For you that are newer to the Quetico or wilderness trips in general, this is a great way to ease in to it. Or maybe you are old vets of the canoe country and want to spend a trip base camping and fishing and exploring instead of traveling long miles each day. Either way, this trip is sure to set well with you.
The Quetico is much less traveled than is the BWCA simply because there are fewer permits allowed in to the park per day. This is a big draw to Quetico campers and usually why they come back. Cache Bay is your starting point for this trip. But first you'll want to utilize our tow boat launch service to motor you across the big water that Saganaga provides. Motors are allowed on this section of Saganaga, so no use paddling it when you can get an 8 mile head start. You're much better off spending all of your time inside the Quetico rather than fighting the wind and waves that potentially could slow you down on Big Saganaga Lake.
From the launch point on Hook Island where we drop you off, you'll begin paddling the 2 miles to get to the Ranger Station in Cache Bay. Here you'll pay your camping fees and get your park permit and Ontario fishing licenses for your trip. This process will take about 30 minutes for a group of 4 people (add or subtract for groups larger or smaller). Now you're ready to go. Cache Bay is also a big body of water, so depending on the weather you'll want to approach this paddle accordingly. But you're looking to paddle north to the small channel that leads to Silver Falls, the largest waterfall in the Quetico Provincial Park.
Debbie and the Seagull Staffers ~
Thanks for another great trip! I have always appreciated the professional and friendly manner that I have experienced when utilizing Seagull Canoe Outfitters for trips into the BWCA and Quetico over the years. You guys make the trip a seamless process. This year was no exception! Although, there could have been several instances that things could have not been right, we experienced a flawless trip. From the suggestions you made regarding trip planning to a timely pick up at Hook Island on the day of our departure, everything went according to plan.
I appreciate the efforts made, Debbie, to helping us plan the Quetico trip this year. As you know, you suggested we paddle through Cache Bay & Silver Falls into Lake Saganagons and day trip out of there for fishing and site-seeing. We followed your suggestions, right down to which campsite to target on Lake Saganagons. We enjoyed the campsite, the fishing was fantastic (better than BWCA in my assessment) we had a great sight-seeing run up through the Falls Chain, we even had a bald eagle visit our campsite and allowed us to take several photos up close and personal!
All and all, a perfect trip! One that I would rate among the best I have ever been on (with over 20 trips under my belt, there was a lot of competition!) I believe it was so successful a trip due in large part to your help in planning and the suggestions made by Seagull Outfitters! Thanks again.
Overland Park, KS
Cache Bay has some character that you may want to enjoy depending on your urgency to get to a campsite or to go fishing or whatever your plan is. The Indian Pictographs found in the west section of Cache Bay are a pretty big draw to you history enthusiasts. The Ojibway Indians that originally inhabited this area have left some small paintings on a cliff. They are viewable from your canoe. We would be happy to elaborate more, so please inquire with us and we'll explain more about them.
Once you approach the Silver Falls portage, you will be able to hear the falls and see the spray from the 30 foot drop that the water goes over. You will know for sure that you're in the wilderness when you reach this point. It is a site to see and one of the better photo ops on your trip. Pull up to the portage on the right side of the falls and make sure you pull your gear to one side or the other as this is one of the busier portages because it is virtually the only way to access this section of the Quetico Park. The trail is rocky and a bit undulating so please be careful and watch your step. Trips have been ruined in the past by sprained ankles on this portage, so use caution and don't be foolish, and you'll find that the path is no more than a good hike.
Once across the portage you'll find yourself on Saganagons Lake. This is your destination. How far you go to set up your base camp is up to you. Some like to stay close to the mouth of the falls for some great fishing action, others will like to press on and find a site that offers more solitude. There are some four and five star campsites on this lake and we'll be happy to point them out to you when you arrive.
Saganagons offers some great fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and even lake trout. Saganagons is a very large lake, but most of the lake is broken up by islands that keep the wind and waves under control. The day trip opportunities from this lake are numerous. You can take a day trip to the eastern section of the lake which hardly gets paddled because it's away from the main trafficked areas. But this area offers some excellent fishing opportunities with the small bays and islands. Some paddlers like to travel north to the start of the falls chain area where the fishing again is great and the series of waterfalls are unique and true wilderness site to see. Blackstone Lake is a fun day trip or even a fine overnight possibility if you'd like to change camps and find some isolation. The lake offers, lake trout, bass and northern pike and all of the solitude you could want.
Working from a base camp is often fun because it allows you to spend your time enjoying the wilderness and not setting up and tearing down camp every day. Moving every day has it's positives as well, but it's more relaxing if you work from a base camp. And this is a wonderful place to do that and still experience something new each day.
From your base camp on Saganagons, you can count on about a 4 to 6 hour paddle back to Hook Island to meet your tow boat ride back to our base. This trip is best enjoyed with a minimum of 4 days to get a good taste, but 5 or 6 is recommended to fully enjoy what the area has to offer.