Farm to Tattler. Introductory Route 2
This time we’re headed to Algonquins’s east side. Access point 17 is nestled in between Crotch and Farm Lake. One thing I have to say about this access point is over the last few years it has become very busy. Even in early spring when the Mosquitos are the size of jet liners you’ll find the parking lot full of campers. So book early. Luckily there is a lot of sites and alternate routes between us and our destination and it has never seemed “busy” once in the park.
So load up your Canoe and head into Farm Lake. When you head out don’t get confused by people turning right. If you head right you’ll end up traveling under the bridge and into Crotch Lake. While Crotch Lake is a nice lake, you’re headed in the wrong direction so turn it around and head back.
Farm Lake is nice paddle, about 45 minutes from launch to the first portage. You’ll pass a few sites and as you head into the narrows you’ll see a rather nice Ranger cabin located on the left bank. The “kitty lake” ranger cabin, a confusing name since we aren’t even on kitty lake yet, we’re sure would make a nice place to kick your feet up and spend a relaxing weekend. But we came here to camp right? Let’s head further in. Left of the cabin just a little further up we’ll come to our first Portage.
Kitty lake is also small. Going from narrows to narrows and having no sites on it is quickly traversed. Which leads us to the next portage, significantly longer at 645 meters.
A quick note. Depending on water levels you can be fighting a very strong current as you come up to this portage. Stay to the right and paddle hard. We’ve seen more than a few people get caught up in the alders in this area.
This portage allows us to skip a series of falls and a dam which definitely could not be run, but make for some great photos. All in all it’s a fairly easy portage with a slight incline. But in the end you’ll be rewarded with a great view of Booths Lake.
Booths Lake will be our biggest paddle today. Also the largest lake we encounter on this route. For this route we will continue to head north towards Tattler Lake our final destination.
For those slightly more adventurous once you hit the lake head west. This will lead you to a series of unmaintained portages. The route through Ryegrass, Rumley, Godda, Mole, Mcarthys creek and finally back into Booths can be tailored to your liking. It also makes for a great weekend trip. But we’ve gotten sidetracked. We’re headed north to Tattler Lake on this trip.
Depending on the paddling power available to you in an hour/ hour and a half. You’ll of reached the narrows that lead directly into Tattler Lake. One site and one cabin are located on this lake. If you’re lucky you’ll have the place all to yourself. The site is roomy and has a great put in. Places to swim and wade as well.
Few notes about Tattler. If you’re an angler, heck even if you aren’t, bring a rod and reel. Make sure you have a heavier test line and some metal leaders though. We’ll be fishing for the toothy northern pike on this lake and they’ll make short work of your line if you aren’t careful. We found this out the hard way. We lost a good 10 or so lures before we decided to change tactics. Ah well live and learn.
Also of note is that you may have the luck to hear one of the craziest bird calls you’ve ever heard. I believe it was described to us as a frog the size of a Buick. The American bittern nests on this lake. A small heron like bird it’s call will go on into the late evening. Try as we did the amazing camouflage these birds exhibited led only to great pictures of grass and reeds. So keep your ears open.
Further north on the lake you’ll hit the Opeongo River. Day trips can be made up River. Though depending on water levels, the current can be strong and you’ll be headed upstream, make sure you know your limits. We want everyone staying safe and dry.
So sit back and enjoy yourself. As with the other routes that have been posted this can be tailored to your own liking/skill. The point is to enjoy yourself. Go for a night , stay for three whatever you’d like. Planning a route, checking maps, reading awesome posts like this ( 😃 ) is another part of this great experience.
Once you’ve had your fill, or even if you haven’t cause come on we know we’d all like to live out here but eventually we have to head back. To head home follow the same route in reverse. All portages are now downhill. ( 👍 )
Now back to that small swift at the end of Kitty lake. Everything depends on water levels and your own skill. But it can be run. In fact Ireland loves it. Asking to walk back up the 90 meter portage and do it again. But as we said earlier we want you to stay safe and dry. So use your head and make a smart decision.
A short paddle later and you’ll be back at access point 17. Wishing you were still out paddling.
We’ll also be starting our 12 gifts of christmas posts soon. A series of posts which highlight some great gifts for that paddling friend/family member. As well as our 12 days of Christmas posts on Instagram and Twitter so follow along if you don’t already.