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Old 07-30-2006, 05:53 PM   #1
adk365
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lows lake to oswegatchie portage

i've read as much as possible...still just trying to collect opinions on whether or not we can try wheeling our kayaks on this portage.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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Low's -Oswegatchie trail

If your options are to wheel it or not go, I'd heartily recommend the wheels (but don't expect any easy traverse)
I've only used them once, a set permanently left on a long portage in Temagami. so no expert but think you be better off w/ a set that has inflatable rather than solid tires & an axle w/ high ground clearance. Be prepared to still lift over roots & blowdown. I've been across the trail many times & was always glad canoe was overhead, not dragging behind.
Regardless, do the trip. The struggle will ony make the journey more memorable. Enjoy !
BTW, I think the Low's -Cranberry trail is more wheel friendlly but that won't get you to the river
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adk365
i've read as much as possible...still just trying to collect opinions on whether or not we can try wheeling our kayaks on this portage.
I too have been across the trail many times but have a different opinion than Glen's. Only traversed it once with wheels and once will remain the final number. It might work better with two people, but going solo the trail was just too rugged for wheels at the time I used them. In many areas the cleared logs from blowdown are not cut wide enough, so one wheel or the other has to climb up and over, causing hard work and the canoe to tip on it's side. I was far more beat (again, I was going solo) with wheels than at any time with canoe overhead without wheels.

I've done it with a wood strip 40 pound canoe and with Hornbeck. With Hornbeck overhead it is a pleasant walk in the park - a highly recommended way to go. With wood strip canoe overhead I rested several times and it was hard work on a single pass carry with pack, but it was ok. The next time I tried it with that canoe I had the wheels but wished I left them home. Fussing with the wheels and the roots and rocks and especially the cut blowdown logs making the trail too narrow took more time and was more frustrating than the overhead carry.

I have the Canadian Walker wheels, green tubular steel frame with bicycle type pneumatic tires. Reasonably lightweight and high enough to clear most trail obstacles, they work very well on wide enough trail, and are sturdy enough to carry a war canoe on the 90 Miler, with of course lots of help on the rough spots of the carries.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen L
If your options are to wheel it or not go, I'd heartily recommend the wheels (but don't expect any easy traverse)
I've only used them once, a set permanently left on a long portage in Temagami.
Just curious - which Temagami portage was this ? The Diamond 2 miler ?

I am going for 2 weeks Mid September . Looking forward to it.
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:45 PM   #5
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Temagami

Msample:

Cart was on the portage from Stouffer lake to Sturgeon river (but have done the Diamond Lake portage 2x) & it would be another difficult one to traverse w/ wheels
Don't wanna hijack post but what are your rte plans for 2 wks ? Wife & I have made 5 trips thru Temagami since discovering area on drive to launch for 1st Missinaibi river - James Bay trip in '98.
PM me if you wanna further discuss area. You're gonna love it !
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:16 PM   #6
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LISTEN TO Wldrns!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns
I too have been across the trail many times but have a different opinion than Glen's. Only traversed it once with wheels and once will remain the final number. It might work better with two people, but going solo the trail was just too rugged for wheels at the time I used them. In many areas the cleared logs from blowdown are not cut wide enough, so one wheel or the other has to climb up and over, causing hard work and the canoe to tip on it's side. I was far more beat (again, I was going solo) with wheels than at any time with canoe overhead without wheels.
We tried to do this a couple years ago with our nice canoe wheels, and we got into some trouble for exactly the reasons stated above. There are just dozens/hundreds of cut trees which had fallen across the trail, and our wheels simply didn't fit through most of them. We had way to much gear with us, and it was a real nightmare trying to lift the boat/wheels over the obstructions.

