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ONE CLUB AT A TIME: A PROPOSAL TO RECONNECT ALL OF ONTARIO

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So I had a little chat with Walter tonight out at the club.  I mentioned the discussion going on here and the possibility of re-opening the trail to Hillsport and connecting to Longlac/Geraldton.  And while he was not enthusiastic about the idea he was not dismissive of it either.  There are 2 major issues both of which have been mentioned before, first will gas be available in Hillsport and second money.  More permits being sold would help with the money but more importantly it would show that there is some demand.  The practical challenges he talked about included a lot of the old trail not being useable because it has been logged and the signs bulldozed into the bush when they built the road, and a lot of the trail has been turned back into a road that is cleared all winter.  Also he thinks that we would be borderline with maintaining the trail along with the A-Trail and D108A to Hwy 11 and Dubreuiville with the 2 groomers we have (and both of those are relatively new) apparently when it was maintained in the past the club had 3 machines.  

 

Interestingly our Mayor was also at the club when we were talking and he mentioned there is a great deal of discussion between the local Mayors group to try and re-establish the North of Superior loops (basically district 16) with the greatest desire to connect Marathon to White River and Duberville/Wawa.  But it does show that there is some political will/desire/interest to rebuild some of the network and on a small scale there is recognition of the benefits of snowmobiling.  However, the local governments do not have the money to put towards redeveloping the network.  

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Well that's probably the best news I've read yet about this situation.  If you have the desire from the mayors and politicians, you have someone that can put pressure and say "We need this" to the province and more locals might get on board.  Good news Matt, now to find a detour to Hillsport ..... I'm wondering if there's access from North of the town, maybe another old logging road heading West ... I'm gonna burn some time on Google Earth ..... :D

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Walter does have valid points. Hopefully if d south opens and with weaker dollar more Americans should be back to the area. I didn't see a single sled on the trail after Hearst in 2 days of riding!

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BINGO.

I don't think the area can sustain more trails at the moment unless the link goes into an area or district that is going to start back up. Riders reported light traffic all winter long thu this area.

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I don't think the area can sustain more trails at the moment unless the link goes into an area or district that is going to start back up. Riders reported light traffic all winter long thu this area.

where the hell you been, its been light for 6-7 years? Yes north needs support,  I get a kick out of you with one trip north & now you can change the world?  None of this is new to any one that has rode & toured north,  We need trails that loop, bottom line,

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where the hell you been, its been light for 6-7 years? Yes north needs support,  I get a kick out of you with one trip north & now you can change the world?  None of this is new to any one that has rode & toured north,  We need trails that loop, bottom line,

This is the first trip above Timmins. Totally different world south of there. The Americans should come back and area's along highway 11 seem to be doing well, such as Hearst and Kap. If the D opens back up then at least it will be a loop ride once again.

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I like Matt, Denis, and Akron's optimism.  I like that there is at least interest beyond sledders.  Its a start instead of an end which those places are currently. 

 

 Light traffic can be partially attributed to lack of access.  (lack of loops)

 

  I have only been north of Timmins half a dozen times myself.  (its a long way from london, but I make it a yearly ritual now)

 

I just can't help but think that linking the province was once possible, so why can't it be again.    Perhaps there are other usable logging roads as Denis has mentioned.  

 

I am well aware that the economy is different now.  Perhaps we just need a different approach.  Can we learn from any mistakes ?

 

But trying to remain on the optimistic side and the what can I do to help side, trail permits sold province wide have increased for two consecutive years, with the bulk of permits being bought both years well in advance of any snow.  Framework for change has been a good thing.   I definitely think its at least possible to get 50 permits sold to a club who can reconnect some trail and see where that goes in following years. 

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There's a lot of good stuff here.  It seems there is a desire to reconnect the province and a realization that under the current policies, this will not be possible. Even if the allocation of funds changes to help reopen some of these trails; who grooms them?  Where will the manpower come from?  Can the larger clubs pick up the slack?  When Chapleau folded last year; did other clubs have the resources to step in to help keep the trails open?  How does Quebec manage to keep their remote areas open? 

 

Can the resources, money and people, be reallocated each season based on the real needs of each given area?  If there isn't snow here can the system respond quickly enough to move some resources?  Some years wouldn't require much of a change while other the change could be significant.  Would it be possible to have some of the Top trails be under a different policy all together?  One that would have them maintained by a higher authority?

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The D trail to Halfway and Wawa is being reopened at the expence of the F trail that was closed. Chapleau is reoganizing yet again and are closing the F north to Missinabie and reopening the trail to Foylet and making a new trail to Halfway. At least that is the current proposal. I say maintain the trails they have before trying to open new ones.

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I will not support chapleau closing the F trail from chapleau to missanabi,  and then reopening the timmins link to folyette at this time. we need baby steps.  getting them the link to halfway, and dub will give them plenty to do, and a good slice of the touring rider pie. Ski

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Sounds like the F Trail will be re-routed through the D201F to the D trail and up to Halfway Haven.  Then back to Chapleau on the cut through trail we have used for years.  To be able to make the northern loop again by running through Foleyet to Timmins might be the best thing that could happen for the northern touring.  Running all through Dub, Wawa, and Chapleau and making a real loop rather than backtracking from Wawa to Smooth Rock Falls.  I hate to see the Dog Lake dead end, but the northern loop will be back and should bring many smiles for touring groups.

