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AkronOrange

2012 Northern Ontario Tour - Report

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Just finished the following tour:

2/25 New Liskeard - Kap (Super 8)

Took A108Q through Kirkland Lake to "A" to A111C, L25 around Timmins to "C" through Smooth Rock and into Kap. 320 miles in all. It was a little too much. The trails were good overall. There is a creek to cross on A108Q that looks a bit intimidating, can't tell the depth, but it is not a problem. All of our big heavy 4 strokes made it across without a problem. The Super 8 is a very nice hotel. The hot tub was great after a long day on the trail.

2/26 Kap - Hillsport (Hilton)

Woke up to -26C, fortunately it was sunny and the day warmed. Took top "A" all the way to Hillsport. 260 miles. "A" trail from Bambino's to Hornepayne has to be fastest 100 miles in the system; flat smooth and wide. The trails were in great shape for this leg of the journey. Lost Snowberg on the way, he took the road at one point, we thought he was ahead of us and would be sitting at the Hillton having a beer when we arrived. We were surprised not to find him there. We needed some time to ponder our options so we hydrated while we thought. First things first. Just as we were heading out, he arrived. All is well. Stayed with Gary at the Hillton, he is a great host, but his prices are a bit high. $80 each for a bed, $4 for each beer and gas. We each spent about $180. You do the math. He is a great host.

2/27 Hillsport - Klotz Lake (yes Klotz Lake)

The temp warmed some in the last 24 hours and continued to warm until we finished the tour. Gary made us a great breakfast and we headed out. "A" trail all the way. It was only a 70 mile day. It is narrow and the signing is marginal. When you see a "slow " sign here, they mean it - slow down. We arrived in Longlac as expected, at 1:00. It was our original intent to ride and ungroomed route some locals had taken to Klotz Lake. After not heeding few of those "slow" signs and having to help those heavy 4 strokes out of the powder, we decided not to venture the 30 miles to Klotz Lake camp and called for a ride. I know you're all thinking we're a bunch of wimps, but we needed to drink and eat. It was a good decision. Toni and Mike are awesome hosts. Spectacular falls short of their hospitality and kindness.

2/28 Klotz Lake - Wawa (Best Northern)

"A" back through Hillsport and Hornepayne to D108A to D'Ville to "D" to Wawa. 300 miles. The trails began to get a bit rough at this point. Not North Bay after a weekend rough, but a bit choppy in the corners and on hills. You know what I mean. We got gas at Uncles this time, it was the Esso on the way in. Uncles has been installing a bunch of new cabins recently. They have room for 30 now. We met some folks riding with a group called MischCanSka. The average age in the group is 66, fortunately we didn't have to ride behind them at all. We noticed on the whole trip that signage is lacking. Coming into Wawa we did not see a sign for the Best Northern. We saw plenty of signs for the Wawa Motor Lodge. We were told, in numerous places, that the clubs charge the businesses for their signs. Doesn't sound like a very safe practice unless someone is going to provide us with a list of Club/OFSC approved establishments. We finally found our way, but only because we had been there before. The Best Northern is a great place to stay, the food is exceptional, they have a hot tub and a sauna. The rooms are clean and do not stink like burnt wood of those at the motor lodge.

2/29 Wawa - Chapleau (Valentine Farms)

Back up "D" to "F" to Chapleau. 200 miles. I was having some trouble with a "Temp" indicator shutting down my engine. We stopped and checked the fluids, all was okay. Decided not to head on to D'Ville and rode about 20 miles back to Wawa, opened everything up and found that my reverse alarm had vibrated loose and was bouncing around and contacting the terminals on the battery. Secured the problem and continued without issue for the rest of the trip. Again the trails were choppy all the way. There was a rather large wash out on "F" just before Dalton. Two of were across safely, when I turned around to check on my partners, I saw the underside of the sled behind me. That's never a good thing, ran back to make sure everyone was okay, righted the sled and continued on to Ernies, for a burger and a beer. Continued to Chapleau, where again, there was a lack of signage unless you're going to the "The Three Mills" hotel. Coming into Chapleau is where we saw our first groomer of the trip. We did find our way to Valentine Farms. This is truly a great place. Ross Valentine will take care of you, he enjoys having us and has inside storage for our sleds.

