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MXZ Mike

Algoma Rail

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Hi All,

Looking to try the Algoma Rail trip and was wondering if someone might know some approximate travel times between towns...we normally ride Parry Sound way...and not quite sure what to expect in District 13. That is, interesting trails that wind through the forest or super highways...we have heard the trails are quite nice and quite wide. We are happy with either...just trying to trip plan.

We know the km's...but were hoping someone could give us a feel for time between:

Hawk Junction - Wawa

Wawa - Halfway Haven

Halfway Haven - Searchmont

Searchmont - Soo

Thx, Mike

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Hawk Junction - Wawa about 15 miles

Wawa - Halfway Haven about 80-85 miles

Halfway Haven - Searchmont 90 miles

Searchmont - Soo depending on which way you go about 50 trail miles.

i am assuming you are riding the train to hawk, then riding back to the sault???

basicly you will train ride to hawk, ride sleds to wawa, set up at the hotel, go for a local loop ride in wawa for the afternoon. the next day you can ride from wawa back to the sault. it is an all day ride. nice weekend ride.

if you are set on the train ride, i would look at riding the train to hearst, and adding a day to your trip to see more of what the area offers. hearst to hornepayne is alittle over 100 miles, hornepayne to dubreuilville is 100 miles. then the ride from dub to wawa is about 50-55 miles. it is mostly bush riding on old logging roads, nice higher speed touring, all day ride. then ride wawa to the sault for the last day.

if you have 3 days for riding, you can shorten the days, and ride alittle more conservative.

another option.... if you are not locked into the train, maybe look at riding from the sault to chapleau (flame lake lodge is an awesome place to stay), the to missanabbi, dubreuilville (riding the recently re-made F trail), wawa, then back to the sault. nice 3 day ride on sleds with a HUGE variation in terrain and trails. and no expensive train ride.

hope this helps. ski

Edited by skidooboy

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Hi All,

Looking to try the Algoma Rail trip and was wondering if someone might know some approximate travel times between towns...we normally ride Parry Sound way...and not quite sure what to expect in District 13. That is, interesting trails that wind through the forest or super highways...we have heard the trails are quite nice and quite wide. We are happy with either...just trying to trip plan.

We know the km's...but were hoping someone could give us a feel for time between:

Hawk Junction - Wawa

Wawa - Halfway Haven

Halfway Haven - Searchmont

Searchmont - Soo

Thx, Mike

We ride from Wawa to Hawk junction for dinner after riding all day. It is about a half hour one way.

Wawa Lake and then fast trail except for a few minutes of real fun up/down turning through the hills.

Wawa to Halfway is a great ride that can be done at a good clip, but is nice to do some sight seeing and stop at Dicey Mountain just out of Wawa when you cross the power lines. It is about 75 to 80 miles depending where in Wawa you start and can be done in 3.5 hours.

Halfway to searchmont is a bit longer and depends a great deal on whether or not the Tippman Damn Road is being used for logging. If the trail then uses the bypass trail add about 15 miles and about 45 minutes to the ride. It is 85 to 100 miles depending which way you go. This is the worst part of the ride if it has not been groomed and has little snow. In fact the last part of the road is often so poor with snow you may wonder how it is that a bypass has not been created. That is about the last 3 miles before Searchmont which has gas.

Then you can go one of two ways back to the Soo. Both ways are nice, but I think it is faster to take the north side of the loop if it is all open and conditions good. this has a river crossing and late in the season will most likely be good, but know the conditions before you ride from Wawa.

If you are driving to get on the train, I suggest loading the night before as they have let me do many times. Be sure to get the reservations and then park up at Searchmont and board the train as it stops to pick you up. At least the driver can drive thre tow vehicle and the other ride to Searchmont. When you come back there is no issue with riding back to your tow vehicles that way and much quicker getting back on the road from Searchmont. If conditions are good, this may not be an issue.

I like to ride up to Hearst and then take the train back. Fast group is two days up and then the day back. I have had a sled in the group breakdown and be put on the train in Dub. Then we helped load the sled and the rest rode back to Searchmont. We beat the train by over 2 hours and had to wait at the trading post. The train can be unpredictable, but is not considered "high speed rail".

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Thank you Skidooboy and AC+YA....those are all very helpful comments and suggestions...we will definitely plan our trip accordingly!

Thanks Again, Mike

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Wow. great info. :right_on:

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Haven't done anything with the train myself however I would love to one of these times! It's one of the nicest train rides you can get east of the rockies as far as I'm concerned (I've been as far north as Agawa Canyon).

I rode to halfway last year closer to the beginning of the year, left from Searchmont. Whitman Dam road was being used maybe 15 or 20 km up and after that it was unplowed...was a highway. The plowed section was also good as they had not used sand and it had been cold since the last snowfall. The trip took 2-3 hours.

