Pukaskwa Coast July 2006

I posted this on get together but there were no takers.

Pukaskwa Coast Lake Superior July 2006

Looking for a few experienced paddlers to join a group of like minded adventurers on the Pukaskwa Coast of Lake Superior 10-14 days early July this coming summer. Open canoes, sailing canoes, sea kayaks, solo or tandem.

The Pukaskwa Coast is the most remote and secluded reach of Lake Superior. There are sandy beaches, hidden coves, high rock cliffs, ancient native remnants and always the big water of Gitchie Goomie. All in a true wilderness setting.

This is not a GUIDED TRIP. Candidates must be ready, willing and able to face the harsh realities of the Lake. All paddlers will be responsible for their own transportation, gear, food, shelter, permits and most of all their own safety. We will travel together, and according to the dictates of the Lake, there may be days when we are “windbound” waiting out heavy seas. In calm weather the trip can be run in 8-10 days.

If you are interested in this “most excellent adventure” contact hoz49@hotmail.com.

Size of the group will be limited.

Pukaskwa Coast July 2006
This sounds like a great trip. But this is an OC-1 er’s take …

When you’re planning this, realize that the differential capabilities of the craft can turn the whole thing into a shambles. You have to be prepared for the case where open canoes are pinned down (or can’t even get around the first head) for days while experienced sea kayakers can travel safely. Differential capabilities and experience among the kayakers has to be figured in too. Newbies would have to be watched carefully.

It’s not a place for people with only inland water experience. Such as myself, for example. I’ve only paddled some of the Superior coves out to look at the heads close up.

Maybe I’d go out there in an airbagged-sprayskirted-electric-bilge-pumper canoe if I was surrounded by sea kayakers skilled in the rescue arts and willing to practice them.

Don’t take any of this as a suggestion that you not do it.



Fun Trip
Three of us did this trip last year in July. We kept praying for some wind and rough weather but our prayers were all in vain. It was hot the entire time. A real scorcher. It must have been in the 90’s every day. Sun protection and proper hydration were extremely important. What was odd is that normally you end up with temps in the 70’s along the coast.

Have a great time.

It can be done in open boats, I paddled from the Puk river to Michopicoten. However pay close attention to weather. Several area’s you can’t pull out, no matter what type of boat you’re in. Giant swells, especailly near river outlets can be a concern. The best scenery is along Pukaskwa National park, from Heron Bay down to the Pukaskwa river.

Last year
Last year wasa hot dry summerfro Ontario. Thunderhouse Falls on the Lower Missinaibi River became a trickle and the lower reach to Moose River was almost unrunnable.

Do you have any info on Pukaskaw Pits?, Locations? UTM’s? Any “must see” places along this route?

Good points

– Last Updated: Apr-05-06 6:43 AM EST –

You bring up some good points. I am asking for experienced paddlers. Newbies need not apply. I have throughly researched this trip. There is one 7 mile reach that has no pull outs around Point Isacor everything else is 1-2 miles between a cove, bay or beach or lee shore.

Gary and Joanie McGuffin paddled this reach in an open canoe with their 2 year old child. I have corresponded with other Canadian paddlers who have also done the coast in canoes. You have to paddle with the lake. I anticipate early days, pulling off mid morning if the wind comes up and also paddling early evening when it starts to die.

We have several days calculated for "wind" where we will stay on shore if need be.

Maybe I overstated the case. Probably scores of people a year do that grand trip in open boats. I’d like to do it some day.

It might take patience, though. And certainly the right company.


tough mix
You have a difficult mix there. While this is a great trip for both sea kayakers and canoeists travel keeping both kinds of craft together is a challenge. It might be better to restrict it to one or the other.

Otherwise you are apt to have two groups spread out or a bunch of itchy kayakers. When you all know each other its no big deal. When you are strangers it can be a big deal.

Done this in both yak and canoe. I enjoyed the canoe more actually.

Pukaskwa - be ready for anything
My first trip to Pukaskwa the weather was nasty and even frightening: wave heights over 1 meter every day, it rained every day, and one night it was in the 30’s F. Last year I had good weather all but one wind bound day, and both trips were in July. I did both trips solo, but hope to go again this year with some friends in August. Pay attention to the weather and paddle smart. Have a great trip.

Strip builder