Cache to Lindsay

Quetico portage
Posted by: James Janega
Season/Year: 97
Water Level: average
Length: 1440 rods
Rating: never again
Additional Perspectives:

Portage Description:
Beware! After traveling the portages between Trousers and Cache Lakes and Cache and Lindsay Lakes three times in the 1990s, they can be extraordinarily taxing even under ideal weather conditions. The Trousers-Cache leg is about 3 miles, half of which is in thigh-numbing mud and bogs infrequently corrugated by portage crews. The great risk on this portage is thinking after an agonizing mile and a half that it would be easier to simply put in on the inviting Cache River and float down a lazy river into Cache Lake. The river quickly narrows, traps you, and can take you two days to push through all the way to the end. The second half of the portage is just as hard, but worth the time. The Cache-Lindsay portage is just brutal, and quickly makes you long for the last one. It is longer, perhaps 4, 4.5 miles as the trail meanders. You begin with a mild incline and a long road march that soon descends into knee-to-thigh-deep bog mud. During high water, you in places have to use your own canoe as a bridge from one tussock of grass beneath a sapling to another. The trail disappears frequently--once at a bizarre old logging track, again in a beaver pond, a third time at what was in 1992 a grassy prairie, but which by 1997 had become an enormous marsh, likely because of beaver activity downstream. It is impossible to paddle through at such times, and too deep to carry properly, too wide to get around. One member (or more) must drag the boats through, African Queen-style. More than a mile of trail continues after that. In 1992, one length of that trail was closed by a 120-foot red pine that had fallen lengthwise along the trail. The woods around at that point--and many others--are tangled by old blowdowns, sapling growth, and underbrush. Frequent signs of bear activity increase the closer you get to Lindsay Lake. In 1992, a companion and I startled a bear sow with her cub. Again: portage crews rarely get back here. I'm glad a previous writer had an easy time in 1995. Looks like they chainsawed the path for you after we brought the above to the park's attention. By 1997, the path was erased again.

Lake after portage: Lindsay
Known campsites: not sure
Lake Description:

Lindsay Lake is small and the water still. Probably good bass fishing, but the real treat is Lake MacKenzie, a short, steep, slippery portage to the south.

Portage from Lindsay into:
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