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TRIP NO. 56
MOOSE MOUNTAIN PROVINCIAL PARK
Length of Trip: Route A - 13-16 kilometres; Route B - 6-8 kilometres
Time Required to Complete Trip: Route A - 6-8 hours; Route B - 4-5 hours
Number of Portages: Route A - 15 (Approximate Total Length - 1.8 kilometres); Route B - 9 (Approximate Total Length - 1.2 kilometres)
Due to current and persistant low water levels, the
maintenance of the route has been discontinued. The
lakes are still canoeable but the portages may make
the route impassible.
Bob Deptuck, Park Interpreter, Moose Mountain Provincial Park
Access to Starting Point:
Cars can be parked in the parking lot south of Ray Lake which can
be reached by travelling west from the park entry gate, past the
riding academy to the Blue Heron Trail. Follow the Blue Heron
Trail north. At a fork in the trail the road to the left will lead
you to the parking lot.
About the Trip:
The trip is especially recommended for novice canoeists. Lake
currents are rarely apparent, so the trip can be made with equal
ease in reverse. The lakes are fairly shallow and sheltered. The
trip is excellent for improving canoeing and camping skills before
undertaking a long or demanding canoe trip. The route is well
marked and the portages are numbered with orange florescent signs.
NOTE: Low water levels may affect portage distances.
There is a location suitable for overnight camping. Refer to
Portage #10. A camping permit and campfire permit are required and
can be obtained from the park office.
The Canoe Trip:
Portage No. 1:
This first portage, which connects Ray Lake to Scott Lake is
approximately 45 metres and is in excellent condition.
Portage No. 2:
Approximately 250 metres long, this portage connects Scott Lake
with a small slough. This slough leads into a second slough via a
swampy narrows. Poling is necessary. The portage is long and
rocky, but otherwise in very good condition. A hiking trail
intersects the portage at approximately the halfway point. Watch
for beaver lodges along both small lakes.
Portage No. 3:
This short, wide, grassy portage is in excellent condition.
Approximately 90 metres long, it connects the two smaller lakes
with a larger lake, yet unnamed. The shoreline of this winding
lake is swampy. Again look for a large beaver lodge.
Alternate Route A:
Canoeists wishing to follow this longer route should go to Portage
Alternate Route B:
Canoeists wishing a shorter trip should go to Portage No. 4B then
continue to Portage No. 11.
Portage No. 4A:
Climb along this 250 metre portage across the hiking trail to a
small lake with a beaver dam in the middle and extensive beaver
action along the south shore.
Portage No. 4B:
This portage is 125 metres long, connecting to Jabe Lake. The
wide, moderately long portage ends at an excellent spot overlooking
the lake. Continue to Portage No. 11.
Portage No. 5:
This portage 150 metres long leads up and over a ridge separating
the two lakes. The path winds through aspen and birch to the top
of a ridge from which the next lake can be easily seen.
Portage No. 6:
Approximately 760 metres long, this portage crosses the present
hiking trail and follows an old creek bed to the next lake.
Portage No. 7:
Short and simple, this 30 metre portage is a wide and grassy ridge
separating these two lakes.
Portage No. 8:
Portaging is necessary in low water years. It may be possible to
pole across in spring and early summer.
Portage No. 9:
This portage connects an unnamed lake to the north shore of Gillis
Lake. It is a short, easy portage crossing a wide and grassy
Connecting Gillis Lake to Jabe Lake is a 200 metre portage. It
follows an old creek bottom through a grassy meadow and across a
dried up beaver dam. There is a campsite here with garbage cans
and fire pit for an overnight stay.
This 150 metre portage connecting the south end of Jabe Lake with
the west arm of Polaris Lake is in good condition. It consists of
an uphill climb directly followed by a downhill slope to Polaris
Lake-proceed with caution.
Polaris Lake is clear and spring-fed, bordered by bullrushes.
Canoeists will encounter a couple of beaver lodges during the short
paddle across flora-carpeted waters.
Portage No. 12:
Approximately 150 metres of relatively level trail leads from the
grassy landing point on the south side of Polaris Lake to an
ingrown bay on the northernmost end of the large McMillan Lake.
The trail is in good condition.
Portage No. 13:
Connecting the northeast arm of McMillan Lake with a narrow bay on
the southwest side of McLellan Lake is this 220 metre long
portage. It begins inconspicuously at a landing spot lined with
bullrushes and continues mildly winding along the bank of a creek.
Once over this portage, canoeists will paddle through a marshy
inlet and a stretch of flooded trees to the open waters and an easy
paddle on McLellan Lake.
Portage No. 14:
This short portage is approximately eight metres long and in good
condition. It connects the southwest arm of McLellan Lake to the
easternmost point of a small unnamed lake. An abandoned beaver
lodge lying next to the portage provides an interesting stop-over
An easy launch and a short, scenic paddle to complete the final leg
of the route. To reach the final portage on the east side of the
lake requires careful manoeuvring through a very murky bay.
Portage No. 15:
This final portage is 180 metres long and is in good condition. It
begins in a weedy area and climbs gradually to the parking lot
which marks the end of the canoe route.
Credits: The text for the numbered canoe routes is supplied by Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, and authorization for the use of the text is given by the same department.
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Modified on 1 Jul 2003