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This Meetup is cancelled

Canoe/Fish the Sylvania Wilderness Area, Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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  • The Sylvania Wilderness Area is located near Watersmeet in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan. It is often described as a “mini Boundary Waters Canoe Area”. No pets allowed. Bears, skunks, raccoons and chipmunks are frequently seen in the Area, and we will need store food and toiletries away from camp, on a line, up the trees. If you keep it in your tent, they come in and get it. (No one is there to hear you scream.)

    Weather at that time of year in the UP is “iffy”, influenced by the cold waters of Lakes Superior and Michigan. It could consist cold nights and cool days, or cool nights and warm days. We could have rainy weather.

    Driving time will be 6 hrs. + any stops made along the way. Sunday we’ll travel up, and paddle to the first site on Clark Lake. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we’ll fish and paddle/portage to the next camp sites. Friday we’ll paddle out and drive back home.

    No more than six people are allowed at campsites. Without exception, everything carried in must be carried out. Non-burnable disposable food and beverage containers including cans, bottles, and Styrofoam are not allowed. Permitted containers include containers of fuel, insect repellent, medicines, personal toiletries and reusable plastic containers.

    You will need to supply your own camping gear. I have water filtration gear. You’ll need to limit your gear/food wt. to 35-40 lbs. There are no Sherpa’s to carry your stuff. You’ll need to carry your own gear in your canoe/kayak, and carry them on the portages (carrying on trails) between lakes. There will be several short (3/4 mile or less) portages of canoes/kayak and equipment between lakes. We’ll talk about how we want to do meals (group or individual).

    Here you will find 34 lakes - some with sandy beaches, and surrounded by record-sized red and white pines. Combined with the adjacent Recreation Area, this 18,327 acre wilderness with its old growth forest and pristine lakes provides habitat for a wide range of threatened or endangered plants and animals, and offers an outstanding experience for those who want to canoe, camp and fish, in the solitude of the UP wilderness.

    Canoe rental is available in nearby Watersmeet at Sylvania Outfitters. I have my own 1 man canoe, the others will need to bring or arrange for your own. I don’t recommend old aluminum canoes.

    Powered motors of any kind are not permitted on any of the lakes we will be traveling on within the Wilderness. Hook and line fishing only. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used for fishing. “Artificial lure” means any lure that is man-made, in imitation or as a substitute for natural bait, used to attract fish for the purpose of taking them, and includes artificial flies. Live bait, dead or preserved bait, organic or processed food or scented material may not be used or possessed at any time on the waters or shore of Sylvania lakes. Daily possession limits for Northern pike, walleye, lake trout, is not more than 1 fish/person of any of these species, not less than 30 inches in length. All largemouth or smallmouth bass of any size must be returned immediately to the water without injury. All other species is 10 singly or in any combination with no size limit unless otherwise regulated.

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  • Kathy

    Lets start planning again! I'm off thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Donna

    Amazing weather.

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It doesn't look promising for the 1st Week in May. Ice on the Sylvania lakes this week (1st week of April) is being reported at 20-40" thick. Tonight they are getting heavy snow, accumulating an additional 3-6 inches.

    April 4, 2014

  • Donna

    Thanks for the info about the fish regulations, Ray.

    I tried joining the two women-only trips you suggested and both were full. They sound perfect for me to start with, so I will start there. I will put in a deposit in case something opens up there. I do not have a sleeping bag for extremely cold temps. My sister did not offer hers. I do have one for cool and one for summer. Also, do not have a kayak, and I'd want to rent a lightweight kayak or canoe. Otherwise I would be good-to-go, tent, pad, boots, clothing, food, teeny tiny stove, etc. I have gotten out the food dehydrator my sister gave me and will start with that in the meanwhile. Next is to take a kayak class. I want to learn the roll. I just returned from Bike Florida. Hanging Spanish moss, warm temps. Only one hard ride, 60 miles from Daytona to St. Augustine against cold, strong wind along the Atlantic.

    March 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    You may want to reconsider your plans and drop out of this activity. We wouldn’t be able canoe the lakes until they are relatively ice free. It looks like the ice on the lakes in northern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan may not thaw out until sometime in May. The ice remains thick; forecast for the next couple of weeks is for daytime temperatures 14 to 5 degrees below normal, with nighttime temperatures below freezing until April 28th.

    March 31, 2014

  • Linda

    a decent pair of gloves for paddling is a must.

    February 23, 2014

  • Linda

    I did a week trip up in the boundary waters 25 years ago. I went with an outfitter that supplied the freeze dried food, tent and canoe. It was beautiful up there by silver falls!

    February 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can recommend a couple of “training” trips for women. The Wisconsin Chapter of the Sierra club has two outings which are specifically designed to introduce women to canoe trips. You don’t need to be a Sierra Club member. These trips are ideally suited for women wanting a gentle introduction to wilderness canoe camping. One is to Sylvania June 5-9, 2014 (5 days, 4 nights Cost: $250); and the other September 25-28, 2014 (4 days, 3 nights Cost: $150) on the Namekagon River in Northern WI.

    February 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Space is limited so if you’re interested, call Nancy McDermott[masked], or email her at [masked]. I’ve been canoeing with Nancy in Ontario Canada's Quetico Provincial Park for several years. You can drop my name (Ray Wronkiewicz) if you like. She will take you through everything you need to know about canoe trips; from the right gear to how to paddle. They also have group gear, so you won’t need to lay out a big expense buying your own. You’ll need a small light tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, mess kit. She’ll have the Duluth Packs, bear barrels, group cooking gear.

      1 · February 17, 2014

  • Donna

    Do you use a backpack or the waterproof sea bags?

    February 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have sea bags which I use for river trips. Normally for trips with long portages over difficult terrain you would use Duluth Packs. However with this trip the portages are not very long, at least 1 participant will use a kayak, and the portage trails are not difficult, so I may forgo renting Duluth Packs and use sea bags.

      February 16, 2014

  • Kathy

    I'm goin this time no exception. Ok so girls I am willing to stay in a tent with someone who can do a two size tent or I can borrow one and we can both sleep in it.
    Please let me know.

    February 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have an extra 2 man if needed.

      February 14, 2014

  • Donna

    Have you been to this wilderness area before?
    Why did you choose these dates?
    What is consequence as I am not a fisherman?

    February 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Answers: Yes; Because I'm the organizer and the dates work for me; It's filled so there are no consequences for you.

      February 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please note: This isn't a walk in the park. If you don’t already own backpacking gear, I would suggest you buy some. You need to carry your own gear, including food. Restroom facilities are primitive i.e. a pipe with a seat out in the open. You will not be able to shower all week. You will be sleeping on the ground; you should have a SMALL one or two man tent.

    February 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey! Is 7 AM when y'all are leaving Chicago to drive to Michigan or when you are starting the adventure? Thanks! -Carly

    February 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Leaving from Aurora to drive to the UP

      February 12, 2014

Cancelled

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