campfire tales Nanook's Campfire Tales
A proposed trip in the Renous country

I enjoy fantasizing about the ideal canoe trip. It should be close to home, involve both upstream and downstream travel, and take several days to complete.

Renous River trip
Here's the map for my dream trip.

So here is the trip I want to do this coming June. It involves poling up the South Branch of the Renous River starting at the Highway 108 bridge. I understand there is a fair current here, but if I bring my new 11 foot pole, I should be able to work my way up to the deadwaters.

I will work up a small stream through a chain of lakes until I come to the divide between the South and North Branches of the Renous. It looks like a 500 foot carry to the Kennedy Lakes.

I would take a day just to explore Kennedy Lake. There are lodges on this lake, and float planes land with tourists. I'll have to be careful not to disturb anyone, or let anyone disturb me.

North Renous River
The North Renous is serious canoeing water.

From there, I'll head down the outlet to connect with the Little Ottawa Branch of the North Renous. It looks like a small river linking a series of pocket lakes. I plan to scout the turns, this is rough country.

The Little Ottawa joins up with the main branch of the North Renous. The North Renous is serious canoeing water, with long, heavy rapids full of rocks. I've run it several times, I should be good for another run without incident. I'll be bringing my spray skirt along just in case.

I plan to run it solo in my boat. I'll be looking for a seasoned paddler to join me, someone who's not afraid of upriver travel, and ready to paddle solo as well. I expect it will take four solid days.

I finally spoke to a gentleman in Miramichi who guides search and rescue training in whitewater, and has seen every little stream in the Miramichi headwaters. He told me that the outlet from Kennedy Lake is blocked by an old log-driving dam, and this dam is only opened in drought conditions. **There is rarely enough water to paddle down this stretch, unless you want to take a week and drag over boulders.**


Well, I've thought about this a lot, and I have decided to go see for myself next summer.

I plan to wait until the South Renous Branch drops to the right level so I can pole up from the highway into the Fowler Lakes. There's a carry into Kennedy Lake up a north arm, and it's an easy paddle over to the dam. Not sure about campsites, but there should be a patch or two on the lakeshore to pitch a tent.

I doubt if I'll hike down the stream, it's at least 15k to the North Renous, through bog and rock gardens. I can't imagine there being a foot trail along the stream. When Biff and I went down the North Renous though, the Ottawa Branch looked bigger than the mainstream we were coming down from North Renous Lake.

But I bet it's too rough to canoe down. There could be logs across the stream. It's not detailed in Google Earth, so the only way to find out is to go take a look.

Then there's the uppermost branch of the North Renous, a stream that comes from Depot Lake, the highest lake above North Renous Lake. There's a logging road from Halfway that crosses it ten km above the big lake. My buddy Ranger paddled it on a fishing trip many years ago, and he says it was no trouble getting down from the road to the lake. Maybe I should scout this stretch first.

I gots ta know.

campfire tales     Pete, I hear you and your buddies took a close look at the falls on the Eel and decided to run the rapids in the canyon just below the main drop. Tell us how you made out!
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