4th trip of the year, Rabbit River to Cole lake

Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
179
Location
Manitoba
4th trip of the year, Rabbit River to Cole lake in Nopiming Park, Manitoba off Hwy 314 just before Black Lake.

A great parking spot with an outhouse and a gravel ramp into the river. Room for 20 plus cars and I found the last spot. I must start earlier as this is a popular spot. Started in the water Sat at 11:30am and was out Sun at 12:30pm. I was rushing myself to make sure I had time to get to Cole Lake but arrived at my camping spot by 4:30pm in a strong side wind. Was feeling ill before the trip so was thinking I would be too slow to get there in time. Was just a bit too rushed and could feel it at the end of the day.

One group had a trailer blocking the ramp when I arrived but I was able to squeeze by on the side and get moving. I tried for a dry boots run but this route would be way easier with wet feet. Rocky landings at the ports and I think 5 in total and 1 beaver dam and one drag over on a rock rapid that was just to shallow to slide over. Most were very short at 40+ paces and one or two that were a little longer at 100 or 190 paces. 30km in total distance traveled. Lots of mosquitoes and a very nice breeze for most of the day. Had a strong tail wind for part of the trip too.

Seen a huge turtle next to my canoe and the body was the size of my paddle blade in length. I only noticed because the tail was out of the water as he made to go under my canoe. One fox on the way in and a few birds but no beavers to be seen. No other wildlife other than all the canoes and there perps.



Crowd at the start
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Swampy start with lots of twist and turns
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No beavers to be seen this time
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First of two wider spots before Cole Lake
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Lots of nice narrow scenic spots
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One of many smaller ports along the way
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A bit of light sun showers to go with the mosquitoes
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Very shallow river that could be fun on a low water day, I had more rock strikes on the CF paddle than I want to remember :(
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Another short port
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Very happy to have a light canoe!!!
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Another port
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Excellent views from the whole length of the trip
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Most of the ports were in great shape but all had rocky pull in's and a bit of mud on one or two
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Just so it would not slide/blow away on me
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A few more ports to go
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Ankle twister if your not careful
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Finally at Cole Lake! With a bit of wind too. The Keewaydin 15 does excellent even in the wind
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Bottom of the canoe had a huge amount of these, guess this was not a good spot to swim
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Camping past Number 10 on Cole Lake, a very busy weekend with all the spots taken.
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When the winds died down it was very nice on the lake
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Hiding from the bugs-the wind was a great thing for keep them away, the OR Bug Bucket worked too and packs up into nothing
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Next morning on the return trip had a huge amount of geese come by overhead
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And more of the trip on the way back
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Just a cool shot of my camp knife splitting firewood-Joking
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Painted my food box so it would not heat up as quick in the sun, the white really sticks out in the woods
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Start of the rush of 11+ canoes from one of the groups at Cole
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Would not be doing this with my new carbon fiber boat!
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Way easier than the ports, might have to try this next time
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More of the trip
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The whole group minus one in the pic
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I figured I should stop for lunch while the group heads up into the swamp trails, plenty of time for me to wait
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End of the line, back at the start again
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One of many little lakes along the way home
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Last edited:
G

Guest

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Beautiful scenery Ice, I can see why it's popular. There were some glassy water spots that would be hard to leave behind. I might be tempted to walk my canoe (not your beauty) down a bony stretch of the Rabbit, maybe. Just maybe. The ports looked short and clear enough not to be an issue. Really nice trip. If I were several hundred miles closer, that'd be a favourite get away of mine. Thanks for sharing Ice.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
2,291
Location
Warren, Manitoba
Geesh, now I don't have to go up there... but, will be up there starting on the 22nd for 6 nights for my first solo trip. Looking at things, I will likely try to just wade the rapids, they look pretty easy to do, would be much like doing the Wanipigow upstream from Siderock Lake.

What was the water temperature like?

I'm curious though, you said you go the last parking spot on a Saturday morning, my plan is to arrive Sunday morning and catch everyone leaving, but if there may not be parking, I could wait until Monday morning.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
179
Location
Manitoba
Geesh, now I don't have to go up there... but, will be up there starting on the 22nd for 6 nights for my first solo trip. Looking at things, I will likely try to just wade the rapids, they look pretty easy to do, would be much like doing the Wanipigow upstream from Siderock Lake.
What was the water temperature like?
I'm curious though, you said you go the last parking spot on a Saturday morning, my plan is to arrive Sunday morning and catch everyone leaving, but if there may not be parking, I could wait until Monday morning.

