222 Little Caribou, Berg, Whitewater Lake to Boiling Sand River, Collins Lake, Shawanabis, Kopka to Bukemiga take-out

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(PDF download) The Little Caribou bridge is about 6km northwest of Armstrong and is an excellent starting point as Caribou Lake itself can be quite windy. The campsites are quite plentiful and like the portages are not marked but usually quite obvious. From Smoothrock Lake take Berg River north to Ogoki and Whitewater Lake. The Ogoki Lodge on Whitewater Lake is worth checking out. It was originally built as an eco-tourism destination with a main lodge built in the shape of a giant teepee. Although left in disrepair, it is to be restored as a commercial lodge. Exit Whitewater to the SE via McKinley Lake to Smoothrock Lake which you can paddle down the east channel or the less used western channel to the Boilingsand River. You will be travelling upstream on the Boilingsand although this is quite easy with appropriate portages and swifts and easy CIs that you can paddle up the sides and line the last few metres. On reaching Bath Lake and the Via Rail line, there is an option to end the trip with a train ride, but the train will only stop if you have made a prior reservation. The other option is to paddle round to the First Nation settlement of Collins, where the train always stops. The route continues from Collins Lake to Shawanabis and south via Boulder Lake to Kenakskanis Lake and the exciting Kopka River. A few kilometres east of Kenakskanis are the 'seven sisters' and a series of portages, the last of which we recommend the old portage. An easy 125m until you reach the 20m (50') drop 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 carry down the final slope. So, come prepared with a couple of climbers' caribiners. Sept. 17, 2023 Update: Map 1a shows the Sturgeon Arm, Brockway & Red Canoe Lakes loop north of the Caribou River and Caribou Lake.
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