Lake Nipigon The long way round

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by canuckAME, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
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    Location:
    Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
    Four years ago 3 of us started in Thunder Bay and rode around Lake Nipigon. It's sometimes called the 6th Great Lake due to it's size. There's good logging roads run north south up each side of the lake. It's the east west across the top where it gets difficult.

    Anyways the first attempt was successful. It's approximately 700km around.
    We tried the same trip 2 years ago and were stopped halfway by an impassable water crossing.

    Enter 2009 and a possible new and different route over the top. Maps were gathered bodies hydrated and the bikes gassed up and ready to go.

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    The weather in Thunder Bay wasn't to bad but as we headed north on Hwy 527 the clouds came down and the temperature dropped.

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    Abour 50 km north the temperature was down to 8C and rain looked inevitable so we stopped for rain gear.

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    It didn't take long before it started to drizzle:huh

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    Eventually we made it to Armstrong about 240km north. The drizzle had quit and we stopped for fuel and food. The rain would keep the dust down as all the roads were gravel from here east.

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    This was the only moose we saw on this trip.

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    With bellies full we prepared to head east in search of the fabled trail thru the bush.

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    The haul road that heads east was in pretty good shape. With the downturn in the forest industry there isn't much traffic.

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    About 70 km east the road crosses the Jackfish river.

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    The drizzle and light rain was off and on. As we got farther north east it got a little colder. As we got closer to the trail we needed to find the roads got smaller. Stopping to check the maps.

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    The tracks on the road are fresh moose tracks.

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    We eventually found the trail we were looking for. It consists of a set of ruts thru the bush. Someone drove a skidder between 2 cuts and left a possible path.

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    We walked in a bit to have a look. The ruts were full of water/mud/muskeg and the mosquitoes were terrible. All the specs in the picture are mosquitoes:huh :eek1 :eek1 . By the time we found the trail it was getting late and after surveying the effort to get thru the kilometer or so of trail we figured it was time to call it a day and head home.

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    Stopped on an exposed section of road to have a break where the bugs arn't to bad.

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    The weather got worse with steady rain coming down.

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    An artistic excavator operator showed off his handiwork. Each of these was about 8 feet high.

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    A busted down pick up:rofl

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    We headed back into Armstong for a fill up of gas and food. By now it was a steady rain and still around 8C. By the time we got back to Thunder Bay it was anout 9:30. Put on about 750 km on a long cold day:clap

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    We may try again in early August if it stays dry up north. Hopefully we can pick a warmer day.
    #1
  2. kevfletcher

    kevfletcher n00b

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    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    That area looks very familiar. I used to go fishing every year not to far from Jellicoe. I'd say it's a good thing those logging trucks weren't cruising those roads since they pretty much own them!
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Great riding in the north.. but the weather can be chilly! Thanks for the report and pics :thumb
    #3
  4. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Thanks for posting.
    #4
  5. toddiscdn

    toddiscdn Take off, EH!

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    Blue Point, Ontario
    Looks like fun, try again for sure.
    #5
  6. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer Supporter

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    That's what I think of when I hear of Nipigon. Great big honkin' specks....aka, Brookies.

    Subscribed :lurk
    #6
  7. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

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    Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
    We're thinking if we don't get a lot of rain that we may give it another try towards the middle of August. Hopefully it will have dried up a bit. Maybe the sun will even come out.:norton
    #7
  8. Bushav8r

    Bushav8r Been here awhile

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    I have caught specks in the Pikitigushi and Little Jackfish Rivers up there. I used to work in Armstrong but didn't have a bike when I was there.
    Hasd anyone tried this trip lately?
    I have ridden around the top of Lac Seul which is a similar kind of trip. I think the roads are a lot better though and the only real challenges are the washouts. Damn beavers!
    Flat tires can be a challenge too.
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    #8
  9. Yamforlife

    Yamforlife Adventurer

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    you were on the wrong skitter trail- there is a skitter trail closer to the otter tail river that goes right through. MNR has pulled a bridge out so you need to cross a creek. bring a saw.
    #9
  10. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Location:
    Montreal
    Nipigon. Should have stopped there when it started getting dark around 8PM on my way back from Alberta in June, heading to Montreal. Not wanting to go again around the lakes and thru Sault Sainte-Marie, I continued North on Route 11 toward Hearst. Big mistake. It was dark, mosquitoes were ferocious, and there was no place to hide. Woke up in the morning in my tent erected in a truck stop with my face completely swollen. One eye closed shut and lips the size of donuts. ;-)
    #10
  11. Yamforlife

    Yamforlife Adventurer

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    yah its a long run with nothing in between. we do that drive every year moose hunting.
    #11