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2/07/2018 11:47 am  #1

Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Roughly how long on average would this take? A long day but possible in one shot?


2/07/2018 12:21 pm  #2

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Did that route a few years ago.  Took around 5 hours to Biggar.  Next day did Birchcliffe Cr. in just over 2 hours.  Water was high for August and alders and beaver dams weren't a problem.  Years prior it took 6 hours to do Birchcliffe Cr. due to alders and other trees across the creek so it's always a crap shoot as to what it's going to be like unless the office has current conditions on it.  Count on a long day either way.

'...a man is part of his canoe and therefore part of all it knows. The instant he dips a paddle he flows as it flows.’ Sigurd Olson

2/07/2018 6:48 pm  #3

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Thanks Tripper.  Kinda what I was thinking as well. Doable with the right crew. Miserable with a whiner on board lol. We will give it some thought. Would be early season so water levels and alder may not be in play. Will see.

     Thread Starter

2/08/2018 3:17 pm  #4

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

I actually refer to birchcliff creek as the "Heart of Darkness"...... We had to drag our stuff over exactly 25 beaver dams the year we went in.  Even in the spring those alders nearly blot out the sky, definitely set aside half a day for that bleep-show....

On the positive side, Birchcliff lake is a moose playground, the cabin's in good shape and there's lots of equipment lying around at the old lumber camp on West Raven....  We also went and found the Osler fire tower so there's that if you want a challenge...


2/12/2018 8:23 pm  #5

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Stayed at the cabin in spring 2006. Enjoy the poker chips we left  (nice ones). You can reach the cabin in a day depending on if your group are strong paddlers (body AND spirit) and also conditions that season. If you start first thing in the morning, and get a west wind on North Tea and cross quickly, you could be on Biggarr by 10:00-11:00am. The worst is waiting for the danged permit office to open when the lake is dead flat at dawn, especially as kawawaymog is so shallow and can get very nasty waves....(my ongoing pet peeve lol). As said upthread, the alders are killer as well as the beaver dams, but all depends on water levels too. We just rammed the bow of the canoe into the beaver dams, bow paddler hops out, stern paddler crawls over gear, both paddlers shimmy the canoe over, bow paddler crawls over gear to the front, stern paddler hops in and we're off - standard for most folks I imagine,although of course depends on the size of the beaver dams!. If I were doing it again I would definitely plan on it taking only a day to get in from a logistic persepctive (time of depearture, appropriate weight in canoe etc., committment to taking a day), and then just deal with conditions that day as I meet them (water levels, winds etc.) 


Last edited by Moonman (2/12/2018 8:23 pm)


2/16/2018 10:56 am  #6

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Whew yea, Birchcliffe creek is the heart of darkness for sure. I have even gone all the way around from One mIle lake and done the entire thing, its rough. 

​If your group is experienced, you can run to Birchcliffe in a day, I went from Birchcliffe to the car at Kawaywaymog in a day once, helluva day though..


3/04/2018 1:17 pm  #7

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

When we use to do this trip we would cheat and the cabins were first come first serve. We cheated by putting a motor mount on the canoe and using a 3 horse to get all the way to Bigger. Walk back into the bush a little on that portage and you can always find motors chained and locked to trees. The 3 horse was also quite nice when you met the inevitable headwind travelling back across North Tea.

A mans gotta do, what a man's gotta do.

3/04/2018 8:26 pm  #8

Re: Access #1 to Birchcliffe Cabin

Birchcliffe Creek is very evil.....trust me!  Been there and done it but never again.

Tripping in Algonquin Park is not about seeking shelter from a storm, tripping in Algonquin Park is about dancing in the rain!

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