March 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm #4706
WCPP offers nearly 2,000 km of interconnecting canoe routes with many more yet to be established. With only 2 maintenance crews to cover 1.2 million acres of wilderness parkland, we can only hope to make a dent in 1 summer’s work. This thread serves to provide updates on our crew’s progress, identify freshly cleared routes as well as known and reported problem trails and areas. Keep in mind that we rely largely on visitor trip reports to share current information on this thread as well as in prioritizing our work efforts in the park. Your feedback at the end of your trip is very valuable.
“Snow Down & Sawyer Beetles” – a combination of heavy wet snow and a strong north wind in early October of 2012 resulted in considerable damage to the trees in the Red Lake area. Snowdown impact is still visible along the shores and the portage trails. It is a good idea to have a good hand saw as part of your standard equipment. An infestation of Sawyer Beetles is also very noticeable as these insect settle in to take advantage of a damaged forest canopy. Just as wild forest fires, snowdown events and insect infestations are natural occurrences to which we need to adapt… another reminder that “Nature still Rules” here.
NOTE – Red 03 – In May of 2016, she demonstrated her ability to self-care in the recent RED3 Wildfire event where over 85,000 ha (210,032 acres) of damaged forest was burnt to make way for a new forest. All routes are open to visitors but please bring a good hand saw. We will have two maintenance crews (2-person crews) working within the burn area this summer. Please visit this page regularly for updates on their progress. Areas of forest fires pose some challenges crews as they require annual visits to be kept open for several years post fire.
Visited and Cleared this Season thus far
- Bloodvein River from Murdock to Artery
- Leano to Kilburn
- Garner River to Haggart to Broken Arrow Lks
- Haggart to Irregular to be cleared shortly
Visited and Cleared in 2016
- Thicketwood west to Bigshell, Olive Lake, Trough, Valhalla, Rathouse and to Upper Chukuni River access
- The “Edge” route from Eagle to Sylvia to Blueberry to Dragon to Paull to Aegean
- Aegean to Mexican Hat to Wrist, Jigsaw, Haven to Cyclops
- Haven to Adventure to Bulging to Haggart
- Donald to Black Otter to “C” Lakes and on to Carroll and Obukowin
- The Viking Loop – Johnson to Douglas to Embryo to Telescope to Onnie to Johnson
- Douglas to Page, Peterson, Indian House to North Prairie
- Part of the Bunny Hop Loop
- Leano to Kilburn
Known Problem areas
- 1,500m Knox trail continues to challenge it’s visitors – it is a project for this summer – stay tuned for updates
- Welkin to Wrist – 300m – Goat Trail- watch your footing – portage with great caution
- Cyclops creek from Rostoul – difficult to find creek channel – look for marked stake in grass
- Trails West out of Paull Lk – requires work but passable – 150m trail messy – 300m has a creek crossing that is challenging in high water levels – needs a fix
- Entry via the Wanipigow River into Crystal has several fallen trees making access very difficult
- Boomerang to Dragon – still a challenge – needs a fix
- Still some issues reported along the MinJim route – the Nile passage is confusing
- 750 south of MexHat to BurnRock needs brushing
- Route from Olive to Knox needs some brushing – still passable – not recommended for upstream paddling in early season
- burnt trees are already falling across many trails within RED3 fire and fire in the Wrist area
NOTE: We love hearing from your experiences in the park. We rely on your trip reports to share this information with our viewers. Your feedback is valuable to us and to those who are yet to follow your route. Please keep them coming.
Visited and Cleared in 2015
- The Bloodvein River from Artery to Larus
- The Bunny Hop Loop
- Garner to Haggart
- Leano to Paull to Jake to Mexican Hat including Burntwood
- Knox to Murdock to Royd Lake – still a mud trail on the 1,500m trail south of Knox
- Mexican Hat to Wrist – some corduroy laid on the 525m out of Nutria
- Wrist to Welkin to Aegean and down the Bird River to Eagle Lake and up the Talon River to Talon Lake
- Talon to Dragon to Kilburn via Middle and Upper Kilburn – beaver doing its job en route to Middle Kilburn and holding back water for easy navigating (325m port is actually only 50m)
- Kilburn to Leano
- Ford to Carroll to Donald
Water Levels – High or low, each brings its own set of challenges. High water translates to dramatic chutes and rapids, strong currents to consider, and the challenge of keeping feet dry. Generally, in the spring, Knox Creek, Upper Chukuni River, Haggart River, Bird River, east parts of the MinJim route, and the small creek east of Upper Gammon Lake all have strong current when high water prevails. Low water means trudging through shallows in smaller systems. The “bony-prone” Simeon Creek, Garner Creek, Cyclops-Rostoul and Linge-Young systems are those to get updates for. The Wanipigow River is moody regardless of the trend for the season – shallow, muddy and choked up one day and gushing with water the next.
June UPDATE – Water levels are normal to low this season so far. The recent rains will have helped alleviate low levels in the Garner River. Stay tuned for more.
**NEW**– Let’s do the Bunny Hop! We re-establish a short little loop option in the Bunny Lake area. This is caribou country and there is lots of sign. We noted a couple of changes to the information shown on the canoe route map… please contact our office or your canoe outfitter for details.
**NEW** – The link between “C” Lake (south of Donald Lk) to Hammerhead Lk is complete. This link is shown in grey on the new park map. Two short portages (70m & 200m) is all it took to create this new link, though it’s been reported that the 70m from Hammerhead was not found…. ???
**NEW** – The Minjim route and Poodle link have also been completed and added to our network of routes. Foot trails may not be easy to follow in some place seeing that these routes had not been used in many many years. You may have to rely on blazes left by the crews to guide you along the trails. Please contact the park office for route details.
Sydney and Rowdy – We have grown in size. All of Sydney and Rowdy Lakes in the southeastern corner of the park as well as a smaller area along the east shores of Douglas LK are now regulated as “Park”. This means that these areas now receive the same degree of protection and management consideration as the rest of Woodland Caribou Prov. Park. Park permits are required. Approved entry to Sydney/Rowdy are via Leano to the north and Rowdy’s outlet to the south. There is no authorized entry via Sideous Lk in an effort to minimize motorized activities. The large waters of Sydney/Rowdy Lks are an excellent addition to the park as they offer great kayaking opportunities.
RipRap – The placement of “rip-rap” or corduroy in wetter section of trails helps minimize the impact of visitors walking around a wet or muddy obstacle as well as prevents boots from being sucked in completely. You must still step carefully, for despite our efforts, these crude boardwalks fall out of place, rot, or float away. Trails are rugged and challenging… a miss-step could prove critical. Exercise diligence in every step you take.
Canoe Route Map– This map is a “must” for planning out your trip. It is a product of Chrismar Mapping Services and compliments the popular “The Adventure Map” series – waterproof, colored, and very detailed. A couple of updates not reflected on the map can be obtained at the park office (Minjim, Bunny Hop, Hammerhead & C Lake link, etc…). Lots of great planning information at your fingertips. You may purchase a copy on this website (store), via your canoe outfitter or by phoning the park office at (807) 727-1329.
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