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Old 09-13-2012, 07:02 AM   #1
OldSilverFox OP
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Southern Ontario CAN
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The Trans Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT) Timmins & East

The TCAT From Timmins Ont. and East


The seeds for this ride were sown a long time ago in a land far away. Well maybe not in a land so far away but right here in Canada.
I came across a Ride Report in ADV Rider about the plan for assembling a route all across Canada primarily off pavement for adventure riders. I like many others thought that would be a great idea. This could turn into one of those epic rides. I knew I wasnít going to ride around the world like Ewan & Charlie but I do live and ride in Canada.
This whole trip would rank up there with the great ones. The whole trip is about 15000 Kms, not nearly around the world but probably the longest continuous ride in one country. I donít think there is a longer one in any one country anywhere else ( PS Just found out that National Highway# 1 in Australia is the longest at 24000 km but it is a highway not an off pavement motorcycle route.)
Anyway part of this ride went into the bucket list along with all the other stuff in there but always seemed to be right up there closest to the top.
The sprouts of this trip started to take root and a couple of shoots started to appear. Completing the Trans Lab as part of it seemed like a great start but the timing for that ride this year just wasnít going to happen .So what now? Somewhere closer was going to have to do.
As I live in Ontario why not ride in Ontario. Itís a large province. But from where to where?
I happened to look at the ADV thread and some of the guys were scoping out the route from Wawa to Timmins. Possibilities opened up.
I pmíd Ted to ask about the route and he said they were still doing some cleanup on that section but had just reviewed the section from Sudbury to Timmins.

The plan fell into place. Timmins to Sudbury & North Bay. North Bay to Huntsville. Huntsville to Bancroft, and then Bancroft to Ottawa.
Now when to do this?
At this point I was planning to ride this section alone so the dates werenít a concern. I had gone to the local bike dealer to order some stuff and he tells me there is a local guy that is just itching to ride somewhere with someone. Dave is his name and heís just acquired a Yamaha Super Tenere about a year ago and I should look him up.
I contacted Dave and we seemed to click and went for a couple of short rides together. Things went well so I mentioned the TCAT ride I was thinking of. Well Dave was all ears and said that heíd have no problem with the time off from work.
Letís Go. Sept 07 was to be the start date.

Day 1 Sarnia to Sudbury

Super Dave & I met at our designated starting point for a coffe & donut, required fuel for any long trip on the bikes and started to pile on the kmís. The most expedient way to get to Sudbury from Sarnia is to travel on the 402 towards London Ont catch the 401 and fight your way in traffic to Toronto. Playing dodgem with transport trucks is an adventure all in itís own.It was almost a relief to get to the 407. As nobody wants to pay for driving on it there isnít much traffic. Everbody likes to stay and play Dale Ernheart on the 401.
The cloudy weather at the start of the ride had dissappeared and it was now bright and sunny. It was a great day to ride but too bad in was on 400 series roads.
We made it to Sudbury and found a Comfort Inn to stay at for the night and unloaded the bikes.
East Side Marioís was the choice for dinner and a few wiggly pops.
The weather forcastwas looking ominous but weather forcasters are always wrong ,,Right!

652 Kmís for the day. And no pictures.

Day 2 Sudbury to Timmins

We had breakfast in the motel and were about to start our ride to Timmins
Remember I said the weather forecasters were always wrong. Well not always. They predicted light rain. It started just as we were getting on the bikes so being the wary & intelligent riders we were we put on the rain gear.
Well it was light when we left Sudbury and headed west towards 144 N. Then when we reached 144 N and had committed to the ride north it started to rain, not that light rain in Sudbury but rain, a real good rain. Retribution from the weathermen whom we doubted.
Super Dave was having trouble seeing as his visor kept fogging and you couldnít ride without it because the rain hurt your face.
My waterproof boots leaked like a sieve and my toes kept filling up. Every time you shifted the water would go from the toe to the heel and get cold.
Gogama and a restaurant magically appeared out of the rain and mist so we had to stop for a coffee and to drain water from the low spots.
Being the studdly adventures that we are we continued to push on towards the target. A warm dry motel room and some beer to warm the soul.
Needless to say we made it to Timmins but no pictures to share to agony.

Tomorrow would be a better day.