As for straight/fast trails or windy trails...there's definitely a variation up here but I find the further North you go the faster the trails get in general. Closer to the Soo there are lots of hilly sections but still fun riding! Up towards Hearst you can clean that carbon out - if you know what I mean.

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Ditto everything above. Did the trip 3 years ago with group of 15. Started in Searchmont. Day 1 to Wawa. Easy day - in well before dark with lots of time to party. Day 2 went to Hearst via Dub and Hornepayne. Got foot of snow night before and combined with Ski-Doo breakdown (go figure?) in Dub, took till dark to get to Hornepayne. Half the group stayed in Hornepayne and half went on and pulled into Hearst at 9:30 p.m. with cold bones. 35 below. Quick dip in hot tub and all was well. If we'd had normal trails and no trip to dealer would have been to Hearst by dark but stuff happens. Spent day 3 exploring around Hearst and waiting for other group who got there by lunch. Next day took train back to Searchmont. About an 8 hour train ride and probably another hour to Soo. Fantatic trip even with large group. Scenery from train is awesome and after 3 cold days it was nice to relax. Would absolutely recommend riding first and training back versus the opposite. Train ride allowed your own booze so if you desire, make sure to go to retail day before. I much prefer boondockin in the bush but really enjoyed this trip and would certainly recommend it but be prepared for any number of unexpected problems and delays.

post-20244-0-08990100-1292555763_thumb.jpg

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Great train picture above.

Interesting tip re: riding first and training back. Seems most posts on forum have been about "train up, ride back".

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Training back is the way to do it. Arrive rested for the highway drive.

Although lots hesitate to take a day away from sledding to ride the train. If that's the case, I can heartily recommend the train ride in the summer, too.

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Great train picture above.

Interesting tip re: riding first and training back. Seems most posts on forum have been about "train up, ride back".

A nice Dam picture. :rolleyes:

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Training back is the way to do it. Arrive rested for the highway drive.

Although lots hesitate to take a day away from sledding to ride the train. If that's the case, I can heartily recommend the train ride in the summer, too.

Also early fall when the colours are at their peak! That looks like the view from the Bellevue Trestle.

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Training back is the way to do it. Arrive rested for the highway drive.

...

Agree 100%... :right_on: We have done it twice over the years. Doing the train leg after several days of saddle-bagging has definite advantages, IMO. STG's point above about arriving back at SSM (or Searchmont) rested for your drive home is quite valid. In addition, you're also more inclined to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery from the train, rather than focusing on the riding you are about to do, if you take the train up and ride back.

Just my 2 cents' worth, from direct experience.

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Also early fall when the colours are at their peak! That looks like the view from the Bellevue Trestle.

It's the Montreal River dam trestle.

We took the train north to Hearst in '06 . After a day trip to Moonbeam for lunch @ their clubhouse. We then spent 6 days riding to the Soo.

Be aware that the train doesn't have daily departures from the Soo (Thursday/Saturday/Monday) and from Hearst (Friday/Sunday/Tuesday). This may affect your plans for getting time off.

The year we went the 2 baggage cars were full (3 guys from Ft. Wayne unload @ D'ville to sled back to the Soo) of sleds heading to Hearst. We've been in Hearst when the train has arrived @ Hearst & no sledders unloaded & the next day only 4 or 5 sleds got on.

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It's the Montreal River dam trestle.

We took the train north to Hearst in '06 . After a day trip to Moonbeam for lunch @ their clubhouse. We then spent 6 days riding to the Soo.

Be aware that the train doesn't have daily departures from the Soo (Thursday/Saturday/Monday) and from Hearst (Friday/Sunday/Tuesday). This may affect your plans for getting time off.

The year we went the 2 baggage cars were full (3 guys from Ft. Wayne unload @ D'ville to sled back to the Soo) of sleds heading to Hearst. We've been in Hearst when the train has arrived @ Hearst & no sledders unloaded & the next day only 4 or 5 sleds got on.

I stand corrected! The Bellevue Trestle is the one over Hwy 5?? out of Heyden past Island Lake. It's been a while. :oops:

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There are indeed two large trestles in that general area (first 100 miles of track) which leave an amazing view for the fall foliage.

The first is just before Searchmont (about mile 25 or 30), and that is the Bellevue Trestle (the one that goes over hwy 556 aka the "searchmont highway"). The next one is the big one and thats the one that goes over the hydroelectric dam at Montreal River (mile 92).

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There are indeed two large trestles in that general area (first 100 miles of track) which leave an amazing view for the fall foliage.

The first is just before Searchmont (about mile 25 or 30), and that is the Bellevue Trestle (the one that goes over hwy 556 aka the "searchmont highway"). The next one is the big one and thats the one that goes over the hydroelectric dam at Montreal River (mile 92).

Thanks for the refresher. We used to hunt & fish in the Ranger Lake area and also hunted up around Montreal River area. That would have been back in the 60's and early 70's. I remember driving under the Bellevue Trestle many times.

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