3/1 Chapleau - Shining Tree (3 Bears)

After a great, fresh egg breakfast at Valentine Farms. We rode the C101F out of Chapleau to Timmins, fueled at the Esso and headed south on "C" to Shining Tree and our destination, 3 Bears. 300 miles. C101F was not too bad, this is a tough trail to groom. "C" around Timmins was very typical for "C" around Timmins. "C" all the way to Shining Tree was choppy. This was a difficult leg. We hadn't ridden "C" south from Timmins since it had been re-routed through the lodge and onto the lake, we did not fuel in Gogama. My fault, I remembered this trip to be about 105 miles, it was 125. We all made it to 3 Bears, one sled actually ran out on a hill, we had to get it level to get it started. "C" trail as you get near Shining Tree is a joke. It is routed over a number of lakes with portages between. There is just room enough for one sled, there cannot be any grooming, this continues for several miles. I question the safety of this trail. Kelly took good care of us. Great steaks for dinner, plenty of beer, German visitors with special shooters for us, the Sabres won and the Heat scored 100 points.

3/2 Shining Tree - New Liskeard

Another wonderful breakfast. We headed down a freshly groomed "C" to A107C and back to "A" to New Liskeard. Topped off our gas tanks at Auld Reekie then had a rather uneventful ride into New Liskeard. Got into the truck and made the 7 hour drive home.

Overall it was a very good trip. The people are the best, that's why we continue to do this. It seemed that the trails had not been groomed as regularly as previous years, it's not that they were terrible, but there were many more miles of marginal conditions than before.

I thank all of the volunteers for allowing us to enjoy the trails, without them it would not be possible.

If you have any questions about any of the areas in which I rode, please send me a PM.

Thanks to all that helped.

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AO, we weren't impressed w/ the last time we were @ the Apollo around '09. No hot tub & no pool & the rates were the same as the year before. We ended up staying @ the Park Inn across from the Beer Store. Not fancy, but a better price.

Toni @ Klotz Lake is on Facebook. I just got an answer from her that some sledders have ridden out to the place from Longlac.

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AO, we weren't impressed w/ the last time we were there around '09. No hot tub & no pool & the rates were the same. We ended up staying @ the Park Inn across from the Beer Store. Not fancy, but a better price.

AO, Toni @ Klotz Lake is on Facebook. I just got an answer from her that some sledders have ridden out to the place from Longlac.

Suppose it's "to each his own", we all have a place we like to stay and for us it is Klotz. There may not be a hot tub but the hospitality is unmatched, and that is quite a statement, there are so many people that have and continue to welcome us. Regardless of your preference, it is these great people all over that keep us coming back.

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Oh, I wasn't taking a shot @ Klotz Lake, it was the Apollo. Toni treated us well when we were thru there. I guess my post was unclear before I saw I wasn't referring to a particular place.

Sorry about that.

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That looks like a really nice trip. How many miles from Chapleau to Shining Tree? That looks like a long day. I want to wish you luck and have fun.

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Oh, I wasn't taking a shot @ Klotz Lake, it was the Apollo. Toni treated us well when we were thru there. I guess my post was unclear before I saw I wasn't referring to a particular place.

Sorry about that.

Thanks for the clarification and the tip on the Apollo.

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That looks like a really nice trip. How many miles from Chapleau to Shining Tree? That looks like a long day. I want to wish you luck and have fun.

270 miles from Chapleau to Shining Tree, 300 from Klotz to Wawa.

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Enjoy guys, we start our tour of Quebec from Cochrane saturday..

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Make sure those cats are well tuned...especially the turbo's, some very fast sled's kicking around some of those areas and they all carry Green ropes. :nana:

Trip looks like good AO...have spent some time up there already ,trails are good, snow coverage is great....keep the cronies in line, and remember to keep the old girl pinned and keep'er to the right. :crazy_grn::cheers:

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I was in Kirkland Lake this week and heard from 2 different groups on 2 different days that the river crossing (about 50 ft) on A108 about 20 minutes north of Engelhart is "open water-ice-open water". These 2 groups just went down the bank and did a skip but other groups behind them turned back and went around on another trail.

The limited section of the A-trail north of Sesekinika lake (on the IATG) is about 8 km of heavily sanded road. I'd advise re-routing to the A110Q west to the L-103 north back to the A-trail. They are both in awesome condition and a nice ride.

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Thanks for the heads up Nith. We do the reroute you suggest.

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Your info is very valuable!!! A group of 4 of us are doing our first saddle bag trip staring next monday.. Our plan is drive toTemagami (staying at Temagami shores). Day 2 Temagami to Larder Lake (Cheminis Lodge) Day 3 Larder Lake to Cochrane (Lillabelle's) Day 4 Abitibi Canyon (Lillabelles) Day 5 Cochrane to Shining Tree (3 Bears) Day 6 Shining Tree to Temagami (Temagami Shores) Any more trail info would be appreciated!!!!!!

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See trip report.

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