 

Halfway open and the D Trail back should bring many through SSM to the north whether on sled all the way or by train.  Train riders will almost all come back through Hornepayne and thus Dub, Wawa, Halfway, & Searchmont before reaching SSM.  There should be gas in or near Searchmont if the trail goes through by Mountain View as I heard it might with a little re-route. 

 

Looking forward to all the positive next season and would love to see the F Trail from Chapleau to Dog Lake get open again sometime in the future.

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This is good!  More open trails in the north, more km to ride.  We should focus on connecting all of Ontario; D16 and 17.  I have never been able to ride to D17 from outside of D17 in my touring history.  I would love to b able to do this!

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Maybe one day ... just get on Lake Superior at Wawa and head West until you hit land, you'll be pretty close by then !!!

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Maybe one day ... just get on Lake Superior at Wawa and head West until you hit land, you'll be pretty close by then !!!

Most winters, that would require a boat.  

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Just take the seat off, put on some wider skis and ride really really fast while standing up the whole way.

 

But on a serious side I know on good authority that the island clubs of Longlac, Geraldton, and Marathon have been reassigned with Marathon now part of District 13 and Longlac and Geraldton now part of District 15.

 

Could this be a prelude to those clubs connecting their trail to the rest of each of district 13 and 15 ?   I sure hope so..

 

Maybe it will be the spark to ignite greater interest to reconnect the entire province.   

 

(west of Geraldton to Thunder Bay remains no mans land,   but boy wouldn't that make for some great off trail adventure riding for large groups of very well equipped enthusiasts with the proper sleds and gear)

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Just take the seat off, put on some wider skis and ride really really fast while standing up the whole way.

But on a serious side I know on good authority that the island clubs of Longlac, Geraldton, and Marathon have been reassigned with Marathon now part of District 13 and Longlac and Geraldton now part of District 15.

Could this be a prelude to those clubs connecting their trail to the rest of each of district 13 and 15 ? I sure hope so..

Maybe it will be the spark to ignite greater interest to reconnect the entire province.

(west of Geraldton to Thunder Bay remains no mans land, but boy wouldn't that make for some great off trail adventure riding for large groups of very well equipped enthusiasts with the proper sleds and gear)

Not exactly "No man's land", but it is good riding, and not that difficult to navigate, just follow the pipeline for most of it, and where the locals ride for the rest of it.

BP

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(west of Geraldton to Thunder Bay remains no mans land,   but boy wouldn't that make for some great off trail adventure riding for large groups of very well equipped enthusiasts with the proper sleds and gear)

 

Indeed. That would be quite the adventure (or a "Wonderland" ride if I'm reading Bucking Pig's input correctly). Just kidding.... thanks for the information, as always, BP

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Not exactly "No man's land", but it is good riding, and not that difficult to navigate, just follow the pipeline for most of it, and where the locals ride for the rest of it.

BP

 

Shhhhhhhhhh! let them stay east and down south, where they think they have it made.  ;) Ski

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Just take the seat off, put on some wider skis and ride really really fast while standing up the whole way.

 

But on a serious side I know on good authority that the island clubs of Longlac, Geraldton, and Marathon have been reassigned with Marathon now part of District 13 and Longlac and Geraldton now part of District 15.

 

Could this be a prelude to those clubs connecting their trail to the rest of each of district 13 and 15 ?   I sure hope so..

 

Maybe it will be the spark to ignite greater interest to reconnect the entire province.   

 

(west of Geraldton to Thunder Bay remains no mans land,   but boy wouldn't that make for some great off trail adventure riding for large groups of very well equipped enthusiasts with the proper sleds and gear)

If the former D16 does prove to reopen as London suggests; I propose as many of us as possible buy a permit from one of those clubs to support the new initiative, and then ride there.  I know I will, but I always have.

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Too far for me to travel there.... during the winter I only have weekends

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Too far for me to travel there.... during the winter I only have weekends

Sucks to be you, lol! Can't run the data base from your phone will you sled?
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Sucks to be you, lol! Can't run the data base from your phone will you sled?

 

Most new systems implementations seem to happen during the window of September to June. Apparently they like to have the maximum amount of people resource available which kind of impacts summer implementations. They summer is the planning period. Apart from that, while my wife likes sledding, not enough to do a week of vacation sledding. Happy wife happy life.

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I did not mean to imply that D16 is in any shape or form likely to reopen.  Although, I wish it would, or I wouldn't have started this thread.  And as Akron said, I'm buying one of my two permits from a north club, maybe Hornepayne, Longlac, Geraldton, or Dubreuilville.  One permit does not help much but its a start. 

 

I just mentioned accurate information about the reallocation of a couple clubs into active districts.

 

Some may infer this to mean, the reopening of D16 is as dead as ever or maybe more so.  

 

I don't want to believe this.

 

I plan to make one guaranteed trip north every year as long as I am working,  Hopefully two, and several during retirement. 

 

And thanks for the information Bucking Pig.  In your opinion do think a Renegade with 1,5 inch track could make it through to Nipigon ?  (based on those who rode the trail since its been closed?)

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