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D201F Question NW of Elliot Lake

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Me and the boys got together today and planned our annual trip. Our plan is leave from Sportsmans Lodge, 1st day to Windy Lake Motel. 2nd day to Dunlop Lake Lodge (Elliot Lake)

3rd to Wawa. And so on around to Timmins and back to Sudbury. There was a washout on the  D201F a couple years ago and I dont remember if it was ever was fixed or resolved, and also is Black Creek Oufitters open. One other question, is Elliot Lake to Wawa too far for 1 day, it shows 385 km on the ITG which isnt too bad.

Last time we were up that way we took the F trail straight to Chapleau from Elliot Lake.

 

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I'm not sure about the washout now, but 2 years ago It was passable even when it wasn't fixed. 6" of water or so. 

 

I think black Creek is open as I saw Dan senior stageing from there earlier in the year. 

 

It's not to far for a day ride. If you keep a reasonable speed up. The trails from Dunlop to wawa are pretty quick. 

 

Have a fun ride!

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Hi GTC

 

Yes, as Crawdaddy indicated, I have been staging out of Black Creek Outfitters.  They are open this winter and offer light lunches, fuel and accommodations.

 

I have not visited the washout as of yet this winter, therefore, not sure of the status.  There is a 2nd washout 1km east of where the Domtar Road meets the Whitman Dam Road.  Its fairly deep. 

 

Chad and I removed downed trees on part of the D201F in December, however, we only made it in about 14 KMS before running out of daylight.

 

Should I have more information, I will be pleased to post it here.

 

Hope this helps.

 

As for Dunlop Lodge to Wawa in 1 day,  I am not able to provide an answer.

 

Dan Senior.

Edited by Dan-Senior

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14 hours ago, GTC said:

Me and the boys got together today and planned our annual trip. Our plan is leave from Sportsmans Lodge, 1st day to Windy Lake Motel. 2nd day to Dunlop Lake Lodge (Elliot Lake)

3rd to Wawa. And so on around to Timmins and back to Sudbury. There was a washout on the  D201F a couple years ago and I dont remember if it was ever was fixed or resolved, and also is Black Creek Oufitters open. One other question, is Elliot Lake to Wawa too far for 1 day, it shows 385 km on the ITG which isnt too bad.

Last time we were up that way we took the F trail straight to Chapleau from Elliot Lake.

 

Your first day is a short one.

4-5 hrs ride time max, a lot less if trails not busy.

Let me know when your heading up, I'll ride with you on day 1.

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We are thinking the first week of Feb, weather dependant

Thanks for the response 

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I'll be on the Elliot Lake F trail on Feb 1st-2nd weekend mapping out a Cross-Country route.  Also staying at Dunlop Lake Lodge on Feb. 7th-9th weekend.  if you see an old red 440 Polaris, please stop and say hi.

 

Edited by Dan-Senior

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Will do, and I know what you ride, have seen many of your photos and videos, We should be at Dunlop Lake LOdge on the 4th. We have never stayed there.

Looking forward to this trip we havent been through Elliot Lake since 2005, thanks and cheers!

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On 1/3/2020 at 7:14 PM, GTC said:

Me and the boys got together today and planned our annual trip. Our plan is leave from Sportsmans Lodge, 1st day to Windy Lake Motel. 2nd day to Dunlop Lake Lodge (Elliot Lake)

3rd to Wawa. And so on around to Timmins and back to Sudbury. There was a washout on the  D201F a couple years ago and I dont remember if it was ever was fixed or resolved, and also is Black Creek Oufitters open. One other question, is Elliot Lake to Wawa too far for 1 day, it shows 385 km on the ITG which isnt too bad.

Last time we were up that way we took the F trail straight to Chapleau from Elliot Lake.

