August 2000 Pukaskwa National Park Ontario, Canada Journal and Map Notes

Map Notes

Day One - Hattie Cove - Sunday - Parked, bought maps. Packed our boats at the dock and launched at 4 pm heading South.

1st night - White River - I camped in a wood/stone shelter. The wood was set up like a little tent above a stone depression. It was located where you can see who's coming down from the mouth of the river at the lake. The guys put up their tents. Lots of bugs and wore head net all night. Got coffee from fishing guys in morning. Lots of trollers back and forth and forth and back near the mouth.

Monday - 2nd night - Oiseau Bay - paddled around this huge bay in the evening. The islands are quite dramatic. Saw a huge luxury boat anchored there and spoke with a woman (it was only one man and one woman on board). We thought it was stuck but it wasn't. Practiced rolls at Oiseau.

Day 3 - Tuesday - Dampier Cove - very picturesque cove, stopped to stretch and put on rain gear but it didn't rain. Explored Nichols Cove. Lots of pink granite and quartz in one area (the South prong).

One Lake Island - stopped on East side of island to stretch. Walked into the island through a short forest and swam across lake almost naked. There is a big glaciated granite cliff dropping into One Lake and the effect is stunning. Brown water from tanin. On far side of One Lake is Lake Superior and a beautiful rocky shoreline.

3rd and 4th nights - BIG WIND! stayed on the south part of a big sandy double bay north of White Spruce Harbour. My tent blew into a small pond while we were hiking, soaking everything. Casualty: one contact lens case. My sleeping bag is synthetic so it dried almost immediately. We saw some guys with building tools who constructed a huge A-frame (as for a large room or small house) while being wind bound for a day or 2. Hiked over to White Spruce Harbour, a Beautiful place. Rick found a special rock looking out over much of the bay and expressed his desire to never leave.

5th night - Big wind, went farther but turned around and went back to "Rick's beach" (a beach Rick had stopped at before we knew he had stopped) for the night. Very small beach w/sand and a section with huge smoothed cobbles, north of Simons Harbour. Hiked up and down the Coastal Trail.

6th day - Friday - La Plage Garbage (Simons Harbour) - had lunch at "Garbage Beach" amidst garbage (and large boulders). The garbage was mostly plastic boating parts.

Paddled by "ramparts"

Swallow River - calm winds - paddled up to suspension bridge and 30 meter falls. Hiked up falls to top. Ate lunch again.

6th night - Cascade Falls - 3 waterfalls visible from Lake Superior. Hiked up Cascade River in water shoes and passed more than 10 waterfalls and much glaciated rock. Lots of people in Cascade area. Saw red roof of lighthouse on Otter Island, but didn't go over there. Tomorrow we turn around and head back to Hattie Cove.

Day 7 - Saturday - Big Wind from South (16 km) blew us fast. Stopped and saw Grandma Stevens' Pond.

7th night?
8th and 9th nights campsite
- North Swallow - on North side of the tombolo which is just north of Newman's Bay. Spent 2 nights here due to wind. We made our big meal at lunch so we'd be ready to paddle if the wind died down. We took our boats out to the harbour entrance, to assess the wave conditions and decided it was too rough, came back to N. Swallow for night.

Hiked up on a peninsula of rocks and forest to look at the waves. Tried to decide how big they were. Its really hard to judge unless you're on the water, but better if you get down at the water level and see how high the waves are going above the horizon line. Saw Pukaskwa pit for sure on south side of our tombolo. Very strong S-SE wind on south side of tombolo (and loud!) and totally calm on north side of tombolo.

The Coastal Hiking Trail ends at North Swallow River. A motor launch drops off lots of hikers here. The builder guys constructed an ironing board at our N Swallow campsite. Hiked up N Swallow River and saw too many waterfalls to count.

Hiked on Coastal Trail (North of the tombolo campsite) to a very deep cobble beach and saw lots of Pukaskwa Pits.

Left N Swallow at 8:30 am - long swells but pretty calm.

Tuesday - 10th day - looked for petroglyph or pictograph mentioned in the guide book, all along the shore between Oiseau Bay and Gids Harbour and did not find it.

Stopped at (a different) White River (S of One Lake Island) and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall. Water near the mouth was squirrely.

Fisherman's Cove - stopped here for lunch. When we came out , the lake was totally calm.

10th night - Tuesday - camped at Cave Harbor. Set up tent and kayaks on the beach at the Coastal Trail on the E side of the Cave (S side of a small peninsula). We hiked the trail a short distance to another beach to put our food in a bear locker. The narrow trail passed under a lush rainforest mossy cliff, rocks and trees. The wine ran out, pumped water in lake. There were some official type campsites here.

11th day/night - Wednesday - Paddled up to the tombolo just South of White River near Hattie Cove. Had lunch on south side of Tombolo. Lots of large logs and cobble stones. Sunny. Paddled up the White to the rapids, walked to the suspension bridge and across it. There are huge rapids deep down under the bridge and crossing it was quite scarey. People hike here from Hattie Cove. When we paddled back out to Lake Superior, there were big waves and it was very windy. An open canoe was paddling also! It landed without dumping, miraculously. We paddled to Pictured Rock Harbour and camped there.

12th day - calm water, arrived at Hattie Cove in fog.

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