birchbark oldie     Southeast Upsalquitch River    contributed by Rob Morrison

I just led a crew of ten paddlers on the Southeast Upsalquitch down to the main out to Robinsonville. Info on the Southeast above The Flying Eddy was slim.

The shuttle was long, from 180 near IP Road through St. Quentin -- Kedgwick to Robinsonville, but the put in was an easy find (about 5km off the 180 using the OLD IP Road to Ramsey Brook Road.) It's a small steep finish, a good truck with solid all-terrain tires can go right to the end and there is a turn around. Some of our vehicles had to stop about 100m up and lug gear and do a seven-point turn to get out. We went to scout it in mid-May and brought a chain-saw, there were about ten blowdowns.

47 Degrees, 34.2304 Minutes North
66 Degrees, 32.1524 Minutes West

The water level was around 1.2 using the Upsalquitch reading. Nature Aventure (although they never put anyone in here) thought it might be too low. The one canoe got stuck just as they launched, that was the one and only time anyone got stuck on a shoal or rock.

The first 7-8km or so you had to find and follow the channel, but after that it was very easy. No rapids to speak of until about 2-3km below the Flying Eddy, the Southeast Falls. We had some rookies so we scouted it hard.

It looked like river left was the easier route, but after a few of us ran it hard right, hard right was the path, a small drop over a ledge and one crooked shelf to skirt right after and it was done; reads as a class 2/3, but it was very easy in my opinion. Even the rookies had no issue and our canoers were on their second run ever.

Beautiful small peaceful river, akin to the Northwest Upsalquitch from 26 mile through 10 mile, cliffs not as high and fewer turns, fewer pools. We did 33km and stayed at Crooked Rapids night one and 29km day two and stayed at a buddy's camp in Robinsonville.

A few pics from the stretch above the Flying Eddy on one day to give you an idea.

Southeast Upsalquitch River

Southeast Upsalquitch River

Southeast Upsalquitch River

Southeast Upsalquitch River

By the way, if anyone says you can start at Upsalquitch lake and run down to Simpson Field and portage the Gorge, you are either walking through a good km of thick brush along mossy steep terrain or about 3km along the road. I wanted to start at the lake so I could say I did every inch of the Southeast, but too many ifs and buts. That stretch from the lake down is a mess of alders and log jams.

Thank you, Rob Morrison.

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