Marshall lake maps and info

Feb 1, 2013

How to Get There:

Follow Highway 11 until you reach the junction of Highway 584. Turn North on 584 and drive through the town of Geraldton. Follow 584 for approximately 65 kilometers until you reach the turnoff for highway 643, the Aroland Road. Drive through Aroland. There is a store at the end of the reserve which is your last chance to buy things. Highway 643 turns into a large dirt logging road. This road is usually in excellent condition, but can be very dusty when logging trucks go by.


Port # MP1 into Marshall Lake is 67 kilometers from the junction of Highway 584 and 643. There is a large parking lot and a road that leads into the lake. The road is the port. You might be tempted to drive in, but keep in mind that Marshall Lake is not supposed to have motorized access, and you will be fined if you are caught driving in. If you are pressed for time when you arrive, you can camp at the beginning or end of the port, although it tends to be rubbishy....there is a very nice beach about a kilometer west of the end of the port.

UTM Start:

Length: 1203 m


Map 2 takes one through Marshall lake and into Gripp lake. This is the beginning of very large tracts of wild rice and classic wetlands. Ducks, eagles, ospreys and moose abound. Later in the summer, you may find yourself following a narrow channel through the wild rice...It will twist and turn, with no end in site, but you will get there.
CM1 is a nice camping site with lots of room and firewood. There is an old mining camp on the south shore just before the exit. It has lots of building standing, and is not really recommended for camping, but it will work in an emergency. Travelling from Marshall to Gripp in one day is the usual for most canoeists, unless they want to spend additional time fishing Marshall.

Start: 0458402 Starts beside and old trapper's shack, river left
End 0458170
Length: 263 m


Map 3

Start: 0456153 Located river right at head of rapids
End: 0456025
Length: 180 m

Start: 0455892 Located river left in small pond a short distance from port #3.
End: 0455822
Length: 102 m



Map 4

MC2 Gripp lake 0452942

Start: 0451683 Paddle down the river out of Gripp lake for a few hundred meters.
5582644 The port starts in alder bushes marked with flagging tape on
End: 0451419 river right. The sign is inland on a tree.
Length: 290 m



Summit is a height of land lake. Water flowing out of the north end goes to James Bay while water coming from the south end goes to the Atlantic (well, Lake Nipigon actually). It is a shallow lake with walleye fishing usually best just off camp MC3. Camp MC3 and MC3.1 are used by duck hunters and fisherman, so it may be garbaged. At the beginning of the Powitik, you may have to walk a few times if water is low.


Map 6

There is an old port on RR as the Powitik leaves Summit, but I have never used it in the dozen or more times I have run this route. At high water you should be able to shoot this set of rapids, at low levels, it can be walked.

Start: 0446879 Located river right, just before rapids.
End: 0446825
Length: 60 m
These rapids can be shot if the water is high enough, or lined on RR.


Map 7

Start: 16 U 444292 5592804
End: 16 U 444161 5592949

Length: 183 m
The landing is a clearing covered by alders and other small bushes, located river right. Rapids are an easy C1 until you turn the corner, where the necessity of the port becomes apparent. At medium-low
water levels I shot the first set and walked the second.
At higher levels, both sets can be shot, but it would be a very excellent idea to eddy out at the bottom of the first set to see if the second set is doable.

Start: 16 U 444036 5593161

Length: 60 m
The port is located at a clearing, river right, just before a water fall. There used to be an old trappers cabin here, but there is only an old stove and the clearing to bear witness. There are many camping opportunities at this site. Camp right by the falls, in the initial clearing, or follow a trail downstream from the falls and there is a large site with a port leading out of it. The pool at the bottom of the falls usually produces several nice walleye.



Shortly after Phillips Creek there is a straight forward C1 rapid that has never needed porting.

Originally reported to be on river right, but never found. The last time I was through, I found the remnants of a very rough port on RL, starting close to the head of the rapids by a very large cedar tree. It ends on a sandbar where there are still some rapids left, but the boney ones are above it. I have always shot this rapid, but be prepared to pick a very fine line between canoe wide rocks.

Map 9

MP10 & MC6
Start: 0445697
End: 0445463
Length: 670 m
Located river right, this port goes around some knarly class 2/3 rapids, depending on water levels. I have shot them but it is not recommended unless you are a White Water Guru or you have a death wish. The port is wet in spots, particularly at the beginning, but otherwise good.

MC5 is located river left shortly after the rapids at P.11. It is a large rock face, suitable for two or three tents.
UTM coordinates: 0444915

MC6 is the landing for port 12. It is a large grassy area, not bad, but a real Bughole!

Port #11
Start: 0445204 Located river right.
End: 0445109
Length: 120 m

Start: 0444938
End: 0444879
Length: 155 m
Located river right at head of rapids. Starts with a steep hill. This is a "must-do" port, the end of the rapids is very bad, not recommended to shoot. It is a boulder garden with very large boulders and a very strong flow going over them. It chewed me up and spit me out when I tried it about ten years ago.
There is also a small area to camp on the top of this port.

