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5/11/2018 10:55 pm  #1

Kawawaymog, Lorne, and Fassett

This was a 2016 Labour Day weekend trip with the wife and dog. We rented a Kevlar fusion Swift Kipawa 16’ from the South River store. Two nice surprises were that the boat was 100% brand new on its maiden voyage and the second was that brown on white looked surprisingly good such that it is now the front running color scheme of that fantasy canoe that I may one day be allowed to purchase.

Since I can’t get my wife to wake up at 4 am, like a reasonable person, we ended up at the access sometime after lunch. A group with canoes and kayaks asked me to take their picture so I agreed but then they all started hauling more gear to their boats and my wife, dog, and I were ready to go so we just took a picture of the one kayak dude and his missing buddies’s canoes. I foresaw deep hurt for the kayak guy, even with the two short portages into North Tea, however, we never saw them again.

We made it to North Tea Lake in good time. When I travel with my wife we tend travel at about 70-75% of the times indicated on Jeff’s Map, which is significantly faster than I can solo, but the added speed always seems to bring added complaints. I tend to dislike paddling huge lakes, probably because it seems like you are not making any progress.

We made it to the Lost Dog portage just behind a group of 4 young guys, who were drinking cans of beer. These guys seemed to have come from some other direction on the lake or they had a lot of trouble finding the portage. We waited until they had cleared the landing and were on their way, single tripping the portage. Soon after we started our portage we encountered a family with young kids going the opposite way. They were also single tripping the portage. It was kind of rare that almost every group here was single portaging. Also, it made me happy to see the family happily travelling along because now that I’m a dad I envision that I’ll be attempting to do the same very soon. About half way to Sisco Lake we encountered about a 30 m rise in the trail and this is the last time we say the group of 4 guys, who were having a beer break.

Made it into Lorne Lake and took a look at the island campsite but saw that it was occupied, so we went to the site directly northeast, on a little point of land. I thought this point would be nice but it was only ok. There was a wasp’s nest in one of the tree trunks close to the fire pit so our crazy dog kept getting stung on her mouth while trying to eat the wasps. We went for a swim but the sight of leeches made us weary. Then, throughout the night and the next morning we heard periodic loud wretching noises from the island site. In retrospect, we should have tried for the north-most site as it was much better.

In the morning we shoved off and travelled up to Fassett Lake. I thought that the east-most site would be good but it didn’t look that way when we approached so we headed back half way across the lake and took the site that was on peninsula that jutted into the lake from the north. The site is not marked on Jeff’s latest map but it had an official orange marker. I liked the site because it had a slightly elevated view of the lake from the fire pit, but the pit area itself had a rolling topography. The tent site was lower down, off to the side, and sufficiently flat. We went for a swim around our site and when we swam a little to the east there was a small natural beach with warm shallow water. It was nice. The dog and I were salivating around the campfire as my wife cooked the from-scratch-pizza, insisting that it needed to stay on a little longer to melt the cheese. The lake was beautiful and we had it all to ourselves on this long weekend ... until the next day.

We were both mildly startled by the sound of a large tree crashing down, likely from the far side of the lake. Amazing how loud such sounds can be and it shouldn’t be surprising that out of the thousands of trees that are visible from the site that one should fall down during your stay. The morning was warming up nicely and then they came. I partly expected that something like this would happen. The first canoe came floating by and they asked if we minded that they use the little beach that was about 150 m east of our site. “No problem” I responded and within a half hour came two more canoes from the west, heading to the east side of the lake. When planning this trip I saw that there was a logging road that went right to the park boundary at Shad Lake and I am sure that is where they were coming from. At least they didn’t spoil our seclusion too much and they left after several hours. With my telescope I could see a couple of moose munching on plants near the portage where we entered the lake. The lake was all ours again and it was another beautiful night.

The next day we headed back the way we came, stopping at the north-most site on Lorne Lake for lunch. This site had a very large circular flat spot around the fire pit. The view was quite nice as the site mostly was shaded by high trees but clearly visible was the view south, along the long axis of the lake with its picturesque island in the middle. It would have been nice to stay here but the site was notable for some of the “improvements” that were made by campers, such as the seat backing on the extensive benches around the pit, and a rough-log boat dock. Once back on North Tea we were in the mode of paddling on what seemed like an endless lake, as we watched all the other canoes converging on the portage, where more than a dozen people were seen to be lingering and swimming. We were back in the crowds but it was interesting as we passed one canoe where they had an infant in the front, directly in front of the mother. Perhaps I’ll convince my wife to take our baby girl on a canoe trip soon. I’ve already gotten her to agree to a trip to Islet Lake on the Western Uplands Trail so perhaps 2019 will be baby’s first canoe trip?

Last edited by solos (5/11/2018 11:02 pm)


5/13/2018 3:02 pm  #2

Re: Kawawaymog, Lorne, and Fassett

Thanks for the trip report! It brought back some fun memories from last year when my best friend, wife, and I did a six day trip starting at Kawawaymog, staying at Lorne and Fassett along the way. We ended up doing the loop through Shada and Manitou and I was amazed at how quiet the trip was once we were off North Tea. The sites are definitely hit and miss on Lorne and Fassett, but we were most fortunate to have the areas to ourselves (Lorne 1 night, Fassett for 2). We took a partial day trip to explore Shad Lake and saw the logging road you referred to. The beauty and solitude back there was incredible! It was my first major canoe excursion since the late 80's, so it was extra special for me. I wish you all the best in introducing your daughter to the canoeing and backcountry experiences.




5/15/2018 1:37 pm  #3

Re: Kawawaymog, Lorne, and Fassett

It is my pleasure to share this trip report, especially if it helps people other people find the nice quiet places in the park that are not too hard to get to from an access. These places often have sites available even on long weekends and typically you don’t need to make a reservation.

     Thread Starter

5/15/2018 10:12 pm  #4

Re: Kawawaymog, Lorne, and Fassett

Hope the rough dock was useful! We built that back in 2015 on a bored summer day. Also built one of the back rest benches...

You're bringing back fond memories as this was my last trip with my wife before we had kids.


5/16/2018 4:27 pm  #5

Re: Kawawaymog, Lorne, and Fassett

Actually the dock was useful as their wasn't really a good natural landing area. On the other hand you'll miss out on those memorable moments when the wife steps out on to the large sloping rock and slowly slide all the way into the drink.

     Thread Starter

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