 

I miss the old F trail straight north from Aubrey Falls to Chapleau and the stay at Flame Lake lodge. It has been gone for a long time and I assume not coming back. I have avoided replying to your questions for fear of censure, but I believe in being informed.So....first with the two year old washout on D102F, in case it is still there. I have safely crossed thru the water (4-8" deep) as Dan suggested, but I also arrived there with a cautious group when there was a little more flow to the water. One of our riders really didn't want to attempt the crossing. So we scoped out a bypass to the north side of the main trail over the large pond that feeds the water to the washout. We avoided the area close to the flowing water, and got onto the ice about 30 metres north of the start of the washout. We verified safe ice and a safe exit point off the pond ice back onto the trail. We successfully used our bypass for most of our group(one or two still rode thru the washout). Three weeks later our bypass was still being used. So there is an option - its doable with decent ice.

The ride from Elliot Lake to Wawa can be a long day for some if conditions are tough. Again we took a fairly senior group of seniors on that route and were looking to shorten that stretch a bit. A responsible OCer, who shall remain blameless, had informed me of a detour off the F trail connecting back up to the D102F, cutting out about 30 km of total travel, IIRC. Trail km were shortened by about 30-40 km, but the road detour was almost 10 km long. When the F trail heads north from Black Creek (A Falls), it soon crosses Ranger Lake Rd (#556). At that point, if the snow conditions allow, you can use the road edge to follow 556 west for a couple of km until  just before the road crosses a major bridge over the river. Turn right (north) there onto the Domtar Rd and similarly follow it for about 5-6 km until you will see the D102F on your right joining the road as main trail. You are now on D102F and watch for the regular trail signage. Someone can likely perfect my mileage estimates on the detour, or tell me to stay the f**k of it. I assume you experienced sledders will be carrying at least one saw. Priceless when you need it.

I am jealous of your planned trip. Enjoy!

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Tricky.  Good post.  I am not sure what you mean about being censored.  If you are offering helpful advice, without advocating trespassing on private land or other irresponsible behaviour, I cannot see you being censored on here.

 

As for the washout crossing, I, for one, would also be hesitant to cross open water, especially when it would be a long ride to some place to get warm and dry again.  Than you for the information for the bypass.

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We will be starting at Dunlop 1st week of February and doing a big northern loop, I will do a trip report once we get back at the end of the trip or should anything come up on the trail that you guys would need to know about.

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6 minutes ago, sledjunk said:

Tricky.  Good post.  I am not sure what you mean about being censored.  If you are offering helpful advice, without advocating trespassing on private land or other irresponsible behaviour, I cannot see you being censored on here.

 

As for the washout crossing, I, for one, would also be hesitant to cross open water, especially when it would be a long ride to some place to get warm and dry again.  Than you for the information for the bypass.

X2. No one wants to get wet on a long ride in middle of no where. That is no fun and could turn tragic real fast. 

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I enjoyed your Post, Tricky, especially your reference to the original trail to Chapleau as it brings back memories.

 

On another note, I found this video on Youtube that shows the custom by-pass Tricky was referring to on the D201F trail.  Its at the 1:32 second mark.  Not sure who put the video together, however, it is very helpful.

 

 

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5 hours ago, sledjunk said:

Tricky.  Good post.  I am not sure what you mean about being censored.  If you are offering helpful advice, without advocating trespassing on private land or other irresponsible behaviour, I cannot see you being censored on here.

 

As for the washout crossing, I, for one, would also be hesitant to cross open water, especially when it would be a long ride to some place to get warm and dry again.  Than you for the information for the bypass.

Sledjunk, I wasn't worried about about censorship. My concern was getting verbally abused for suggesting bypassing the marked trail and using Ranger Lake and Domtar Roads. When we and others used that route two years ago, some readers were pissed with what we were doing.

 

As for riding across the washout, there was always less than a foot of water, but the first time I crossed thru, it was just after an eastbound 800 Doo had experienced a frozen throttle cable from the water and crashed at full throttle into a tree a few hundred metres east of the washout. Luckily the rider bailed off the machine, but it was a write-off. That caused us to look for a detour the next time thru the area. I am sure that soon someone will give us an update that all is well at that spot.

