Ontario Ride Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Alleydude, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    The wife and I are trying to plan a ride for next Summer, and are thinking about going into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie and heading North. We want to get off the beaten path, but not too rough as the wife will be riding her '04 Sportster with sidecar, and I will be on my '77 Sportster (unless I get something newer before then). Two-tracks are okay, as are dirt and gravel. Rough trails are obviously out.

    We want to get away from civilization as much as possible. The maps I have, and those that I have found at our local book store really suck for Ontario, and it appears as though there are virtually no roads, even undeveloped roads, North of Hwy 11.

    What about North of Chisasibi (Quebec). Is the ride to Chisasibi a good one? Is there anything beyond that? Anyone got any pictures of this area?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. :D
    #1
  2. nofate

    nofate what blackflies?

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    How long do you plan to be on the road? Ontario is a big place to explore. Get an Ontario road map at the Tourist Info center when you cross the border at the Soo. Hwy 17 along the north shore of Lake Superior is a must see.

    Your map is correct in not showing much north of Hwy 11. Some logging roads head north of Hwy 11 but usually come to dead ends where the tundra starts.

    A foray into Quebec would expose you to the unique French culture that part of Canada is noted for. Hwy 117 through La Verandi Provincial Park is nice.

    PS...the first half of June is the worst for blackflies. Have a nice ride.
    #2
  3. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch Ciao

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    If you plan on traveling near Wawa be careful. There are always cops along the HWY..I've been on the Agawa Canyon train in the winter for camping and I know that there were a lot of snowmobilers loading the sleds on the train to Hurst,Ont. That maybe worth checking out. It will get you in Northern Ontario.
    #3
  4. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    It's odd, but there's actually more roads than are shown on the map.

    I'll list a few when I get a bit more time...(taking a break from home reno's,
    but just for a few minutes)
    #4
  5. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    Very cool, that would be greatly appreciated.

    We're thinking maybe a week on the road. And thanks for the tip on the black flies.
    #5
  6. Lurking Luddite

    Lurking Luddite Been here awhile

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    Alleydude

    The ride to James Bay is great, I was up and back in 3 days from Ottawa, that was a little jammed 4 days would have been better. Head east of 17 to North Bay [300 mi. from the Soo] then north on 11 then east to Rouyen-Noranda then over to Val Dor then North. One road up and back the road is in excellant shape. You sign in on the way up and sign out coming back. BRING GAS, BRING GAS, 250 miles between pumps. In Val Dor they have a closed gold mine you can take a tour in, also Sudbury has mine tour on your way by and up in Chisibi you can get a tour of the electric generation plant well worth while.
    #6
  7. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    That sounds REALLY cool. I'm getting excited already.

    Anyone have any pictures from this area?
    #7
  8. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    If you are cutting through at the Sault, go eastabout half an hour,then take Highway 556 up to Island lake. Ride another 15 minutes or so, and take a left on Highway 552 . These aren't really highways as such, there may be some good dirt roads involved.
    You'll end up taking a nice scenic ride, which will take you back to Highway 17.
    I would run Highway 17, all the way up to Thunder Bay, it's far less travelled than highway 11, and way more scenic.
    Highway 129, and 101 are both nice, fairly isolated rides, 129 in particular,
    because it follows a river for quite a while.
    Here's a few pics from up here...

    Aguasabon River Gorge...

    [​IMG]

    Cavers cove
    [​IMG]

    Kakabeka Falls
    [​IMG]

    One of the beaches at Neys provincial park
    [​IMG]

    Ouimet Canyon
    [​IMG]

    And a link to a little ride report I did this fall....

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102476

    Hope all that helps a bit.
    #8
  9. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    Oh man, my Winter just got a HELLAVA lot LONGER...!!!

    Thanks for the pics, they look awesome. I will certainly take yours, and the other recommendations into consideration. This will be our first full blown adventure ride, and we are really psyched up for it. Thanks again, and keep the pics and comments coming.
    #9
  10. minidisco

    minidisco When are we going?

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    James Bay Ride 2005 - I should mention that although the scenery is spectacular, it was freezing cold and the road past the checkpoint towards Radisson (621km) is full of potholes and cracks. Watch out for road kill as well as forest critters crossing the road. There's a gas station at KM 381 (it's even called that, in fact) that has a restaurant which closes at 9pm - so aim to be there while it's open: they have the best poutine in the world (nothing else on the menu is worth mentioning). Also plan to have a stop at Prince Rupert Falls, it's very scenic.

