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Discussion in 'Canada' started by ZZR_Ron, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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  2. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Yep. I think that was the thread that piqued my interest in this area in the first place. I did Labrador a few years ago and have explored Quebec the last several years (I'm in New England), and I'm expanding my exploration west. Any further west than Pickle Lake is probably going to have to wait until retirement...
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  3. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    Yes, I checked out that crossing, very deep and swampy...looks worse now, don't think there was a beaver dam there when I was there and it didn't look that far across.
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  4. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    Dams seem to have this nasty habit of growing :lol3
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  5. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    I've attached a pic of what I think you're talking about (I added a dashed line), along with the GPS coords of the west end. The western part of this track is definitely an old two track. And comparing the satellite photos to topo maps it looks like this route is a lot higher and drier (and shorter between gravel) than the route I proposed earlier just to the north. Cutting our way through some downed trees would definitely be preferable to slogging through muck. But also on closer look I see several bridges in the area we'd be relying on, and if they're done logging in the area they may have removed them since the picture was taken. I guess there's only one way to find out. Worst case, we camp out in the bush and have to return the way we came. Life could be a lot harder.
    northern_link_3.png
  6. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    "looks like a beaver dam at 50.339512, -87.988556."
    I think this may be the route a bicyclist took in 2012:

    http://cpfarrow.blogspot.com/2012/07/around-lake-nipigon-on-bicycletrip.html

    " As for the flooded section, the water never reached higher on me that about mid-calf. A competent guy on one of those BMW Enduro-bikes would be able to navigate through the two or three flooded sections as I found them. "

    Of course, that was 2012.

    And if you look about 4400 ft ESE of this crossing you'll see what looks like his description an Alaskan bush house, complete with school bus.
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  7. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Here's a screencap from Toporama showing the topography around the area. For kicks I was trying to line it up with the corresponding aerial image from Bing maps, but either one or both is/are distorted, and it's not just the projection or aspect ratio. But, you can see features on both that will let you mentally line things up. Impossible to tell how unswampy the unswampy areas are. But there might be several potential routes between the west and the east. Even just getting to the area and scouting the routes on foot would be a resounding success for a trip to the area.
    northern_link_toporama.png
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  8. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

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    This looks to be the north route
    The route you have marked was made by a large skidder that moved between the 2 cuts. Can't remember what year it was but we tried this from west to east. Found the skidder ruts on the edge of the cut and walked down where the skidder had gone through. the ruts were 18-24" deep with lots of pushed over alder in the track.
    It had been a long cold wet day getting to this spot and the bugs were terrible. We figured to try it again but due to the remoteness never made it back.
    Later that year talked with a fellow who went through with 2 quads. They were all day winching and cutting brush to get through.

    The southern route by Laumane Lake and Toronto lake was passible the first time we tried and we made it over the old bridge ( or what was left of it). 2 years later it was impassible as the beavers had dammed the creek below the old crossing and the creek was now part lake and about 150 feet across.
    Even if you floated across the creek/lake the trail up to Laumane lake would be so grown in as to be unrideable.

    They are cutting farther north of Collins up the Ogoki Road so there is the possibility that there may be a new cut that gets you close to the old cuts north and west of Armstrong.

    I have been told that the MNR does NOT want any east/west access across the top of Lake Nipigon.

    We made it once out of 3 tries.
    Good luck
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  9. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Yep. The northern route. Your description of ruts 18-24" deep and all day winching and cutting isn't encouraging. Especially considering the topo map sort of indicates it would be higher and drier than the route a little to the north that I posted earlier. Your eyes on the ground description is exactly what I'm looking for. And remoteness?? It's 66 miles from gas in Armstrong to the west end of this skidder track. How long did it take you to make this 66 miles? Are conditions up there a lot worse than the satellite/aerial views would indicate? What are road conditions like along the way? I expect the roads within the clearcuts to be pretty thin. But the ones serving multiple clearcuts should have been passable by semi trucks at one time, and barring washouts should be easily passable on bikes for many years. Thanks for the info. Gotta temper my fantasy with some realism.

    And yeah, everything I read about the southern route indicates it was marginally passable with a motorcycle in ~2005 (that was you, right?), marginally passable with a bicycle (with lots of carrying) in 2012, and more or less impassable now. Any idea why MNR doesn't want any east/west access over the top? Are they actively avoiding any connections between clearcuts out in the boonies (e.g. the north route)?
  10. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Do you have GPS coords of this cutting? Isn't Ogoki Road the "main road" to the east of the clearcuts around the north route? How would it come anywhere near the old cuts NW of Armstrong?