To Be Continued:
2008 Varadero
"When things don't go right; Go left."
TCAT Ride Report .
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
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Location: Sudbury Ontario
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We're riding the Park2Park Trail this Sat. Can't wait!
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
OldSilverFox OP
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Location: Southern Ontario CAN
Oddometer: 463
The Trans Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT) Timmins & East

Day 3 Timmins to NorthBay. Continued

We started to pack up under gray and cloudy skies but the weather guy was saying it was going to clear. Do we believe him??. We had our doubts but bravely went to Timmies for breakfast.
If you going to ride all day you really need something substantial to provide energy for long days in the wilderness. So we fortified ourselves with coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Good to go. We managed to navigate to the start of the trail south from Timmins. What an appropriate name, Pine Street that soon turned into Nabob Rd.
unknown.Here’s Super Dave ready to get started on the adventure to the

Let me explain a little bit about my riding buddy.
First his name is Dave, he’s a great guy to ride with, and third he has a Yamaha Super Tenere.
His name has to be Super Dave, but not confused with the Super Dave Osborn.

Here’s Super Dave ready to get started on the adventure to the

And Here’s the road he’s going to ride on.

This was the end of the pavement leaving Timmins.
From they have a rating system for the roads. This one stared out as a Class 2.

Note: I’ll refer to route rating system as the TCAT tracks and route information can be found there.
Class One
This category of roads could be described as paved roads which consist of highways, back roads and everything in between. Paved roads have asphalt, concrete or some form of surface sealer on them.

Class Two
A class two road is what we refer to as a gravel highway. These roads are wide enough for two vehicles to pass and often as wide as paved road. Potholes, fresh gravel and slick conditions are the primary terrain concern. Class two roads are maintained and grdaed with fresh surface on a regular basis.
Class Three
We refer to these roads as double track. A class three road/trail is wide enough for one full size vehicle. There are a large variety of these in Canada and can often be found in rural residential neighbourhoods as well as in remote areas for access to such industries as logging and mines. Class three terrain presents challenges in the form of loose surfaces, potholes, fresh gravel, slick surfaces, etc. These roads/trails are often unmaintained and depending on usage can vary greatly in their difficulty.
Class Four
Very similar in nature to a class three expect a class four present obvious obstacles that may consist of water crossings, deep mud, large rocks, steep hills, etc. For many a class four may be considered off roading, albeit it may be a road you are travelling on. Seasonal influences like water levels, etc may be a concern.
Class Five
ATV, horse trails and hydro line trails are what usually make up a class five trail. Notice the word road is no longer present. A class five trail may be too narrow for a truck and may only be suitable for bikes. The terrain may not be any more challenging than a class four, but it gets its own classification due to the change in width. Rules and regulations as to trail use may be a factor for this type of trail and it may not be legal for trucks to use.

Now back from the intermission.

The road out of Timmins soon turns to gravel rather than pavement but is smooth & well travelled.
The rain stayed away and we were enjoying the ride. This segment has lots of hills and turns. Shortly after we got stared we met up with a bunch of 4 wheelers who were out for their annual fall weekend ride. There were about 30 in the group altogether.

We soon left them as they had other routes to ride and didn’t want to share their beer anyway.
Further down the road there were lots of areas that had been forested and as yet had not been replanted.
As we travelled further south on the road it became a little less traveled and the gravel stared to be build up along the road edges and middle. On most of the curves you had to stay focused as getting off line and into the gravel could become sketchy real quick. The gravel used here on this road is glacial till and consists of round pebbles with some sandy dirt to hold it in place.

As we travelled future south the road became a Class 3.

There were lots of bridges crossing streams and rivers that certainly looked inviting.
Possibly great fishing but neither of us had intended to fish for our supper.

The gravel sections became a little rougher with lots of washboard section but was still pretty wide until we met up with highway 560.
We turned right onto 560 and road into Shinning Tree.
There is Gas just as the gravel meets 560 if you need it.
We turned into the 3 Bears Campgound and stopped for lunch at the Bears Den. Worth a stop, even for a visit.

Inside, Can you name all the animals?

Do you think Bow hunting is popular in this area???

Better still, count all the mounted ones.

We had a coffee and sausage on a roll, we were hungry and it disappeared to fast to get a picture. We did spend some time here talking to the manager and looking around though. Might be a neet place to spend a week decompressing.
After lunch we headed out again and picked up the trail a few km’s down the road at Sandy Lake Rd.

Sandy Lake Rd was much narrower and not in a good condition as the gravel from Timmins to 560.
The countryside seemed much more rugged and remote. The road follows the the contours of the land and provides many hills and turns as well as beautiful scenery.

There are numerous single lane bridges that cross picturesque streams.

It would be quite pleasant to just sit there and enjoy the sounds of the water cascading over the rocks and watch for wildlife. But because Super Dave provided all the wildlife I needed we pushed on deeper into the wilderness.

Super Dave checking out the road ahead.

Sandy Lake Rd changed into Fryer Rd. Don’t know why but the sign says so.