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The History of the D201F Trail

 

If you ever wonder how the D201F trail came about, it started in early 2012 when the Sault Trailblazers were looking to expand the trail system regionally.  They put a request out to club members for suggestions on new routes.  I submitted a proposal for 3 routes of which the D201F was one of them.  This new route would allow an alternative link from Searchmont to Aubrey Falls.  The original proposal included the section along the Ranger Lake road of which Tricky has made reference to as 'the Short-Cut'.  The Club actually used the 'Short-Cut' for the 2012-2013 season and the ride to Aubrey Falls was that much quicker.  Unfortunately, the route had to modified for future seasons in order to get traffic off the Ranger Lake road.  Someone suggested the Mashagama lake route. Although it works, it adds a significant distance.  There are shorter ways that could work better and I take them when I pass through the area.

 

Attached are a couple of photos.  The 1st one is Al T. placing the very first sign of the new route at the Domtar / Whitman junction in November of 2012.  Al and I traveled the route that day with his Ford truck, adding signage along the way.  We stopped at Black Creek Outfitters and introduced ourselves.  This was 7 years ago.

 

The 2nd photo is of me on the Old Chapleau Trail south of Murray Lake.  It was always a tough area to get through, especially early in the season. If you look closely, you can see the groomer had already passed through.  

 

Tricky, I chatted with a group of guys at Aubrey Falls Trading Post about 10 years ago or so.  They had just come back from Flame Lake Lodge.  Not sure if you were with that group.

a-domtar.jpg

a-chapleau.jpg

Edited by Dan-Senior
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i can remember hopping them water holes, early season on the F trail between ranger lake road and flame lake lodge. really miss seeing Karen, Gary, and Maureen. (she makes some of the best red cabbage, i have ever had). too bad the new trails and re-routes, couldnt have included them for commerce. they gave a lot to that trail, and the clubs associated with the trail. 

 

still one of my all time favorite trails, and destination's.  glad i was able to have my wife, daughter, and many friends enjoy it with me, while it was a viable entity. Ski

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22 hours ago, Dan-Senior said:

 

Tricky, I chatted with a group of guys at Aubrey Falls Trading Post about 10 years ago or so.  They had just come back from Flame Lake Lodge.  Not sure if you were with that group.

 

Dan, thank you for the background on the creation of the D102F trail. Thanks to the Sault Trailblazers and you volunteers for creating that link to the D trail.Whether using the short cut or not, that trail is a nice ride and it is critical for us 'big loop' touring riders after the F trail north to Chapleau was shut down. What club looked after the F trail north of Aubrey Falls to Chapleau? That was a rugged bit of terrain. Was it too expensive to maintain, do you know? As ski mentioned, that was a great trail highlighted by Flame Lake Lodge and the family that operated it. They went 'above and beyond' to help and accommodate our group the first time we happened upon that area. As a result we went back several times over a fairly short period of about 4 years.

That could have been our group at AF about ten years ago. If it was, you caught us the only time that we sledded through the area from north to south. Had several trips there, south to north.

  

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chapleau had the chore of maintaining that trail. they had approx 110 miles one way to aubrey falls, in RUGGED ASS TERRAIN, 90 miles to foleyet, and 90 miles to missanabi. for the small group and town they had done a great job of keeping these links open, for loop riding. after the downturn in the economy and volunteer burnout, they just couldnt keep it up, any longer. fighting logging and reroutes, poor weather etc... the club shut down for a year or so, to regroup. now they just maintain the 60 miles to halfway haven, and the route to foleyet. still a big chunk of mileage but, a lot smaller area than previously. unfortunately with this downsizing, places like flame lake lodge,  ernies in missanabi, and many others, were cut out of the trail system, and winter commerce.   we really miss some of those businesses, and people. Ski

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Thanks Ski. That is kinda what I thought was the case. Certainly too much work for one club based in Chapleau. I miss that 'Rugged Ass Terrain' on the original C101D to Folyet. Sure separated the diehards from the rest. Some of our group are still riding after a few passes thru there, but a few packed it in after a couple of exposures. I guess they curl or watch TV now in the winter. Miss Ernie's, the long cold run up Dog Lake, and a lodge near the tracks, I believe south or west of Missanabie, operated by a couple that were 80 (him, and we celebrated his 80th with them) and quite a bite closer to 60 (her). It was a fishing/hunting lodge in the non-sledding seasons, and IIRC, the groomer operated out of their property. They were great people, as are many in the north.