The going was so slow that we ended up having to camp about half way between big deer pond and the river... was not a fun experiance. I'm not sure what the exact width of our wheels was, but it's a pretty standard set of wheels.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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thanks

no wheels it is...thanks everyone
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:01 AM   #8
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So, assume you'll be carrying your kayaks across ?
(Note I only recommended wheels as an alternative to not doing the trip)
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:49 AM   #9
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lows lake--oswegatchie carry

If no wheels (which I agree with--I don't think this is a wheel friendly carry at all), how do you plan to carry your kayaks, or will you take canoes instead? I would think this would be a long carry to manage with kayaks.
Gerry
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:49 PM   #10
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well...

i have decided we will carry the kayaks....there is no way i am not going to make the trip...been looking forward to it for so long! Old Town makes a padded yoke that will adjust to fit most kayaks, and since i have a wilderness series with an open cockpit i figure it will work ok. Going to be heavy...but i hear the oswegatchie is worth the haul.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adk365
i have decided we will carry the kayaks....there is no way i am not going to make the trip...been looking forward to it for so long! Old Town makes a padded yoke that will adjust to fit most kayaks, and since i have a wilderness series with an open cockpit i figure it will work ok. Going to be heavy...but i hear the oswegatchie is worth the haul.
Kayaks will be a tough haul. Those beasts are not really meant for portaging. You might also check out the Knupac Universal Thwart (scroll down on the page) for kayaks. I use the Knupac system and it works great for my canoes. It looks like the Knupac kayak thwart may be used with or without the pack system.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:35 PM   #12
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Hiked this trail to check it out first, nice spring at the O river end. Then did trail from Low's with a Wenonah solo over my head, made it to High Falls late in the day after an early start, pretty beat. Might do it again with a Hornbeck type boat, no 'yak, no wheels.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:02 PM   #13
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Last year we met 3 guys dragging a rather large aluminum boat across this carry. They had made a yoke fom a thick branch and 2 ropes attached to the front of the boat and then 2 short ropes front and back to guide and lift over obstacles. They had already taken their gear across. Not recommended. It looked like a lot of work!
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
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Where on the O river does the portage trail come out ? I did this back when Lows was first opened in the late 80s and it came out at High Falls ; now it appears to come out upstream . How far upstream ?
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msample
Where on the O river does the portage trail come out ? I did this back when Lows was first opened in the late 80s and it came out at High Falls ; now it appears to come out upstream . How far upstream ?
Get the topo map... look at the area west of Big Deer Pond, due south of Nick's Pond. The trail from the western shore of BDP crosses the marsh SW of BDP, where it joins and follows the ridge line south to where the contours almost intersect the river bend. The convoluted headwaters are not far upstream from that point. At the point where you enter the river a strong ice cold spring bubbling up from the river bed will freeze your feet after the long carry.

That's the only trail west of Low's that has been open since 15 July 1995 when the microburst hit. There are other spectacular wonders in the area if you are up to very tough bushwhacks.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:40 PM   #16
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Sounds like the microburst probably covered the area of the trail I took several years before it .
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:18 PM   #17
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Blowdown areas

DEC brochure "Trails in the Cranberry Lake Region" (available online ?) purports to show w/ shading the areas affected by '95 microburst. It shows entire carry from Big Deer Pond to river passing continuosly thru such an area despite fact that some places along trail were totally unaffected. Also shows Halfmoon Pond surrounded by blowdown although that wasn't my experience.
It's strange how some places in midst of the devastation were left untouched.
Sure glad that stand of Pines on N shore of Wolf Pond Bob Marshall wrote about in '23 after his trip yr earlier remains untouched !
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen L
It's strange how some places in midst of the devastation were left untouched.
Sure glad that stand of Pines on N shore of Wolf Pond Bob Marshall wrote about in '23 after his trip yr earlier remains untouched !
There are a couple of stands with a few giant white pine trees still upright in the area. I was glad to see when I visited in 1996 the largest one we always called "the old man" was still there, beaten badly but still vertical. He's still there today with the same trampled path around his feet where people stood touching fingertips to extend their arms around his girth. We thought it could be the recordholder in the state, but the one on the Wanakena campus beats it by a little. Unfortunately the vast majority of his brothers from a once very large proud stand went horizontal in that awful storm. I've been there almost every year since to visit.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:08 PM   #19
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Think I counted 37 large White Pines still standing on Pine Ridge last few times I passed by. Often wonder how it must have looked before the 11-50 storm
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:46 PM   #20
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Did this trip in 98 - was aPITA with the wheels - blow down and such make life not fun - carry the boats - kayaks might be a bit tough there -.....
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