I guess a name change didn’t mean too much to us we just kept on riding and enjoying the trip.

The road eventually turned itself into Portelance Road, North West of Sudbury and we knew the pavement would start soon.

All in all a great day of riding on a lot of different road surfaces.
The gravel sections where for the most part good but during many sections you had to maintain focus to keep your line especially around the bends as in some places there were some deep piles of loose granular stone.

We ended up on # 17 highway and slabbed it into Sturgeon Falls for the night.

P.S. There is an alternate off pavement route from the south end of this ride to Timmins but I didn’t have the maps or GPS tracks this time so we took the boring ride.

374 Km’s for the Day and miles and miles of fun!!!

2008 Varadero
"When things don't go right; Go left."
TCAT Ride Report .
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
OldSilverFox OP
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Southern Ontario CAN
Oddometer: 463
The Trans Canada Adventure trail (TCAT) Timmins & East

The TCAT from Timmins East Sturgeon Falls to Baysville.

We woke up to a great morning of sun and clouds but it was a cool 8 Degrees. But thatís OK. The weatherman has finally rewarded us for our persistence.
Next door to the motel was a restaurant /donut shop where we went to have a couple of coffeeís and some food.
Sturgeon Falls is not known for being the best tourist attraction of the near north so after breakfast we left town without a lot of regret and headed east along # 17 towards North Bay. The highway was the most expedient way to get to our next part of the TCAT.
We caught up to # 11 in North Bay and headed south towards Trout Creek.
Here the route turns east along Forestry Road.

Forestry Road was a great smooth sandy gravel road. The name was appropriate as there were signs of active forest operations.

As we road thrugh on a Sunday there was no work being done but during the week it would be wise to keep and eye out for logging trucks, especially in the corners.

Forestry Road met up with Chemical Road and we followed it to South River.
There is a nice park here dedicated to Tom Thompson, one of the Group of Seven Canadian Artists.

(Note the guy on the motorcycle is not Tom Thompson)

From South River we crossed under # 11 and meandered around on a lot of tristy and curvey cottage roads and finely made it to the north end of the Old Nippissing Road.

A bit of History
Once a colonization road to early settlers, and now part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Old Nipissing Road tells stories of hope, hardship, perseverance, and despair. Seguin Falls, Dufferin Bridge, Spence, and Magnetawan, are only some of the original settlements along the southern portion of the trail, most of which are camouflaged and overgrown by nature and time.

We started on the trail and found it to be the most rugged portion ot the ride so far. It is primarilly a 4 wheeler trail with some rough rocky hills and a few low muddy spots. Definately a Class 4 section. It is about 3 km long before it reaches the junction of Youthdale road. My bike decided to have a laydown in one of the muddy sections. SuperDave said it happened but Iím not sure.
He has no pictures so maybe it didnít. No pictures ,no proof.

This is the section I was referring to:

Some of the sections area a lot steeper and narrower than this section.

This is the last hill as it meets Youthdale Rd. From here it turns back into a Class 2 gravel road.

Along the road there are several plaques noting old settlements or historical sites. There are also numerous old cemeteriesí which seem to be all thatís left of previous settlements from long ago.

Itís a short run from here down to Magnetawan were we stopped for lunch.

This old store is now a market and has a good cafť, but is only open during weekdays. As it was Sunday we stopped at the old Shaunusy Hotel. Not much to look at but good food.

At the south end of the trail we ran up on # 518 towards Bear Lake and then Sprucedale for gas. We continued on # 518 for a short time until we turned off on Star Lake Road to Long Lake road. Long Lake road was being freshly prepared for our trip.

From here it's a short run back on # 11 to Huntsville. Huntsville was to be our designated stop for the night but had experienced a major power failure and most of the town had no idea when power was going to be restored so we had a coffee at Timmies on the highway and decided to push on to Baysville. Well Baysville had no place to stay that we could find so rather than backtrack to Huntville we took a detour to Dorset and had dinner at the Trading Bay Restaurant. The Nordic Inn just up the road provided comfortable accommodations for the night.

344 Kms and more fun than yesterday !

2008 Varadero
"When things don't go right; Go left."
TCAT Ride Report .

OldSilverFox screwed with this post 09-15-2012 at 11:12 AM
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
OldSilverFox OP
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Southern Ontario CAN
Oddometer: 463
The Trans Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT)

The TCAT from Timmins East
Day 5 Baysville to Bancroft.

