Falls Chain to Kawnipi Lake

FallsChainPinThis route boasts excellent fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, lake trout and northern pike. It is a challenging trip with many gorgeous waterfalls.  Kawnipi Lake has a rich history with the First Nations with several pictograph sites and historical campsites.  You have the option of cutting out six hours of paddling on either end of your trip by taking a tow boat shuttle across Saganaga Lake to American Point. (This trip requires a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit in addition to a Quetico Park permit and Ontario Fishing Licenses.  See our Quetico page for more information.)

Ontario Parks entry permit needed – #73 Falls Chain Lakes

Maps for this route –

  • Fisher Maps – F19 & F26 & F25
  • McKenzie Maps – 6A & 26 & 37

(Route lines are an approximation and should not be used for navigation.)

Starting at Saganaga Lake, paddle or get a tow to American Point/Hook Island

  • Continue paddling into Cache Bay – Stop at the ranger station pick up your permit and pay user fees
  • Portage 130 rods around Silver Falls into Saganagons Lake – Silver Falls can be tricky when the water levels are high.  Be sure to ask for advice and current conditions in the office before starting your trip.
  • Portage 75 rods over Dead Man’s Portage into North Bay of Saganagons Lake -or- skip this portage by paddling longer around the peninsula
  • Paddle into Falls Chain heading down stream
  • Portage 50 rods around rapids
  • Portage 17 rods around rapids
  • Portage 7 rods around Bald Rock Falls
  • Portage 32 rods around Little Falls – portage is on the east side, some maps are mislabeled
  • Portage 56 rods around Koko Falls
  • Portage 48 rods around Canyon Falls into Kenny Lake
  • Portage 4 rods around Kennebas Falls into Atkins Bay of Kawnipi Lake – high water can make this portage tricky, please ask for current conditions
  • Spend time fishing and exploring the many bays of Kawnipi Lake then retrace the same route back out through the Falls Chain

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Snapshots from this route

Saganaga Lake Quetico canoe trip starting point

Tow boat drop off point on Hook Island on the Canadian side of Saganaga Lake

Quetico Fishing Canoe Trip Autumn

Cache River flowing into Kawnipi Lake

Falls Chain Quetico Canoe Trip

Kawnipi Lake

Northern Pike on Kawnipi Lake

Northern Pike on Kawnipi Lake

Questions or comments on this route?  Leave us a note!

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