Pickle Lake to Armstrong

Discussion in 'Canada' started by John F, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    I'm planning a ride with a couple buddies toward the end of August. We're planning on riding out to Lake Weagamow north of Windigo Lake. We'd also like to poke around on the logging roads north of Lake Nipigon. I just tripped across a route between the two destinations that would not only cut off some distance and avoid Thunder Bay, but it would be more gravel and more camping opportunities. The road leaves Route 17 about 45 miles north of Shabbaqua, and heads northeast, joining up with Route 527 about 88 miles south of Armstrong. Does anybody here know anything about this route? Google satellite view looks like it would be doable except it might be blocked by a large open pit mine. I've emailed North American Palladium for info, but I suspect they'll either tell me it's not doable or simply tell me to f off. Any info anybody might have would be greatly appreciated.
    route.jpg
    #1
  2. MFS

    MFS Been here awhile

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    Hi there John, myself never made it to the Armstrong area. But did live in Pickle for about 16 years, another Sioux Lookout for another 3.
    Clicking your thread I thought you were hinting at Pickle to Armstrong via logging roads lol, to which that would be a simple no way.
    I will offer that the Graham rail line that runs north of Upsala to Savant Lake may be of interest to you. Not paved and have ridden it a few times myself. Not in 10 years though, and things change.
    I will offer this, get a copy of the Backroads mapbook, I great for looking at routes and was impressed back then how helpful it was. Combined with my little gps back the had many great trips.
    Plus, unless time restricted you, just go for it if you don't get a definitive answer. Miss that great Northern Ontario riding!
    Seriously though, get a Backroads book from your gas station, and good luck! Hopefully someone pipes up with more info, and bring some wipes for your visor for the blackflies in Pickle!

    MFS
    #2
  3. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    Send a PM to Lappeman and ask if he familiar with this route.
    Looks like Dog River Road.
    #3
  4. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Intriguing. I don’t see any evidence on Google Earth of a railbed from near Upsala to Savant Lake other than the line between Armstrong and Sioux Lookout. If there’s an abandoned railbed up there, I’d sure like to check it out. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. It’d be a lot better than pounding pavement to get from one place to another.
    #4
  5. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    The Graham Rail bed runs from Conmee, near Ellis to Superior Jct. just east of Sioux Lookout.
    I personally have not been on the line since 2008.
    There are numerous sections that are impassable.
    The rail bed does cross the Hiway about 45 miles south of Savant Lake near Silver Dollar.
    #5
  6. RJ44

    RJ44 Been here awhile

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    It definitely is Dog River Rd.


    Rob
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  7. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Spotted it! Thanks. Even a few grade crossings on Google Street View show more or less an ATV trail. It looks like lots of sections of this could be a lot of fun to ride and camp, even if an end-to-end through ride may not be possible. I’m not sure we’ll be able to swing this or parts of it during this summer’s ride to Weagamow, but it’s certainly on the list.
    #7
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  8. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    Some surfing indicates a tunnel (Flett Tunnel) and a bridge along the railroad grade. Would be pretty neat to check out. Google Earth shows a bunch of access roads branching off from the railroad grade into logging clearcuts, indicating they’re using the railroad grade for access. Most disappointing, though, is they’re requiring the purchase of access permits for a lot of the land crossed by the railroad grade,
    Even if you stay on the grade. Still, it’s on the list.
    #8
  9. McRotchburns

    McRotchburns What smell?

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    Yup, Dog River Road is what you want. I take that route to work in the summer (at the LDI mine). You'll have to google earth a bit harder though, as your indicated route ends at a gate. You need to follow the more southern roads. If you're seriously adventurous, you can get past it, and super serious, maybe all the way down to the 1065 level.....but I wouldn't.
    Roads on Crown Land up here are all public access. Even if the logging company paid for it, if there is no sign or no gate, no problem. But watch for traffic, washouts happen and don't assume the bridges are still there.
    Flett tunnel is just off Hwy 11/17 between Shabaqua and Kakabeka Falls. Is pretty cool and very easy to get to. Careful of ice as it doesn't thaw very fast in the springtime.
    #9
  10. canuckAME

    canuckAME Been here awhile

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    IMG_1048.JPG
    Flett Tunnel in great shape!
    #10