Trip Reports

La Verendrye Circuit 34 July 25-28, 2019

La Verendrye Circuit 34 July 25-28 2019

Sonia, Maria, Catherine and I (Lynn) drove to LeDomaine after work on Thursday July 25, bought our $16.75 pp/night (!) permits for canoe-camping access plus mandatory rescue insurance, and tented overnight on the lawn in front of the office. Next morning we drove the 41 km north to the SEPAQ campsite called Portage, unloaded, and shuttled one car to the SEPAQ campsite called Grand Barrage. We also looked at the sideroad leading down to the east end of Lac au Barrage and confirmed it was too rutted for our cars. Finally we put-in and started paddling east across Lac du Portage.

Circuit #34 is squarish in shape, a 44 km 3-day loop, with about 1250 m total portages. It is roughly 1/3 large lake, 1/3 smaller lakes and 1/3 channels and meandering creeks with beaver dams. We stayed on a lovely, blueberry-covered island campsite 34-23 the first night. Too early for blueberries though. The second day included 3 stretches of shallow meandering creeks through beaver dammed marshes …  delightful, with dragonflies, jewelwings, swamp roses, some white-winged crossbills, lots of work. The first creek out of Lac Moran is very shallow. We sloshed and lined the boats through the twisting channel. We carried some of the gear over the portage but almost regretted it at the end when we had to carry packs through quaking muck to the canoes at the creek’s outlet to Lac Quenelle. In mid-afternoon, we emerged from the marshy creeks into a stiff breeze on Lac Duman and stopped to rest at campsite 34-43. It was early but grey clouds were building, the heat was oppressive, we were tired and the campsite was pretty good except for mediocre swimming. We stayed for the night.

That left us with 17 km to paddle on our third day, including 4 km down the length of Lac Nizard. Fortunately, Sunday was fresh and sunny with a light breeze. The Ruisseau between Lac Duman and La Nizard was bigger and much easier than the previous creeks. We lunched at a lovely site 34-51, watched a bald eagle, and stopped for our final swim on the rocks at the east end of Grand Lake. We pulled into the Grand Barrage campsite shortly after 3pm and returned to Ottawa about 9pm.

We enjoyed Circuit #34 very much. The creeks are interesting but challenging at low water levels. The solitude feels remarkable. We saw only 4 people fishing in small boats on Lac Nizard and Lac Duman, and one other paddler, otherwise no one for three days. Only 2 squirrels.

With thanks to Catherine for photos. Click Read More to see the photos.


 La Verendrye Channel

LaVerendrye channel

La Verendrye Creek

LaVerendrye creek

La Verendrye Group

LaVerendrye group

Sonia's Campsite

Sonias campsite