MAP 10
I have changed the scale on this map because there is not a lot of info needed.
It is straight paddling on the Kap. You will pass under the bridge on the Ogoki Highway. There might be a fishing boat or two here, and there might be logging trucks hauling. MC8 is the only camp on this strectch. The MC9 otherwise known as the "Esker Hilton" is a nice beach site on a small un-named lake off the Kap. You will reach a large widening on the Kap that heads south....that's the un-named lake

MC8 0453253
MC9 (rough coordinates)


MAP 11
Still at the bigger scale.
More paddling on the Kap. Berger Lake has a nice island campsite on the second island in the north channel entrance. (MC10) However, it is well used by hunters, and has quite a bit of garbage. When navigating into Berger, it helps to use a compass or GPS, as the channels can be a little confusing.
Stewart Lake has excellent walleye and pike fishing. There is a well used, large campsite in the northwest corner, (MC13) but it tends to be quite a bughole. The better campsite is behind some cliffs in the north east corner.(MC12) There are also a couple of sites on the islands. Stone can get some large waves on it with a south wind.

MC 14 on Stone Lake is a nice campsite on a rocky point. There are multiple camping opportunities scattered over the two or three rock faces. The fishing is great from the first point.
Start: 0464546
Length: 100 meters.
This a nice port but with a rocky landing. Avoids a set of rapids and windfall leading up to Stone lake.


MAP 12
(large scale)

MP14 is quite challenging. It is a mile long and has some fairly bad wet spots early in the season. The launch at the end will entail dragging through some loon shit, but you'll be dirty by them anyway. Ara Lake is huge and picks up some enormous waves, so early morning or evening crossing are best. Camp sites on Ara are also limited. MC15 is an esker point site that will set you up for a good early morning crossing. MC16 is a good camping spot at the back of a bay on Meta Lake. You may want to avoid this spot from mid August till Ocotober, as it is also a bear baiting site. On the east side of this part of the lake there is a large Outfitter camp, and they have phone access if needed.

Start: 0461052
End: 0460934
Length: 1600 meters


MAP 13
If you paddle Ara and Meta on the same day, you might think twice before attempting MP15. It is long and challenging. It has two or three wet spots, depending on the time of year. The majority of the port travels through mixed woods and jackpine stands. It is level and in good shape. It leads to a parking lot a couple of hundred meters from your start point. There is a skidoo trail that parallels the port - do not make the mistake of following the skidoo trail when you do a return trip...It is rough and wet.
START 0468797
END 0467383

LENGTH: 2200 meters
Last edited:


Looks like a hell of a trip. I doubt I could get the wife to do that one. I see too much rough, wet, and bugs in the descriptions.

What are the lands that surround these lakes? I mean are they private, or Provincially owned?
Feb 1, 2013
It's all Crown Land. Although the powers that be charge non-Canadians a daily rate for Crown Land camping, I'm pretty sure I can get that fee waved if a beer or two is involved.


Do you need permits to go out there? I have no idea how any of this Crown stuff works.

Everywhere I camp is free... well except for the outrageous taxes I pay for those public lands.
Feb 1, 2013
Well, if I'm guiding you, or you stay at my place overnight, basically if I come up with a receipt, fees are waved.


Well say I didn't know a Canadian to guide me. How does that work? Who do you pay?

Things seem much easier here in the states...
Jan 31, 2013
Warren, Manitoba
It seems odd that a lake the size of Ara would have so few good camp sites. Is it mostly wetland around it or rock faces? I've followed the route around a few times on Google Earth. That would be our longest trip ever, distance wise at least.
Feb 1, 2013
@L'Oiseau - you could just get a receipt from a bonafide outfitter, for a night's lodging, or saying you are renting a tent. Or you could stop at the local MNR office and pay the entire fee for the trip, don't know what the most recent fee is, it was around ten bucks a night.

@ Mihun - those big lakes are often unfriendly, and any good spots are usually taken over by an outfitter. The other thing to keep in mind is that when I look for a campsite, it has to be big enough for two 12 x 14 tents and 16 to 20 people. I don't tend to find those spots that a couple of people could tuck away into.
Jul 11, 2014
Ontario Canada
Awesome looking loop. Thanks for sharing this memaquay. This winter I'll look over some topos. I'm a dinosaur, I don't have GPS.
Jan 31, 2013
Warren, Manitoba
Have you done this trip Karin?

Not yet, no. However, having been up to Geraldton in August, and seeing all that is to be done out there I have a hankering to get back to Ontario for some tripping. Robin's Trip Report just about sealed it for me, I need to explore and the fishing is what I go for mostly. So if I lag behind on the trip, it is only because well, that place over there looks to hold a few good pickerel for me...
Oct 26, 2017
I realize this Trip Report is a few years old but i would really like to read this comprehensive report and see the photos. Is there another place this TR is available with the accompanying photos? Shame on Photo Bucket!
Oct 26, 2017
Memaquay, i just realized you are a bit of a celebrity of sorts and have a vast knowledge of various canoe loops. If it's not too much to ask, would you consider doing the same for the Steel River canoe loop you have posted on another canoe forum? After watching this loop in YT, i stumble upon your write up and sadly discovered the same Photo Bucket anomaly. I am committed to doing the Steel River this loop this year and will also complete the Marshal Loop this fall. I certainly appreciate your time and sharing your trip reports with us.

I will continue to monitor both forums for any updates. Once again, i appreciate your time and willingness to restore these valuable threads with photos and maps. Thank you.