What Michigan canoe trip is this?

Hello. Back in summer of 2002, me and my father took a canoeing trip with the boyscouts somewhere in Michigan. My father has recently passed, and while going through old pictures I found some of us on that canoe trip. Unfortunately they are all unlabeled and there is no information about them. I only remember bits and pieces of this trip, as I was about 13 at the time, and am trying to figure out where this trip was taken. I will describe the trip as much as possible below, and any information telling me what trip we took will be helpful. I am considering taking this trip again, mainly to relive something we did together.

I remember it was some kind of a company that organized most of the trip for us. They picked us up from the airport, lodged us for the first and last night in a cabin on their small campground, supplied the canoes for us, supplied all the food and cooking and camping equiment, dropped us off and picked us up at the beginning and destination points, and outlined our trip for us. We did not have a guide go with us, and basically only had to supply our clothes. It was a very small town this company’s grounds was located near, the big thing was going to see a movie at their theater that had one screen. I would like to find out what town that was if possible. We went on a 7 or 8 night canoe trip that bordered Canada. At some points we could see land that was Canada and see land that was American on each side of us. We canoed each day, set up camp each night, broke down camp each morning at campsites that had no facilities or personnel, just a firepit. I’m assuming it was a longer canoe trip, because there were days we canoed pretty much all day long. I’m not positive, but I’m thinking it was somewhere upwards of 100 miles. It was a very secluded trip, we did not come into contact with many other people. At one point, we were canoeing on a vast lake, I’m assuming one of the Great Lakes. We spotted a couple houses with lights on that bordered the lake, because we were canoeing in the dark. There were a few times we had to portage (carry all of our equipment over land to another entry point). The toughest one was up a steep rocky hill, almost mountain, and back down the other side, and I think it was somewhere around 1.5 - 2 miles long. A few portages were short and easy. I’m estimating we did 5-6 portages throughout the trip. At the very end of the trip, we ended at a place that was either a bar or a saloon, or possibly even just a store, that was right on the river. It was in the middle of nowhere, and I remember being told that alot of people end their trip here and go into this place for their first piece of civilization since the beginning of their trip.

I know thats not a lot of information to work off of, but I was young and can’t recall much more. I would love to take that same trip because I would appreciate it much more now, plus relive a trip me and my father bonded on. I’m trying to get hired as a firefighter paramedic, so I kept up with being active and love vacations like this. Any information that can clue me in on the trip we took will be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

Sounds like Minnesota not Michigan. Michigan won’t have a multi day portage route anywhere near boarder. Sounds like Voyager canoe adventures out of.Ely or grand.mara area of MN.

Au Sable?
this is about the only River in Michigan that I can think of piecing together a 7ish day trip, but even that is long for that and you would have seen people, houses, etc. There are damned up sections where you would paddle lake-like sections.

There isn’t anything in Michigan that borders or would have put you in the position to really see Canada. I agree with the other poster, sounds like boundary waters, maybe something in Ontario, but I bet you would have remembered crossing the border.

Really Sounds Like the BWCAW…
…in northern MN?

If Michigan you have two options.

– Last Updated: May-21-12 8:33 PM EST –

There are only two river systems in Michigan that border Canada. One is the St Clair/Detroit River that runs from Lake Huron to Lake Erie through Lake St Clair and Detroit. Unless your trip was over 100 years ago, there's not much wilderness on this route.

The second is the St Mary's River that runs from Lake Superior through Sault Ste Marie around Sugar Island and Drummond Island to Lake Huron. There are some areas of this river that are pretty remote, but this can also be big water.

Did you see any freighters during the trip? Both of these rivers have substantial freighter traffic.

Note that neither of these rivers would require any type of portaging.

boyscout troop
have you tried contacting your old boy scout troop? maybe they have some records or they might have taken the trip a few times and someone might remember something…worth a try, i hope you find out, good luck

Michigan Trip
You may have flown in to Land 'O Lakes or Eagle River, Wisconsin and paddled in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. It is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Watersmeet, Michigan. I believe there is a theater in Eagle River, WI.

yo jamie
We would Love some feedback…If you found out anything on your trip. People that respond appreciate that their response is of some value. Thanks

No big lakes, portages or bars in Sylvan
Sylvania isn’t that big. Definitely no 1.5 mile portage or huge lakes. I’d sure like to know if there was a bar at the end of those trips! I’ve done the Crooked-Bear-Mountain-Crooked Loop in one morning without any gear. No way this could be a 7 day trip. I agree with other posters, sounds like the BWCA.