early the morning in order to be able to cross Cedar Lake in the morning calm. We left a vehicle at the Wendigo Lake access point parking lot. The road was a little rough for my Ford Tempo, but we arrived without any mishaps.

 Cedar Lake, being a large body of water, can get rough in windy conditions. We made our way to where the lake empties into the Petawawa River. From the here, we would be tackling three portages around rapids and the Devil’s Chute. As we arrived in the East end of Radiant, we were lucky enough to see a young bear on the hill above the shoreline. The bear was leisurely pawing through an old stump for his lunch. We continued past the opening of the North River towards the North shoreline to find a decent campsite. To our disappointment, a motorboat whizzed by. Not what we would have expected after going through three portages.

 We found a nice site and set up camp. We were soon greeted with a dark cloud followed by a long period of steady rain. It then rained off and on for the next two days. Radiant Lake is a rather large lake and is not particularly interesting. I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be better, but for some reason, we booked two nights on here.

That evening, when we were relaxing around the fire, we notice quite a few mice scampering around the campsite.

 A few hours after we retired for the night, we were woken up by a thundering crash. We all jumped out of our tents to see what it was. A huge tree had fallen right across our campsite, between two tents and smashing into the fire pit area. We were extremely lucky it didn't fall on any of our tents. Had it collapsed three hours earlier, it would likely have landed on us as we relaxed around the fire.

The next day, the rain continued sporadically until mid afternoon, when it finally cleared up and provided us with a little sunshine to dry us off. That night we tried some fishing and a few of us were surprisingly rewarded with some rather large channel cats.

 The next morning, we proceeded up the North River, over a pair of small portages (P20, P135) to Clamshell Lake and continued to over another four portages (P310, P230, P230, P770) over rapids to North Depot Lake. We spent the night on a beautiful island with a high canopy of pine trees for shelter. It was nice to be on a smaller lake. I find small lakes and river much more inviting than the larger wide open lakes. 

On our final day, we continued North River following a portage (P255) to Allan Lake and a (P180) portage to Wendigo Lake. We were hindered by a very strong headwind. We finally arrived at the take out at the Algonquin Access point 25 parking lot, tired and hungry and looking forward to fast food meal and a cold beer.