I think I was lucky enough to be there the same time as several large groups had set up for the weekend. You should be fine as there is lots of parking space etc. 6 days should be great as you would have time to enjoy it all. Worth the trip! Can you do me a favour and take pics of the upper northern lake area as I did not even see that or the northern and southern corners of Cole lake. The kids were already diving off the cliffs at Cole and everyone was in the water pushing the canoes on the rapids so you should be fine.

Brad- Thanks for the comments, I would be tempted to walk mine down the rapids next time too if I had a pair of wet shoes. This route is one that I will do again for sure. Next time I hope to have some more time to enjoy it all.


Sorry to all with the micro text, the new format is not working with my system and makes the computer runs at much slower speeds, might take a break for a bit till I can get things to operate at a normal pace as this is very frustrating to try participate on. I have to wait for the text to appear as I write it. Not fun at all.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
197
Location
Toronto
Thanks for posting. A great document of the state of the route. Great clear pictures. Very jealous of your canoe. Paddle on...
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
179
Location
Manitoba
Thanks for posting. A great document of the state of the route. Great clear pictures. Very jealous of your canoe. Paddle on...

Thanks for the comment and thanks for the link on the sunshirts from previous. I had tried to respond but the new format is so slow on my system that I was loosing the text to the lag time. The canoe handles way better than I paddle so it will be a learning curve for me to get the most out of it. It handles my weight and the large and small loads and will track in the wind. I am still trying to paddle it like a guy sitting at the stern so I will need to modify my paddling but for an unskilled guy this hull is a dream already! Skills will come with time and I am sure I will still be happy with the canoe. Its a dream to carry and the detachable yoke is way better now that I coated the metal clamps with a rubberized tape (no slipping off anymore). Can now stand it on its nose and drop it on my shoulders with a full backpack and pelican case and camera on the front. The hulls secondary stablity saved me twice now when gracefully falling of the rock ledges and into the canoe, I like it! Did the whole route from the Hwy314 landing to Cole lake past the number 10 camp spot in 5hrs with a carry on every port. Will be faster when I get in shape.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Very nice pictures, in one way it's too bad about all the company, in another, it's good to see the folks out having a good time in canoes, and they had some nice canoes.
It's nice to see you fly through those ports, and your campsite pictures make me want to be out there all the more sooner.
Thanks for sharing a nice trip.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
2,291
Location
Warren, Manitoba
I'm curious about the line I see in some of the photo's, it looks like a large scale old fashioned telephone cord, coming from the bow carry thwart back out of frame. What the heck is that?

If you can do that trip in 5 hours, I should plan for 8. ;) Still not sure how my shoulders are going to respond after the tendinitis and rotator cuff issues over the Winter.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
179
Location
Manitoba
I'm curious about the line I see in some of the photo's, it looks like a large scale old fashioned telephone cord, coming from the bow carry thwart back out of frame. What the heck is that?
If you can do that trip in 5 hours, I should plan for 8. ;) Still not sure how my shoulders are going to respond after the tendinitis and rotator cuff issues over the Winter.

The telephone cord is a paddle leash that won't be with on too many more trips, was for the double paddle but I think the single blade Black Pearl from BB is going to be my go to set up for now. Do yourself a favor and allow way more time to do the trip! There is a huge amount of stuff to see and enjoy. I rushed past everything thinking I was going way too slow. I have a damaged lower spine ("Range Rover Back") and rotator cuff so that pace was not a good thing for me. I just wanted to get to Cole for my first time there! Did that in good time! :) Was a great route and I will be back to enjoy it again later in the season with an extra day to use for the trip.

Very nice pictures, in one way it's too bad about all the company, in another, it's good to see the folks out having a good time in canoes, and they had some nice canoes.
It's nice to see you fly through those ports, and your campsite pictures make me want to be out there all the more sooner.
Thanks for sharing a nice trip.

It was great to see the group walk the rapids and do single run ports with all their gear. Nice to see how it should be done! I think I need to give up on my "anchor everything" setup and just throw the bags in loose on the flat water stuff. Right now every bag is leashed to the canoe with enough slack to throw it back in after flipping the canoe right side up. They were great at letting me move past on the route and they had a good laugh at my rushing through the swamp trail style. Good times on a great route!
 
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