109 Kopka River Complete - Allanwater Bridge-Brightsand South-Kopka River to Bukemiga and more

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The complete Kopka River Accessing the headwaters from Allanwater Bridge. (PDF download) Armstrong is at the Northern termination of Highway 527 and is the starting point for many of the trips in this area. Although the town is extremely small, it does have a number of useful facilities: a hotel opposite the railway station, a grocery store, gas station and a couple of restaurants. To begin the trip, take Via Rail to Allanwater Bridge at mile marker 54.6. (Train reservations can be made at http://www.viarail.ca) Paddle south from the bridge and on to the Brightsand River where you will be paddling upstream. This presents no difficulty, even for the one or two rapids without portages. Just paddle up the side, then line at the top. After Harmon Lake you will turn East onto the Kashishibog River to the very easy portage into Redsand Lake, the headwaters of the Kopka River. Then it's all the way downstream to Bukemiga Lake and Highway 527. About two thirds of the way down, a few kilometres east of Kenakskannis, you will come to a series of portages around the 'seven sisters', the last of which Laurence recommends the old portage. An easy 125m until you reach the steep 20m (50') slope at the end. However, at the time of writing there was a knotted rope in place to assist your climb down and an overhead rope in place to attach your canoe or packs and lower them down to the ledge below. From there it is an easy portage down the final slope. So, come prepared with a couple of climber's carabiners. It is easy taken one step at a time. You can celebrate with a lunch by the water below. You can book a shuttle for your take-out point on Bukemiga Lake. OR we have included supplemental pages showing the end of the Kopka as it flows into Laake Nipigon.
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