 

GTC, Sorry. I just realized that I hijacked your thread for my own trip down memory lane in a part of the world that I really admire, and consequently miss. If anyone backs out on your trip at the last minute and you want a replacement, let me know.

Edited by tricky
apology
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1 hour ago, tricky said:

Thanks Ski. That is kinda what I thought was the case. Certainly too much work for one club based in Chapleau. I miss that 'Rugged Ass Terrain' on the original C101D to Folyet. Sure separated the diehards from the rest. Some of our group are still riding after a few passes thru there, but a few packed it in after a couple of exposures. I guess they curl or watch TV now in the winter. Miss Ernie's, the long cold run up Dog Lake, and a lodge near the tracks, I believe south or west of Missanabie, operated by a couple that were 80 (him, and we celebrated his 80th with them) and quite a bite closer to 60 (her). It was a fishing/hunting lodge in the non-sledding seasons, and IIRC, the groomer operated out of their property. They were great people, as are many in the north.

 

GTC, Sorry. I just realized that I hijacked your thread for my own trip down memory lane in a part of the world that I really admire, and consequently miss. If anyone backs out on your trip at the last minute and you want a replacement, let me know.

 

that was Open Season, Sometimes Sno'd Inn, in Localsh. now it is known as wabatong lodge. it was closed in 2004, then in 2009 the son (Sean) opened it back up. interesting story and history in Localsh at wabatonglodge.com. they are just accross dog lake, and northwest a tiny bit of trail, access road. the trail bypasses the town now but, the wife and i actually rode in there last week, searching for new (old) routes, for more excursions, and adventures.  i have a dream of putting my foot in lake superior, then riding to James bay, and standing on the ice, replicating older trapper, dogsled travels, of the region. who's in? Ski

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11 minutes ago, skidooboy said:

 

i have a dream of putting my foot in lake superior, then riding to James bay, and standing on the ice, replicating older trapper, dogsled travels, of the region. who's in? Ski

Your wet foot will be mighty cold by the time you get to James Bay. :lol:

 

Seriously, though, that would be a great adventure.

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This is a really good thread guys, thank you for sharing the history of our trail system...

Edited by Yukon Cornelious
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We did the big loop back in 2000. Remember alot of "rugged ass terrain."

I think I've blocked much of it out of my brain though, tough slugging through there, must have been fun in the groomer too.

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3 hours ago, tricky said:

Thanks Ski. That is kinda what I thought was the case. Certainly too much work for one club based in Chapleau. I miss that 'Rugged Ass Terrain' on the original C101D to Folyet. Sure separated the diehards from the rest. Some of our group are still riding after a few passes thru there, but a few packed it in after a couple of exposures. I guess they curl or watch TV now in the winter. Miss Ernie's, the long cold run up Dog Lake, and a lodge near the tracks, I believe south or west of Missanabie, operated by a couple that were 80 (him, and we celebrated his 80th with them) and quite a bite closer to 60 (her). It was a fishing/hunting lodge in the non-sledding seasons, and IIRC, the groomer operated out of their property. They were great people, as are many in the north.

 

GTC, Sorry. I just realized that I hijacked your thread for my own trip down memory lane in a part of the world that I really admire, and consequently miss. If anyone backs out on your trip at the last minute and you want a replacement, let me know.

No worries, its all good stuff to read as we sit and wait for snow

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The F trail from E Lake to Chapleau was a delight. Flame Lake Lodge was a lunch stop to die for and a great place to stay. As was Laurentian Lodge with their own Hydro plant. Stayed there twice on the same trip once.  The trail through the Chapleau Game reserve would sell anyone on Northern riding !   Stop in Missinabi for an Ernie’s Burger.  Made for a great loop from there through LucVille around to Wawa and Halfway and Searchmont and  Wharncliffe then east again to Spanish. 

Must find pix of that!  

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Thanks guys, this has been great reading and memories of those trails even up to just a few years ago. I am so looking forward to riding with you Dan and having a beverage or two and trading sledding stories.

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