We woke up to another clear and sunny morning; cool again but no signs of rain.
After a great breakfast at the Nordic Inn we headed back to Baysville to get back on track and continue on east.
It wasnít long before we came to the Old Wagon Road.
There was a sign at the north end were we were that said it was not a through road. We stopped and checked the maps and GPS and both indicated it was OK and just then a local guy came by on a quad. We stopped him to ask about the road and he said that yes it went through OK but here were some low spots that the beavers had dammed and created some water crossings. He said they werenít very deep and the bottom was good.
So off we started.

The road was quite narrow (a good quad trail) but quite rocky with lots of loose stuff, maybe because of all the recent rains. There were lots of hills with exposed loose rocks. It would be fun on smaller bikes but a little tougher on big fully loaded ones.
My knee was a little tender from the mud wrestling session I had with my girl yesterday and I was concerned about a get off on the rocky sections.

I convinced SuperDave that it would be better to go around and bail from this section.
It probably was a mistake, but next time.
We rode on back to Bracebridge on # 117 and then cut back towards Clear Lake. Just past Clear Lake the Black River road runs north up to Bigwind Lake Provincial Park. This is the south end of Oldwagon road. We took a short tour up along this gravel road and found it to be a good road. I kept wondering if I bailed too soon on the Oldwagon Rd section. Anyway whatís done is done and it was on to Vankoghnet Road to get back on route.
Bobcaygeon Rd was a nice section of tar & chip that lead us to Minden where we stopped for coffee & treats at Mollyís Bakery. Great coffee and sweets.
After a little nourishment we were ready to tackle the next challenge.
It was a little south to Irondale to pick up Salerno Rd. After we made the turn to Selerno Rd the GPS indicated to make a U turn and go back to # 503. This is where the GPS said to quit. Ya Right!!

This was a gorgeous road through a hardwood forest and there was no way we wanted to turn around because the GPS said to. Onward we went, to hell with the instructions.

Shortly we came to a small dam and had to do the touristy thing a stop and look.

SuperDave wanted to stop for a swim but I felt he would have terrorized the fish and scarred the beavers.
So he only took off some of his clothes and off we went. This little section of road through a hardwood forest and was worth riding again.
It connects at Gooderham and then we were back on
# 503 heading to Bancroft.

On the way what do we come across but Dyno Rd.

Stopped for this picture because I know another Dave that stopped here for a picture but parked his bike a little further off the road than this.
Enough said.!!

Dyno Rd is a great little section of pavement that can provide some room to let the bike breath.

Hereís SuperDave letting go a little.

After that short bit of entertainment we soon found ourselves in Bancroft to stop for nourishments.
SuperDave contacted home base and found some issues had come up that he felt needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
During conversation over lunch we decide to bail a day early and head back home.
It wasnít an issue, as we have had a good ride, seen lots of interesting places and knew how to get back here and continue east at a later date.
The last little section of the TCAT that we completed was the north section of the Hasting trail.
All in all a great ride and thanks to all the hard work of those that put the route together for us to enjoy.

" THE END of this section"

2008 Varadero
"When things don't go right; Go left."
TCAT Ride Report .

OldSilverFox screwed with this post 10-18-2012 at 11:19 AM
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:33 AM   #7
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Myself and two buddies did the Seguin Trail last Saturday and stopped at the Sprucedale Restaurant for some lunch (good food and gas 7 doors down). Locals mentioned the Seguin East of Sprucedale was flooded because of a beaver damn we made that our turnaround point.

Good fun flogging my new CRF250L. Has a hard time keeping up to the EXC though

We're already talking about doing the Portelance Rd up to 560 or Timmins next year.

Oh, btw, we did see the TCAT signage on the Seguin!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #9
OldSilverFox OP
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Location: Southern Ontario CAN
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The Trans Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT)


We're already talking about doing the Portelance Rd up to 560 or Timmins next year.QUOTE]

The Portelance Rd north from Sudbury is a great ride. If you go, stop at the Bear's Den in the 3 Bears Campground for lunch. A great stop. We told them that next year there would be some ADV Riders stoppping by. They are expecting you. Enjoy the ride.
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"When things don't go right; Go left."
TCAT Ride Report .
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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I found a route that goes from Mattawa to Lake Wanapitei or Capreol. Its possible to do it all off-road. Its not for big bikes though. There is a trail from Trout Creek to Boulter which takes you to Mattawa. I was planning a multi-day fall ride before freeze-up but its been raining like crazy. My Hennesey hammock should be in any day so I'll keep my fingers crossed.Last year I went swimming on Thanksgiving weekend so maybe there's still hope. I'm going to head south of North Bay west of Hwy 11 to the Old Nipissing trail and cross over to Sundridge and head to Mattawa from there and continue on the route from there.
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