4 Days – Where To Go?

General Information:

Distance: 60 KM
Duration: 4 days
Loop: Yes
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of Portages: 25
Longest Portage: 900 Metres

Required Maps:

  • 52 L/16
  • 52 L/15
  • 52 L/10
  • 52 L/9
  • Official Park Planning Map


Not everyone can put 10 days to 2 weeks aside for back country trip. You’ve got 4 days, where can you go where you will be by yourself?

Here is a loop that you can easily do in reverse if you’d rather.

Start at Leano Lake, you can either drive yourself or use an outfitters convenient shuttle. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Red Lake. From the parking area paddle north-west from Leano Lake towards Bunny Lake. This is a nice area to begin your trip, moose are often seen along the shore around the first narrows. Continuing on through a narrow passageway you may see the local eagles hanging around or some turkey vultures grabbing the updrafts. The paddle across the bottom of Bunny Lake, through both East and Lunch Lakes towards Jake Lake are joined with some very short portages. Just perfect if you need to stretch those long legs like mine!
As I mentioned portages are short, and hop between the small lakes along this system. All of the waterways are narrow so wind is not an issue here.

Once on Jake Lake make the turn south to float down this narrow lake. At the end of the lake you will get a feel for the patchwork of the boreal forest as you will be passing through a fire area at least 25 years old. Don’t confuse the term fire area with freshly burned, just the opposite. Thick re-growth leaping into the air is the trademark of the fire driven ecosystem of Woodland Caribou Park.

Over a small pothole and you’re now on Paull Lake. It’s a long lake with lots of areas to explore however many folks on this short trip will see only a bit of it. If you have the time it will be worth it to look in the nooks and crannies. I remember my first trip on Paull, we were lunching on an island and two yearling moose snuck up behind us. Hoping they were caribou, but only slightly disappointed to see they were moose. From Paull Lake continue south and east towards Dragon Lake through a series of small lakes. Under-storey vegetation here shows signs of deeper silts, beautiful in the fall. Once on Dragon Lake you are treated to an interesting shoreline showing previous water levels. Beavers were quite active here at one time. From Dragon Lake paddle east to Middle Kilburn Lake and then a quick re-direct north to Upper Kilburn Lake. Move across our newly re-established portage to the north arm of Kilburn Lake and then up Leano Creek, back to your put in point, Leano Lake.

This route is roughly a 4 day trip. If you find you are travelling faster or slower you can extend your trip or cut it short via some options along the way.