Burnt Island and Sunbeam Lakes, Algonquin, May 2010


Monday morning was beautiful and Timber played with a fish for several hours!  We left Sunbeam Lake at 12:45 pm over the short 120 m portage to Vanishing Pond. The stream water level was high enough to paddle, although we had to maneuver over several small beaver dams.  We saw a third moose in the willows on the shore of the stream and then a fourth moose at the end of the portage into Bluejay Lake!  We took a break from the paddling and the sun in a campsite near the junction of Little Oxtongue River and Teepee Lake before making our way back to Canoe Lake and finally to the car at 6:00 pm.  We were sunburnt, mosquito bit (no black flies, though) and very, very happy!

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This was to be our first portage-intensive canoe trip, and we were all three excited!  We launched at Canoe Lake at 10:30 am Saturday morning and made quick work of the large lake due to a strong tailwind.  After an easy portage to Joe Lake, we stopped at noon for lunch at a campsite on the far East Arm of Joe Lake.  We saw our first moose ever from a canoe in the marsh along Little Joe Lake! The 165 m portage between Little Joe and Lost Joe Lakes could have been paddled (our map has it listed as 20 m).  The 460 m portage to Baby Joe Lake was a bit crowded, but fine.  The 190 m portage to Burnt Island Lake was easy and we launched onto the lake around 3 pm.

The wind was strong by then, and we bailed into the first campsite that was wind protected in the first northern arm of Burnt Island Lake. After a leisurely Sunday morning, we Left Burnt Island Lake at 10:15 am and four portages and short paddles later, we arrived at Sunbeam Lake (12:30 pm).  To our delight, we found that the large island campsite was all ours!  From our campsite, we saw our second moose across the lake in the mid-afternoon and again in the evening.  There were no dead trees on our island, but we found plenty of wood on the larger, uninhabited island.