Lake Nipigon/Thunder Bay Area Backroads?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by MikeyMan, May 12, 2005.

  1. MikeyMan

    MikeyMan Adventure Dude

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    Anyone know of some good backroads (fire trails, dirt, etc.) in the Lake Nipigon/Thunder Bay area?

    My buddy and I are going to ride around Lake Superior over July 4th Holiday and are curious about the area between Thunder Bay and up and around Lake Nipigon. From the poking around I’ve done on line, it seems to hold some possibilities. But I would love to hear from someone first hand.
    #1
  2. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I don't even know where to start,there's so many!

    If you are coming up on Highway 61, turn on to Cloud Lake road, (about 20 km north of the U.S. border) and follow it around, it's a much more interesting ride through the back roads.

    Make sure you ride into, and see Ouimet Canyon, it's a paved road
    in with some twisties, and nice view at the end.

    Ride the Sibley Penninsula, it's a good one too.
    Some of the walking trails are worth taking some time out for.
    There's a good place to eat on the way in,(I think it's called Cathy's
    Country Kitchen)

    Take the 585 from Nipigon, along the river, then up to Pine
    Portage, from there it turns to dirt, and you can get around a
    good portion of Lake Nipigon, it goes in a big loop.

    Remember, the old logging roads and things are on Crown
    (public) land, so you are free to ride them. If you see a dirt road,
    just ride it , and see where it goes! Most private property
    is clearly marked.

    Bring your GPS, it's easy to get lost back there. Also, not too many
    roads are actually in any GPS software.

    There's some good restaurants on HWY 17 as well, try Serendipity
    in Rossport, or the Cedarhof in Wawa, if you're going that far.

    Hope that gets you started at least...
    #2
  3. MikeyMan

    MikeyMan Adventure Dude

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  4. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Bring extra gas...there are no stations that i know of outside of the town of nipigon. We are going to ride the North of Superior around June 6th to the 12th.


    If you around Dryden, stop by, and I'll buy you a beer.

    Once again, the logging roads are constantly changing, so you can never depend on any maps.

    Try looking around in here, http://toporama.cits.rncan.gc.ca/En/frame.html
    some excellent maps of the area!
    #4
  5. MikeyMan

    MikeyMan Adventure Dude

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    You got it. And if you find yourself in the Minneapolis area, you got some free brews comming you way.

    Thanks for the insight and the map link (she's a keeper).
    #5
  6. petersp

    petersp Adventurer

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    You might also find this useful.

    http://crownlanduseatlas.mnr.gov.on.ca/

    I second the suggestion to look at Ouimet Canyon. It's very unexpected.

    In Sibley Provincial Park there's an observation area on the west side of the peninsula about five miles down a dirt road. The observation area is a pier sticking out from the top of a 200 foot (estimate) cliff. At the very end you are standing on iron bars and can look straight down between your feet to the rocks below. I understand you can see Thunder Bay from this spot but when I was there last fall it was foggy and snowy.
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  7. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Those are good maps Peter! Are you in Thunder Bay???

    I forgot to answer one question for you Mikeyman. I don't think you can
    go all the way around lake Nipigon. I am sure that you will find more than enough dirt roads and trails to keep you entertained though.

    Also, I meant to mention, ther is no assured cell phone service, just so
    ya know.
    #7
  8. petersp

    petersp Adventurer

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    Ron - I'm in Duluth/Superior.

    Last fall my wife and I took a car trip around Superior and that's when I saw Sibley and Ouimet Canyon. We got to Ouimet in a snowstorm and were the only people there. Very striking scenery! The snowstorm shut down the highway east of Nipigon for 3-4 hours - this was early October.


    I've spent a fair amount of time fishing lakes around Ignace and Sioux Lookout over the years. And passed through Dryden many times. I've had my KLR for a few years now and keep thinking about heading up there to explore those logging roads. You live in a fascinating and beautiful area.

    Mikeyman - Kakabeka Falls, 20 or so miles west of Thunder Bay is worth the time. I think Cloud Lake Road heads off towards it. It is surprisingly agriculutural around there but once you get past Thunder Bay it quickly gets wild. I think it was east of Marathon that there are no services for quite a ways.
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  9. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Ahh. good Peter, we are practically neighbours, and KLR owners!
    I just picked up my new KLR in mid April.

    I have to agree with Kakabeka falls, I forgot all about that one.

    That whole area is very interesting, and very wild.

    Here's a pic from my last ride.

    [​IMG]
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  10. Bimble

    Bimble In giro in moto

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  11. Viking

    Viking Ækt trønder!!

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    I would also be very interested in finding out if there is a passable route noth of Nipigon. Looking forward to your report. I will be going up there at the end of June. :D
    #11
  12. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I'll do some more checking, but I don't think there is a road across the top.

    I'm pretty sure what he's seeing on the Sat image is a set of railroad tracks, which do go right across up there.

    Once again, I could be wrong, the logging roads around here change way
    fast.
    #12
  13. Bimble

    Bimble In giro in moto

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    I think that you are right. I found another atlas that says just that. Railroad tracks.
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  14. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    ZZR-Ron (or anyone else with input) - I'll be making the trek from Winnipeg to Dryden in the next few weekends.

    What can you tell me about "hwy" 665 to Amesdale? btw - that's a sweet picture with the bridge.

    Thanks for the help.
    #14
  15. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    As I mentioned in our P.M's...the road to Amesdale and area is good dirt...

    maybe even a little too good!!

    Doesn't this look like a bit more fun??? (taken on the same road as the bridge picture above) To get an idea of the size of that hill. and the boulders, that's a ahlf ton parked at top.

    [​IMG]
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  16. MikeyMan

    MikeyMan Adventure Dude

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    Hey ZZR Ron (and everybody else),

    Thanks for all the info. Your insights were not wasted. My buddy and I got back last week from a five day ride up and around Lake Nipigon. Freek'en blast! I can't even begin to count how many times I nearly went off the road looking at the sights. Beautiful country.

    MikeyMan
    #16