I am looking for info on canoeing the batchawana river. Where or do I need camping permits? We will take the run from the train to superior. I seen the report on here but it did not have that info.
not much help but…
I havent paddled it but have seen many broken canoes along its shores lower down. Be safe.
Google the Movie “Rituals” i think with Hal Holbrook. It was filmed on the Batchawana River.
Not that bad
I’ve been down the Batchawana three times and it’s a favorite. Go to myccr.com for trip reports. I do note that we have only portaged the five falls. The other rapids noted are pretty straight forward class I & II although they tend to be picky at lower water.
Permits: non-Canadian citizens need crown land permits. We have done the trip in three easy (to us) days with two nights camping. You can get those around the Soo.
Camping: There are no established campsites on the rives. The first night we have used the same gravel bar but there are lots of choices in this section. The second night is a bit iffier - It tends to be a short day to the third falls which has a good campsite and hiking on the Tribag mine road. There are a couple of island sites below this but after that nothing good. Our first trip we kept going & ended up portaging the last two falls and finding a cobble bar above the remaining set of two rapids. That was a long day.
Water levels: Pay attention - it can get very low in summer & run off looks to be huge. Two weeks before our last trip (early June 2013) it was running 4,000+ CFM. It was down to ~800 when we put in. The first two trips were much lower, around 200 CFM the first year and 300 the second. both worked, but 200 was scrapey in the upper stretches. Based on what I saw at 800 or so, I wouldn’t want to be on the river above 2,000 & I’d be concerned then. Below 200 and you may be doing some boat assisted hiking.
Danger spots (from my view point):
- the second falls: pay attention when you see the twin falls coming in on river left. The portage will be on river left a little further on but it is not well marked and even when you are on it it can be indistinct.
- the fourth falls - Batchawana Falls. We have taken out at an unmarked spot with no good landing on river right just before the river turns left and starts to drop. From a distance that section looks runable but at least class III+. There is a pool by the road before the turn to the main drop but I wouldn’t want to be swimming there.
I've paddled the Batch twice. Shoot me a note, I'll fill you in off line. Just an fyi, do not take this river lightly. In general, board the Algoma passenger train at the Sault to Batchawana whistle stop. Paddle to Supperior. Both times I paddled my Pyranha x-over boat. First trip was late spring, class II, IIIs all the way down. Agree with Rival51 on both cfm notes, I think it was at 2300cfm. Last trip early spring melt, WOW! Thundering, the river was full on WW, at its 20 year high, 4000+ cfm, 16 feet crest, racing 10 knots, flooded well into the bush, knee deep snow. Ender up a wilderness survival and self rescue trip. I published my memoirs. Crazy, we launched exactly when the river was cresting. The boat performed awesome BTW. Running it at class II, III is a nice, challenging trip, the last stretch of rapids is bigger than expected, the portages can be rigorous. we used ropes to drop into the canyon right at the bottom of the falls, its wilderness / bush camping, some estsblished sites on the lower. river right below a falls. Plan well. Krusty.
Yes it was! Not all of it, there isn't any big power dams on the river and its bush wilderness all the way down. I was at the very spot when they were in the river on the rocks at the falls when he floated down on his stick gurney... things were going from bad to worse by then...