Share your Adventures with SpotAdventures
Ten Hours and 21 miles the Voyageur Hudson Bay Expedition Crew spent paddling on the Echimamish River on July 6th.
The Echimamish River is a river bifurcation in Manitoba. Like the better-known Casiquiare canal it has the curious property of flowing between two river systems, in this case, the Hayes River and the Nelson River. Located 50 or so miles northeast to the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg, it is about 40 miles long and runs almost exactly east-west. It flows through totally flat swampy country and has a barely detectable current. Flowing through peat bogs, the water acquires a dark color, hence the old name of Blackwater Creek. Since it is shallow canoe navigation is helped by beaver ponds. Morse (references below) claims that it flows in two directions from a central beaver pond. On the Echimamish is the Painted Stone Portage. This is not the divide between the two river basins, but a short (20 paces) carry around a shallow and rocky section near a lake. The only other obstacles are beaver dams.
It was part of the voyageur route from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. Since most of the Nelson River is difficult, canoemen would take the easier Hayes and use the Echimamish to reach the upper Nelson and lake Winnipeg. For background see Canadian canoe routes (early).