Length of Trip: 86 - 91 kilometres (53 - 57 miles)
Time Required to Complete Trip: 4 to 5 days
Number of Portages: 12 to 13
Arrangements for the safe parking of vehicles for the duration of the trip could most likely be made with the camp outfitter on McLennan Lake (Grid location 435975 - Map 73-P/16). It is not recommended that vehicles be left unattended at Brabant Lake.
Good fishing for northern pike is available during this trip, and lake trout occur in some of the larger lakes.
With a few exceptions, the rapids along this route are shallow, rocky and impassable. The portages indicated are therefore, in most cases, mandatory.
The islands in the narrows leading to McIvor Channel are heavily treed with spruce in contrast to the high lake shores, the rock bared by a forest fire years ago.
In the extreme southwest end of Doerksen Bay a small stream enters after meandering through a reed-filled shallow portion of the lake. The canoe route follows this stream for a few hundred metres (yards).
After entering the stream from Doerksen Bay, the paddler follows the channel upstream as it parallels the lake shore. At this point the channel is approximately five metres (16 feet) wide and a slight current is perceptible causing underwater vegetation to point downstream. Close observation of the left side of the channel should be made for a slight thinning of the reeds through which the barely noticeable current from another small stream enters the main channel. This current should be followed upstream through the reeds, no definite channel being evident, until a small rocky rapid can be heard on approaching the treed shore of the lake. There is a short portage on the right, or west, side of the rapid.
NOTE: The main channel through the reeds receives water from a chain of lakes which is not the canoe route.
This portage starts immediately to the right, or west, side of the shallow rocky rapids of the inflowing stream (Grid location 745979 - Map 63-M/13).
The stream connecting the two nameless lakes ends in a small pond immediately below a shallow rocky rapid at the outlet of the second nameless lake.
This portage starts on the right, or west, side about 20 metres (22 yards) from the foot of this short rapid. A channel has been cleared in the river bed which enables the paddler to line canoes to the lake above in all but extremely dry conditions.
After paddling a short navigable channel near the southwest end of the lake, the start of the portage to Kakabigish Lake is obvious.
This portage starts a short distance to the left, or southeast, side of the shallow inflowing stream at a grassy clearing. From the campsite at the start of the portage, the trail separates with branches running parallel to each other up a moderate grade until they join just before Settee Lake. Settee Lake is very irregular in shape and contains a number of large islands and bays.
Paddle down the southeast shore of Settee Lake for about 5 1/2 kilometres (3 1/2 miles) and then through the narrows south of Ryan Island to the portage west of the narrows.
From the small bay west of the narrows south of Ryan Island, this portage starts at a break in the shoreline vegetation (Grid location 525858 - Map 72-P/16).
From the western shore of the first nameless lake, this portage starts at a break in the shoreline vegetation (Grid location 516857 - Map 73-P/16).
This portage starts at the northwest end of the second small lake at the north end of a beaver dam and ends at the east end of the bay northeast of Sandomirsky Island on Colin Lake (Grid location 506859 - Map 73-P/16).
From this northeastern bay on Colin Lake the canoeist may travel either north or south of Sandomirsky Island to the southwest end of Colin Lake.
From the north shore of Gowrie Bay, this portage starts at a break in the shoreline vegetation (Grid location 422833 - Map 73-P/16).
From the southwest shore of the small lake, this portage starts at a break in the shoreline vegetation (Grid location 417839 - Map 73-P/16).
Paddle southwest on Versailles Lake to a small bay on the west shore, about one kilometre (2/3 mile) before the extreme southwest end of the lake (Grid location 371822 - Map 73-P/16).
From the small bay at the southwest end of Versailles Lake, this portage starts on the north shore at a break in the vegetation opposite a high rock cliff (Grid location 371822 - Map 73-P/16). A shorter route from Versailles Lake through Minuhik Lake exists, but it involves two rather than one portage. This alternate is about five kilometres (three miles) shorter than the other.
After completing either of these alternate routes, paddle west and north on Minuhik Lake.
From the northwest arm of Minuhik Lake, this portage starts 70 metres (77 yards) west of the base of rapids in the inflowing stream (Grid location 367867 - Map 73-P/16). There is good fishing at the base of these lovely but impassable rapids.
Paddle up the northwest shore of Davis Lake for 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 kilometres (3 1/2 to 4 miles) where two different and well used portages to McLennan Lake are found.
From Davis Lake, this portage starts at a conspicuous clearing in a small bay on the northwest shore (Grid location 396915 - Map 73-P/16).
From Davis Lake, this portage starts at a conspicuous clearing along the northwest shore (Grid location 402923 - Map 73-P/16).
After completing either of these portages to McLennan Lake, canoeists should travel about 10 kilometres (6 1/4 miles) northeast along the shores of the lake to the end point of the trip at the Government campground (Grid location 468988 - Map 73-P/16). This campground is located about 55 kilometres (34 miles) north of the Churchill River on Highway 102.
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