Temagami: Lady Evelyn Smoothwater and Ishpatina Ridge (7 days / 59 km)

Trip Report - Lady Evelyn Smoothwater

The goal of this trip, beyond experiencing beautiful remote northern Ontario, was hiking up to Ishpatina Ridge – the highest peak in all of Ontario, at 693 m elevation. As sometimes happens with trips when you don’t have flexibility in scheduling, the weather didn’t cooperate, and though I made it up to the top of the ridge, the low clouds masked any view. It was a good reminder to enjoy the trip itself, not just the destination! The forests and lakes in this area represent quintessential backcountry scenery and are definitely worthy of the trip themselves.

I did three days of canoeing to get to the base of the ridge, hiked up the ridge on the fourth day, and canoed out for another three days. You can certainly do the trip in two days each way, and probably one if you’re fit and the weather cooperates. I did this trip with a friend, which made carrying the canoe over the two long portages (both over 1 km) easier. 

Despite its name, Lady Evelyn Smoothwater is not always a smooth water lake! Make sure you have the skill to cross a potentially wavy lake. In addition to whitecaps on the lake, it snowed on the second day – and this was only in September.

Trip Completed: September 2018

Trip Summary

Starting PointMontreal River Access Point (near Lady Dufferin Lake)Ending PointMontreal River Access Point (near Lady Dufferin Lake)Duration7 days / 6 nightsDifficultyIntermediateTotal Distance59 km (plus 6 km roundtrip hike to Ishpatina ridge)Portaging Distance6930 mNumber of Portages16Elevation GainDay hike about 310 m up Ishpatina Ridge

Location: Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park (access point on crown land)

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Anishinabewaki and Cree (native-land.ca).

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: None

Map: Unlostify map

Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservations: No, you cannot reserve specific campsites – first come, first serve.

Permits: You need to...

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