View from a hill on the lower Mcphadyen, 1988.
Al Stirt photo.
Wendy and Al on a tributary of the Clark, 1996.
We filled up with water here.
Al Stirt, Wendy Scott and Friends: Canoe Tripping in Northern Quebec and Labrador
In 1988 we traveled with Dave and Ann for the first time.
We followed a route we had heard about from Stewart Coffin and Garret and Alexandra Conover.
We took the QNS&L to Esker and crossed Menihek Lake, went up the Clark River and then down the McPhadyen, ending up back at the railroad.
Going up the Clark was relatively easy, with stream sections separated by four lakes. We waded, poled and portaged up the stream sections.
The country was semi-open with good hiking possibilities at many campsites. My favorite part was near the headwaters of the Clark and the McPhadyen. The height of land was in pretty country and involved going from pond to pond.
Going down the Mc Phadyen was pretty straightforward. We were able to run most of the rapids, portaging once around a gorge.
In 1997, we did a loop from the road near Labrador City, starting at Shabagomo Lake. We went upstream to Sawbill Lake and then portaged until we reached a tributary of the Clark River. We went down the tributary to Milner Lake and headed down the Clark. When we reached Menihek Lake, we went south, ascending the Ashuanipi River and then portaged back into Shabagomo Lake and then to our vehicles.
In 2014, I paddled with Jim Picone and Dave and Ann. I wanted to see the country around the McPhadyen again so we decided to go up the McPhadyen (as far as seemed reasonable) and explore around before heading back down the river to reach the railroad for our trip home. Because the McPhadyen does not have a lot of lake expansions, it was more difficult to ascend then the Clark River. The water was pretty high also. We went up a tributary to the north, spent a few days up on a lake and then went back to the McPhadyen following a parallel tributary. Since our earlier visits, a lot of the route had burned and we spent a lot of time in old burns.
All photos (except where noted) by Dave Brown.