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2/14/2017 10:20 am  #1

Shall Lake Access Point

I'm planning a trip in from the Shall Lake access point. I've never been there so I'm wondering a couple of things:

1) What's the string of portages like between Booth and Dickson? Is there a lot of up and down? Any significant obstacles? That seems like it could be a pretty big day, even if the actual distance isn't too far. How's the 5k between Round Island and Dickson?

2) Has anyone stayed on Little Dickson recently? I know Dickson's been closed to campers for the past couple of years. Are there risks to staying on nearby lakes from the algae bloom? This one may be more of a question for Park officials, but please chime in if you've looked into this as well.

3) Has anyone looped through Ryegrass, Rumley, Godda and Mole?  Anything interesting to see on these lakes? Any portages along that route that are just awful? I see Jeff's Map has a note about the portages into Ryegrass, but that's from 2010 so I'm hoping its been cleaned up since then.






2/14/2017 12:02 pm  #2

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

When are you going? I'll be through the Booth - Little Dickson section in mid-May so I'll be able to give you an up to date report when I get back.

1) What I've read is that they're not all that great, especially the Presto - > Marshy portage which can be flooded in places. Apparently the first 2/3rds of the 5K from Round Island to Dickson is pretty good, the last third is a lot of up and down. You will probably find it a rough day traveling from Booth to Dickson (or presumably Little Dickson) in a single day. 

2) I'm booked on Little Dickson for a night. If they had concerns about the water quality there, it would be closed for bookings. I'm not worried about it. 


2/14/2017 1:18 pm  #3

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

re: loop through Ryegrass, Rumley, Godda and Mole

I haven't been on it, but last June when I mentioned my plan to do the loop as a day trip (from Booth) the ranger at the Access Point discouraged it as a long slog, and she described the portages as in rough shape.

Ultimately I opted not to do the loop, but did see two separate groups head up McCarthey's creek and never come out.


2/14/2017 2:24 pm  #4

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

It's been quite a while but I still remember portaging from Dickson to Round Island Lake.   It was a long, brutal, steep ascent and it was my turn to carry the boat and a pack.  At least the season was early enough that there were no leaves on the trees so I got a good view when I stopped for a rest.  My impression would be that the portage would be easier going in the Round Island Lake to Dickson direction.   Definitely a tougher portage than the much more famous Dickson - Bonfield portage.


2/14/2017 2:36 pm  #5

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

Hey Drew.  I did the route from Booth to Round Island a couple of years again in early May as a day trip and I didn't have any issues with the portages.  I think there was maybe one tree down, a beaver dam you had to cross which was a bit wet but not a problem with proper footwear.  A couple of the portage landings were less than desirable but nothing crazy.  Account of this day trip is on my blog with some pictures.

I did the portage from Dickson to Round Island back in 2001 and I remember it being hilly and mostly uphill toward RI until you crossed the logging road.  I don't remember any problems with the portage and I did it twice that day on a day trip from Dickson.

I've been through Little Dickson twice in the past two years but never camped on it.  The site on the point just after you come off the Dickson portage looks good, big and flat.  I've caught some nice BT and LT in there.  I just don't like the portage into it from Dickson.  I'm not sure why as it's not a long portage but it's just one of those portages that I don't like.

Hope that helps.
'...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

2/14/2017 7:10 pm  #6

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

I camped on Booth at the mouth of McCarthy Creek last August. A couple of young families did the loop through Mole in about 5 hours I think it was, and they said it was nice.


2/14/2017 8:17 pm  #7

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

1.  Booth to Dickson is a decent distance.  The portage from Booth to Chipmunk is a gradual incline, with a small rocky/swampy (depending on the season) section in the middle.  Other than the middle section and the first and last 100m, it's almost a cartable trail.  There was a log across the landing on Chipmunk that made getting into the canoe a bit tricky (this was 2014).  The other portages between Chipmunk and Round Island have rocky sections that require stepping from rock to rock.  They could be a bit slippery.  You might get a little muddy on the portage between Presto and Marshy.  If I remember correctly, these are fairly level portages.  You might consider spending a night on Round Island.  The site on the point is quite nice, and the lake has some huge submerged boulders that are unique to the lake.  The portage from Round Island to Dickson is going to be 1/3 uphill and 2/3 downhill for you.  It's a steady climb, and steady descent that I believe gets steeper towards the end.  It's a respectable climb.  There are a few creek crossings where there is a steep descent followed by a steep climb.  I went from Shall access to Round Island in one day, and then from Round Island to Animoosh the next day.  From the portage on Booth to the portage on Round Island took me about 3 hours. The portage from Round Island to Dickson took just under 2 hours.  I tend to travel quickly, but I was pretty heavily loaded that trip.

3.  I did this loop back in 2013.  None of the portages were a problem.  I don't think there were any fallen trees.  From my camp on Booth, round trip time was 6.5 hrs, but included stopping to chat for quite a while, a stop for lunch, a stop for blueberries and exploring Booth a bit.  The portage to Ryegrass from Booth was a bit difficult to spot, but I might not have been paying that much attention.  The Rumley to Ryegrass portage was quite buggy at each end.


2/15/2017 10:22 am  #8

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

Thanks all for the great feedback. I'm going to take Up the Creek's advice and spend a night on Round Island. In fact, the first two days of our route are the same; we'll be on Animoosh the second night, finishing up at the Mcaskill Ranger Cabin for the third night. Thanks again.

     Thread Starter

2/15/2017 7:59 pm  #9

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

It's a good trip, but you have to earn it with all the portaging!


2/15/2017 11:03 pm  #10

Re: Shall Lake Access Point

3) I did the Godda loop in early July 2014. Started in the early morning and was done around mid day, at a leisurely pace. Nice little jaunt. No problems on any of the portages. The osprey nest on Rumley was active, though not exactly where Jeff's map shows it. The campsite on Mole Lake at the Godda portage landing was so awful we didn't stop there for breakfast as planned, instead pushing ahead to Godda and stopping on the western campsite there which is very nice. We went clockwise in hopes of early morning wildlife on McCarthy Creek, but in retrospect there's no good reason not to go counterclockwise as Ryegrass Lake is just as marshy, and that direction might help avoid any wrong turns on the creek.

There was also a time in early September of 2007 I explored McCarthy Creek from Booth Lake and found it hard to get all the way up due to low water levels... not sure if that has more to do with seasons or with management of the Booth Lake dam.


Board footera

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