    By the way, I've been reading about the diversion of the Ogoki River. Pretty amazing. You Canucks do some pretty amazing things with the hydrology up there. It's odd that the diversion dam on the Ogoki River doesn't seem to be accessible by any road at all. I don't even see a scar of an abandoned road.

    https://www.lakesuperior.com/the-lake/404taming-water-a-diverting-story-of-ebbs-flows/

    They did sort of a similar thing at the Gouin Reservoir in Quebec to raise the level a few feet, diverting a river that used to flow into James Bay into the Gouin, and we were able to see the rock cut they made near Pourvoirie Martin for it. Not to mention the diversions of the Caniapiscau, Eastmain, Rupert, and Opinaca rivers. I can see how these projects piss off the locals. But like drilling on the North Slope in Alaska, these areas simply wouldn't be accessible to ADV riders otherwise. (I'm jonesing for them to build the road link to the Ring of Fire. Supposedly construction starts this year, with completion slated for 2025.)
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  11. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

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    upload_2021-1-14_12-21-28.png
    The roads/cuts on the left are out of Armstrong to the north east Probably 2 hours riding if the road is in good shape.
    The roads /cuts on the right side of the shot are accessed out of Aroland on the Ogoki haul road which goes up and crosses the Ogoki River. This would be Hwy 584 from Geraldton to Nakina
    Just before Nakina is Hwy643 which heads west to Aroland. From here the Ogoki road begins. Its good gravel right up to the Ogoki river crossing. There is a road name for the cuts on the right side but I can,t recall it right now

    Ill try and find it. They are working cutting off the Ogoki road so it should be well maintained. They haven't been working to the north and east of Armstrong so the farther you go the worse the roads may be.
    Once you leave Armstrong theres not much but rocks trees and swamps. Help is a long ways away.
    The path between the 2 cuts was badly rutted and pretty wet.

    There are probably some trails to the west of the Ogoki River crossing that may get to the dam on the river.
    Just before you cross the bridge to the east of the road is a Provincial Govt forward attack fire fighting base. It may be open depending on the fire danger.
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  12. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

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    The road that goes west off the Ogoki haul road is Gordon Creek road
    N50.63145 W 87.75135
    It is in the upper right side of this shot just above the river crossing and goes west
    The connecting path between the cuts is where the colors change towards the left side about halfway up
    Not sure on the date of these shots.
    Good Luck

    upload_2021-1-14_12-40-3.png
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  13. gpfan

    gpfan a mari usque ad mare

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    Must be an electric atmosphere!
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  14. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    I'd like to take my ATV up there and do a couple days of exploring sometime...definitely check out that route.
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  15. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Well, CanuckAME and his riding partner are the only bikes I have ever heard that have made it, so his advice is probably the best you are going to get.
    If you do get a chance to go to Lake Nipigon, even if it's a different route, do it. Even here in a land of 250k lakes, it is the most beautiful lake I have everr been on.
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  16. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    KLR 650 Backroad adventure ride part 1 from earlier last fall...

  17. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    2nd part to my KLR 650 Backroad adventure ride...

  18. gepeze

    gepeze Adventurer

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    Thanks for posting. Almost felt like I was on my bike.
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  19. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    I had a long conversation with a guy from the Ontario MNR a couple weeks ago and he sent me a bunch of information on the area up there. He's been into this area a lot as part of his job, so he's quite familiar with it. The clearcutting on the west side is referred to as the Spino block. It's been decommissioned, and they removed some bridges into it between June 2016 & Sept 2017. Along with removing the bridges they plowed up some berms, placed some boulders, and dug up sections of the road to discourage people from accessing it. He seemed to feel that competent people on bikes could still get through, except maybe the third removed bridge on the way in. This water crossing is at least three feet deep. He did mention the idea of carrying a couple 2x12 pieces of lumber to use as a bridge, but wasn't real confident that would work. I think if I did try to bridge the gap I'd rely on local resources rather than trying to carry 2x12 lumber on the bike.

    He verified the location of the east-west link I have penciled in below. Around 2010 they dragged equipment from one clearcut to the other, and not long after that he rode the path on an ATV. He said it would be very easy to get bikes through in dry weather, but in the intervening decade no doubt things have become quite overgrown and significant cutting would be required.

    So it looks like the biggest obstacle is the third removed bridge. And if they've removed bridges on the west side in the Armstrong forest, I'd be willing to bet bridges have been removed on the east side in the Lake Nipigon forest as well. He said a truck could still very easily make it to the first removed bridge. It looks like it's about a 4 mile hike from the first removed bridge to the west end of the east-west link, another mile to the clearcut on the far side. The idea of getting bikes through there is looking pretty iffy. But still, I'd like to see for myself. This area is still on the plan for this summer's ride (assuming the border opens), but expectations have definitely changed.


    nipigon_east-west_link.jpg
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  20. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Would probably be best to make a trip in with ATVs and tools to fix up, cut trails and build up water crossings from native materials. There will be a lot of regrowth in the 4-5 years since cut and if there is running water a good chance a beaver has used the old road crossing pinch point to build a lake.
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