Sylvania Wilderness

Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
Sylvania Wilderness
5-21-23-2012
Group Members: Kaine and Ben

Day 1
Lakes Paddled: Clark, Loon Lake

We car camped at Clark Lake Campground the night before. The weather was nice so we did not even set up a tent and just camped under the stars. Needless to say we ready to get started pretty early. We Arrived at the Clark Lake landing around 9:30am and pushed off around 10:00.

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The wind gave us a little concern. It was blowing from the south and we were headed straight into the wind. Besides the wind, the weather was gorgeous, clear, warm, and sunny. Even with the wind and the chop we made it across Clark Lake in about an hour. At the portage into Loon Lake we decide to double portage. We finish in about a half hour and are on way to find our camp sit for the next two nights.

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Not knowing where exactly our camp was, we aimed off a little to the north and paddled back south till we found our camp Mallard 1. Mallard 1 is on the ridge of a little hill separating Loon Lake from Banks Lake. By noon we are all set up and board of sitting around. It was too windy to paddle around. so we decide to make the vary short walk down the hill over to Banks Lake. Banks is a scenic little pond. From there we are still board and figure a walk up the beach to Loon campsite. Everyone we talked said that Loon was the best camp in the Sylvania Wilderness. Once at Loon we find a bunch of tents set up with no one to be found. We kept walking past the camp to the tip of the peninsula where we find an older gentleman fishing. We did not say anything to him right of way because he did not see us and we did not want to spoke him. Once he saw us I think he was still caught off guard. He did not say much to us when he said hi. The weather was beginning to turn. A quick sprinkle later he came back to talk to us. He said the rest of his group was off, shore fishing. He said fishing was not great but they were catching a few Bass and Rock Bass. We made small talk with him for a few more minutes and headed off back to camp. One our walk back to camp we could see and hear thunder and lighting off to the west. Once back at camp we sat and watched the storm grow closer from the beach.

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As the rain approached us we headed back up the hill to batten down camp. Then it reached us. A horizontal rain along with a 40mph wind. We took shelter under the tarp which billowed down into a wall on one side and up into a ballon on the other.

Before the storm.
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During the storm.
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The wind lasted for 10 minutes but the rain went on for awhile. Around 9:30 we called it a night.

Day 2
Lakes Paddled: Florence, Big Bateau, Cub, Deer Island Lake
Today we planned to paddle the southern loop of lakes. Today the weather is still really nice, other than the wind. Today the wind was out of the west. No chop but it was a beam wind all the way to Florence Lake. It did not take to long to paddle across Loon to the portage. This portage was not bad.

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Florence was a nice little pond vary different form the other lakes we had paddled. It was muddy with no sandy beaches. I let Ben use my Argosy and used his kayak. He seemed to enjoy the boat. A quick paddle around led us to the vary short portage into Big Bateau Lake.We decide to have a quick lunch at the end of the portage. This lake is vary beautiful.

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Lots of islands to explore. We spend a couple of hours exploring this lake on our own. Ben went to one side of the first Island and we crossed again on the other. After that I did not see Ben till he meet me on the portage into Cub.

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This portage is just a tiny carry. Cub Lake is another small pond and we do not spend much time here. The wind is starting to pick up as well. On to Deer Island Lake. There is a strong west wind so we do not spend much time here either. The portage from Deer Island back to Loon Lake seemed like a vary long portage. In Loon we paddle head into the wind before we turn north into a beam wind again. Back at camp we each take a little nap before dinner. Again we head for tents around 10:00pm.

Day 3
Lakes Paddled: Loon and Clark Lake

Nothing to exciting today. We pack up camp and ore on our way around 9:00. Make the quick portage into Clark Lake. Today there is a strong North wind. Once again head into the wind. It does not take us long and we are at the landing.

Lessons learned: The tarp worked out nicely. It held strong during the storm but we both need a refresher on our knot tying. All in all a nice trip. This is a great place to do a family trip in the summer. There were a lot of nice sandy beaches and the ports are easy. On to the next adventure.
 
W

Willis

Guest
Would you post a link to Google maps that shows this area? It looks real nice for a future trip.

Thanks for the TR!
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
I would but I have no idea how to. Sylvania Wilderness is on the Michigan/Wisconsin border on the southern half of the UP. Closest town in Michigan is Watersmeet. In Wisconsin is Land O Lakes.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
Thanks for the pics and report. I have heard of Sylvania Wilderness but its far away for us. I intend to get pictures of our upcoming kayak trip..egads. Its on the Maine Island Trail and will last four days. We go out tomorrow. Hope it warms up and stops raining. Four inches of rain today..temp in the forties.
 
W

Willis

Guest
We had a high of 88 and severe thunderstorms here today. It was a really hot M-Day weekend in central New York.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
I have heard of Sylvania Wilderness but its far away for us.

It is a long way from the east coast. Its a long way from southeastern Michigan. Not to metion, there is a lot of beautiful canoe wilderness between. I think the extra time to BWCA would be more worth the drive for you. A lot of people call Sylvania mini boundary waters. The eastern loop could probably be done in another day. So I think 3 days or 4 days max would be best unless you like to fish.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
Thanks..looks perfect for a June trip between a commitment near Green Bay and another near Pittsburgh. I dont have enough time for a BWCA trip..only five days between commitments.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Northern Wisconsin
In five days you should be able to travel through nearly all the beautiful lakes in the park. Each has its own personality, as you can see in Roadends' great pictures.

Stop at Sylvania Outfitters on your way there. Owner Bob Zelinski is a very enthusiastic and interesting guy, and a local history buff. He's lots of fun to talk to about the park and the Upper Peninsula.

Maybe I'll bump into you out there. I live about 40 minutes away and often do day trips there.
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
Perhaps. That would be delightful. Most likely that would be the time between June 3 and 7. I assume Sylvania has a healthy blackfly population, no?

Its so WEIRD. Planning for 2013 that is. It was just 2005 yesterday..I think.
 
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Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Northern Wisconsin
Yes, there will be blackflies in June, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. The intensity will depend on the type of spring we have. This year wasn't too bad... If I remember correctly, most of the severe black fly days were gone by early June. Then the helicopter-sized mosquitoes and the deer flies appear.
 
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