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3/11/2020 9:38 am  #1

Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

I'm staring at Jeff's map and was thinking how the Nipissing and Carl Wilson aren't really all that far apart - it's a shame there's no portage. Then I noticed a logging road, and suddenly I started wondering if a bushwhack might be possible from the Nipissing to Varley. It wouldn't be fun, but if doable it would likely be less time consuming than the defined route. Ever heard of anyone doing this? Or even trying to? At its closest point, it looks like it would be about a 300-400 meter bushwhack from the river to the logging road. Then maybe 500-600 meters from the logging road into Varley. Something like this, basically:



3/11/2020 9:52 am  #2

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

great minds think alike,, i did look for a trail that i thought went from c.w. to the nip years ago,, i had no luck searching,, up over the ridge from c.w. and into the river valley?  could be difficult reaching the river ,  pulling a canoe through the alders and cat tails several hundred yards to launch in the mud,


3/11/2020 9:59 am  #3

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

I forgot to add I was looking at the satellite imagery as well. I don't know that stretch of the Nipissing at all which doesn't help, but the trees come right down to river at a good location for a takeout, which would hopefully mean no slogging through marshland.

     Thread Starter

3/11/2020 10:50 am  #4

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

Attempt that crossing in June for extra Algonquin Adventures bonus points!


3/11/2020 10:56 am  #5

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

Yeah, I think the toughest part will be getting off of the river to solid land.  That said, as you look at the satellite imagery, after you get on the logging road with the dotted line in your first posted picture - that road takes an eastward turn.  Before that eastward turn there is an apparent spur road that peels off on the west side and leads north towards Carl Wilson.  I like that route a little better because, if you switch to "terrain" or topographic view you will see that road follows a bit of a level valley and doesn't take you up and over a hill.  Might turn out to be six in one and half a dozen in the other, but taking some elevation out of a bushwack would generally be favorable. 

That low scrub in the soggy area, I expect, will be the most terrible part of the journey.  Possibly terrible enough to be considered impassable.  You never know that until you put boots on the ground, or deep in the muck.


3/11/2020 1:02 pm  #6

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

Maybe it's the impact of increasing wear on my knees but I'd favour the easy paddle down that section of the nip and then portage through bug and ironwood rather than having to fight though thick vegetation, even if it means an extra day.

As I recall, the trees that section of the nip are evergreen and close enough together to reduce the amount of undergrowth but will likely be wet.  No clue as to what it looks like 30m in.


3/11/2020 11:46 pm  #7

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

The concept seems doable but it might take a long time to bushwhack over the hilly terrain getting into Carl Wilson. Also, the Ontario topo maps show the that all the area of where your route connects with the Nip is boggy. In my limited experience you may be facing a muck filled near impassable trek or you may get lucky and be able to find bits of stable land that leads towards the road. Maybe you should consider looking about 1 km to the west along the Nip where the maps indicate there is no bog between the river and the road. Also, PaPaddlers suggestion of taking the spur directly towards Carl Wilson seems promising.


3/12/2020 5:18 am  #8

Re: Bushwhacking: Nipissing to Carl Wilson?

Could be a nightmare or a walk in the park but I suspect accessing the logging road from the river will be the most difficult part.  If that part is doable, I'd go for it.


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