Pog Adventures

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Pogamasing Adventures: Over the years Mandy and I have spent many days hiking, wandering, or paddling the Pog area. We continue to find new places worthy of visiting and I thought we should share them with other adventurers. The activities have been organized from easiest to more challenging such that you can take young children, either in a boat or canoe, and then add some hiking on portages as well. See adventure sites and historical places on this map: Pog Adventure Map. Most places are accessible by canoe or boat and where trails are located you can either follow a path or bushwhack your way along the intended trail to the destination. To get a good perspective of topographic features see:  Forest Fire map of Ontario. Zoom in on Pog to see the topo features.

Warning: With all adventures it is vital to assess these activities for the age and suitability of the participants, to wear proper safety equipment (lifejackets) and appropriate boots, and be prepared for bugs.

Lost Channel contains glacial spills, lagoons, and steep rock faces

  • Head to the southeast corner of the large bay and look for the lagoon back of beaver lodge – get out of your boat and walk around to see beaver cuts in poplars and gardens on fallen trees. Back in your boat, follow the southern shoreline from the beaver lodge and look for several rock spills created by the glaciers along the shoreline.
  • Heading south, head to the large rock face along the western shoreline and look for small flowers, spiders on the two rock faces – Mandy calls it the “pink elephant.”
  • Go to the southwest end of Lost Channel where both a small lagoon is found on the right and a large swamp on the left. At the swamp, get out of your boat and look for a trail up to the top of the ridge, then look for a trail on the left Michael has started. Look closely and you should find an old telephone pole and wire from the time when the Big House was connected to the office at Wye and the dam on Sinaminda. This same telephone line can be seen on the right side of the bay heading to the Kennedy portage, just past McLeod’s Creek off Half-Way Bay (named because it was halfway between Wye and the Sinaminda dam). The hill above is the highest in the south end and we’ve climbed it as well. (more suitable for older kids – gives a great view of the lake.

Pond off main bay near McGinnes’ Island

  • The pond was created by beaver dam – when we visited it in May, a Sand Hill Crane took off squawking.
  • When we visited it in May, a Sand Hill Crane took off.
  • Walk around the pond to see wildflowers and animal tracks

Minnow Lake

  • A path about 100 metres north of Big Narrows, west side
  • Easy walk on the path to see the turquoise-coloured lake

Cranberry Bog – best done in the fall around Thanksgiving

  • The bog is found behind the Native cemetery. Being a bog, you will need rubber boots. The best place to access the bog is from the bay before the narrows going into the dam. Land on the beach and head S-W. There is no defined trail but look for four large red pines and you can’t miss it. In the late fall, the tamaracks turn yellow, and with all the pines still green it is a beautiful site. Look for cranberries nestled in the moss along the shoreline.

The trail from the dam to the Spanish River along Pog Creek

  • The trail follows the old log drive waterway connecting Pog to the Spanish River (see video https://andythomsonbooks.ca/videos/). There was a rolling dam (see p.109 in Pogamasing) near the campsite – look for a ring hammered into the rock. On the final drop, you can see a few logs left from the floom that can be seen on p. 130.
  • If you are really adventurous you can climb the hill to look for a memorial plaque placed there to honour a former leader of the Sarnia Scout Troop.  The troop camp at this campsite on their annual canoe trip down the Spanish River.

Diving Rock at the north end of Dead Horse Bay 

  • For adventurous jumpers or divers. Look for high rocks on the western shore. If you bring a lunch head to the west side of Picnic Island in Bate’s Bowl.

Old Growth Pines on Telephone Lake

  • The trail begins near an abandoned cedar strip boat. The trail needs to be under-brushed but can be followed if you look for the tamped path and trail signs such as broken branches. Once you arrive at the lake bush-wack your way along the western shore until you begin to see these beautiful trees.
  • The large white pines are spaced apart located along the western shore, from 40-80 metres from the shore. The largest one and furthest along was around 50 inches in diameter but fell in the winter of 2004. Many older trees that were alive when the forest fire came through the area before 1900 were burned at the base and the cambium layer and bark never grew. Consequently, a ‘cathedral’ becomes formed although it looked more like a teepee, and left the tree with a weakened trunk and vulnerable to strong winds. This magnificent tree was blown over by what I call ‘weak shin disease.’

Hike on former Tote Road from Big Pog to Little Pog

  • The old road starts at a place that many used as the snowmobile trail to Little Pog. But during the 1930s, it was the start of a tote road to bring in supplies to the inland logging camps. The open field just off the lake indicates where a warehouse once stood.
  • See p.145 in Pogamasing for a map of the road. Given that snowmobilers use part of this route in the winter, the tote road goes east around the first lake, it will be difficult to follow the trail after the first lake, but I’m told it can be followed with perseverance and a keen eye.

Ridge and Canyon Hike – from the north end of dam bay hiking north, east of Dead Horse Bay

  • This an open bush wandering experience, so you don’t need to follow any path (there isn’t one)
  • Start at the point at the north end of the dam bay and walk to the top of the ridge and just follow it alongside the canyon – stay away from the edge. You will see a small lake after 1 k or so
  • Return by the same route or descend, carefully, into the floor of the valley and walk back. There is one gargantuan white pine, with a few smaller, but still big ones, along the way

Ridge along the eastern shore of Kennedy Lake

  • Taking a boat/canoe ride along the eastern side to see a close-up of the rocks. Just around the sloping rock point (also a camp site) you can see this waterfall (in winter it’s a glacier)
  • Paddling along the eastern shoreline brings you to these high cliffs
  • Look for landslide and peregrine falcon nests
  • There is a dam at the end of the lake and an easy lift over to Bluewater. Once in Bluewater here is also a portage towards the left to Franklin

Trail from the north end of Pog to the Spanish River and then the river to Sheahan

  • Portage to the river from the north end of Pog
  • Need to cross RR tracks and look for suitable water entrance
  • First set of rapids can be scouted or portaged – Class II rapids, depending on water level, but doable for experienced river paddlers
  • Same for the second set
  • Nice easy fast water from there down, although a little rough just south of Pog Creek, but scout set below Big Pog Creek enters Spanish

Canoe Trips to the lakes around Little Pog and Sinaminda, or to Bisco, all beginning at Little Pog Creek 

Please send me your suggestions