    Finally, if you catch the sunset just south of #381, there's a burned-out forest so the view to the sunset looks like an apocalyptic nightmare: shades of red like you'll never see again, between charred sticks.... Totally incredible!!
    #10
  11. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch Ciao

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    I'd like to know more about the James Bay Ride.Did you feel rushed in that 3 day ride? Any pics of the bad road? When did you go? Any bugs?
    #11
  12. minidisco

    minidisco When are we going?

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    In my opinion, if you leave North Bay early in the morning, three days is not enough - especially if you're planning on getting all the way to Radisson and back. We stayed 200km past North Bay, almost at the border with Québec, and left at 9:00am sharp. The day was clear, for the most part, so we kept a steady speed of 110-120km/hr all the way to Chisassibi. We arrived there at 2:49am, despite having no stops along the way for any scenery or relaxation...

    Once you get to the checkpoint, the road conditions get significantly worse as the potholes and road cracks increase. Being a forest road, we slowed down to 90km/hr just in case a bear or moose would suddenly surprise us at the next bend in the road. We only saw one bear, not too big, on the side of the road in the ditch - curiously examining us as we rode by - but we had 2 small deer and a porcupine give us a nice shaking of the nerves.

    It is 602km straight to the split between Radisson and Chisassibi: if you head to Radisson there are another 25km or so to get into town - but don't expect anything to be open 24hrs... and the one or two hotels need ample booking in advance.

    If you turn to Chisassibi, there are 125km still to go until you get into the sleepy village. There are only 2 gas PUMPS (one station only) open when they choose to - hours are not posted). There's only one restaurant, closed on Sundays, so bring your own food!! Assuming you get there before noon, which is absolutely impossible unless you spend the night in a tent (don't do it) or sleep in Radisson, there are still 35km of loose gravel dirt to get to the water itself. That's where we took those desolate shots. It was also very freaky to see all those native indians walking around with huge pump-action shotguns while coming out of small boats... it's a very weird place. Most of them were quite friendly, but keep your distance and be very polite.

    Also, from Radisson there are 12km to get to the dam, on another loose gravel steep-incline road. They have tours every 90min, but they also have to be booked in advance - and a bus takes you to the dam and back. We did it on the bikes, by convincing the guard that we actually spoke to his supervisor (who had the day off and was at home), and we had "special permission" to go in. That trick worked for us, but might not work for just anyone - I'm a very persuasive SOB when I have to be.

    I don't know what else to tell you, except plan to be at the entrance of the road (outside Matagami) by 9:00am at the latest, with ample gas, and your camera at the ready. That will guarantee you to get to the end within 9-10hrs... and repeat in inverse from Radisson, which will gove you a bit of time to shoot the waterfalls and maybe also catch the sunset (since Matagami hotels are open 24hrs at least).
    #12
  13. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch Ciao

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    Thanks for that great info. I will email you when spring hits to pick your brain some more if that ok
    #13
  14. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    Ditto! :D
    #14
  15. minidisco

    minidisco When are we going?

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    I'm far from being an expert on the area, but I'll gladly answer to the best of my knowledge.

    Meanwhile, someone sent me an email yesterday and I accidently hit DELETE instead of REPLY so i don't know who it was. However, the summary of the questions was: did I cross through Quebec to get to Radisson?

    Our group went through North Bay, across from there towards Val d'Or and up all the way to Matagami. Once you get there, you are limited to only the one road to get to Radisson and/or Chisassibi. That's the one where you have to sign in when you enter (and prove you have sufficient gas with you), and sign out again when you're done. The post is operated 24hrs, but I would advise against entering the road after high noon unless your reservations in Radisson have been confirmed the mornig of your ride (and booked well in advance). Also remember that Station 381 closes at 9:00pm...
    #15
  16. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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  17. Alleydude

    Alleydude You killed Kenny!

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    Where is this post located? Is there gas again in Radisson or Chissabi?
    #17
  18. minidisco

    minidisco When are we going?

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    There are 2 gas stations in Radisson as well, not open 24hrs but they're bigger stations with a name (Petro Canada was one of them I think). There's also the gas stations at #381 along the road towards James Bay, and it closes at 9pm.
    #18