Biscotasi Lake is a real gem. I began exploring the lake and its neighboring lakes and rivers after paddling the east branch of the Spanish River with my wife a number of years ago. The next year we traveled down the Missiassagi River, beginning on Biscotasi Lake, then the west branch of the Spanish River the following season. Canoe trips in this region are endless; and all of them are accessible by either bush plane or rail —both classic ways to enter northern Ontario wilderness.

A couple of years ago I returned to the area to link two routes I had done before - the west Spanish River and a series of lakes south of Biscotasi. By linking them I was able to paddle a perfect 12 day loop. It was an amazing trip. This is the same route that Archie Belaney (Grey Owl) paddled. It was also where I visited the remains of a lodge that was once built for the visit by Prince of Wales in 1939.

I found the lodge at the tip of a Indian Lake’s southern point of land for the entrance to Eastern Earl Bay. Only a chimney and some scattered debris remained. It’s an impressive chimney but the story behind why the Prince never visited the lodge the locals proudly built, and why there’s only a chimney left behind, is even more notable. Supposedly the Prince of Wales did show up, walked off the train in Biscotasing, and realizing how bad the black flies were, he walked back on the train and left town. The residents were so enraged that they went and burned the lodge to the ground.

Paddling Biscotasi Lake itself is worth the visit. But heading off and exploring the neighboring history is definitely an asset. I highly recommend a trip there this season.

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