Magnetewan River: Wahwashkesh Lake Loop (4 days / 80 km)

In July 2020, my brother, a friend and I decided to check out the Magnetewan River. I found the route in my “Backroad Map Book”, did some reading online, and then found a way to shove this trip into 4 days / 3 nights of fun-filled adventure. Although there are plenty of rapids, and I’m sure some of them could have been run, we didn’t have any white-water experience and chose to walk around all the fast water. This route has plenty of portages to get around all rapids. The route is a healthy mix of lake and river travel that offers peaceful paddling, beautiful scenery, and some pretty cool waterfalls and rapids to take photos of!

This area is well travelled and many lakes are shared by hunt camps, cottages and campers. Thanks to some well-equipped fishing groups many sites are very open and well set up. That being said, this is crown land camping and the sites and portages aren’t always marked… we also found that the portages were laced with ATV tracks so one has to be aware of where they're going, and how far the portages are supposed to take.

Trip Completed: August 2020

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Wahwashkesh Lake 

Ending Point: Wahwashkesh Lake

Total Distance: 80 km

Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate

Location: Magnetewan River Provincial Park (Non-operating provincial park)

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Anishinabewaki.

Maps & Resources

Map + Guidebook: Backroad Mapbooks - Cottage Country Ontario

Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservations: Sites aren’t all marked. Sites are first come first serve. The route is part of a non-operating park, so campsite reservations are not needed.

Permits: As this is a non-operating park, permits are not required.

Know Before You Go

Season: Not having any whitewater experience I prefer to go later in the season when water levels are lower, however, I’m sure the early season would be more...

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