Killarney PP Backcountry Trip Routes for Hwy 6 Access

Updated: Aug 13

A guide to accessing Nellie Lake, Hanwood Lake, and Van Winkle Lake!

One of the portage launch points! The paddling environment is diverse for this trip.

Arrival - Saturday

5 am to 12noon

  • Destination - Highway 6 Access Point at Widgawa Lodge & Outfitters

  • It took us about 6 hours to drive to the lodge from Markham. We left our house at 5 am and arrived at 11 am. Check-in process took about an hour (because there was a backlog of other campers waiting). We launched the canoes closer to 12 noon.


Tip!

  • Canoe pick up is from the lodge which is easy!

  • Buy a waterproof map at the permit office here. I would not recommend this trip without a map.

  • For more tips see the Related Posts section below!

12 to 2 pm

  • Paddle across Charlton Lake via route below.

  • This should take about 2 hours in regular conditions. I have been out on this wide-open lake when it was rainy and windy. It can be a real struggle here especially if the wind is blowing against you. Give yourself extra time in these conditions.

  • You will reach your first portage at P210.


Tip!

  • P210? What does this mean? P represents a portage and 210 is how long the portage is in metres.

  • Portage points are marked by a yellow diamond sign with a canoe symbol. In this area, people have left canoes, chairs, and various gear to signify easy to miss portage points. Look for these if you cannot find the entrance.


2 pm to 3 pm

  • Continue paddling to Murray Lake.

  • Here is the fun part of planning! I have labeled it "???" with the neon green circle. You have a few good lakes just in this area that are solid options:


#1 - Nellie Lake - Crystal clear water

#2 - Hanwood Lake - Quiet lake with island campsite

#3 - Van Winkle Lake - Secluded lake with island campsite


I will go into each of these below with estimated arrival times.

Option #1 - Nellie Lake - 5 pm arrival

  • This one is easy to navigate but the portage is a challenge. It will take a little more than an hour with a larger group. Take the P1470 portage down into Nellie Lake. This path is long and has lots of mosquitoes so you will want to put some insect repellent on before you start.


Option #2 - Hanwood Lake - 5 pm arrival

  • Take P1090. This was a fairly level hike with a swampy patch at the end of the portage. This will take about an hour with a group.

  • Take P150. This was an easy portage.

  • This lake also has a little island site to camp at.


Option #3 - Van Winkle Lake - 5 to 6 pm arrival

  • Honestly, this site is not easy to get to. You will arrive tired and the last portage will push your limits. This is naturally the one we picked LOL!

  • Take P1090. This was a fairly level hike with a swampy patch at the end of the portage. Will take about an hour to portage with a group.

  • Take P150. This was an easy portage.

  • Take P120. This one is short but deadly. There is a very steep uphill then a steep drop with a very small area to launch off of. The closest site is a short 5-minute paddle away.

  • After a day of paddling, you've made it! We arrived at 5 to 6 pm.


Tip!

  • Timing of arrival may be different depending on group size, fitness level, environment, and personal preference.

  • These guides are just a rough idea of how to reach these locations. You should refer to a map and ask questions at the permit office if unsure.

  • Plan extra time for arrival just in case!


I hope y'all backpackers have a fun time out! Let us know what lake you end up staying at :)


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