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Team NFI
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A bit of a question mark for bikepacking - the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance (www.thetrail.ca) bills these as multi use trails, but they are basically snowmobile/atv trails, some of which may be impassable in summer. A lot of them are rail trails. It's hard to find on their website, but a trail pass for a bicycle is $50 a year, or $5 per day, but I don't think there is much in the way of patrolling.
Their interactive map is at Maps

I may do some exploring of the Cloyne to Coe Hill trails this summer, but I read an account of a trip by trail motorcycle on some dirtbike forum that sounded like it is a tough slog at best.

Hopefully some of these trails could be developed for bikepacking excursions. If I get out that way, I'll report on trail conditions.
As far as I know no membership needed. When you look at the map the route marked with black the Cataraqui Trail is open for all to use. Though it should be noted the map is screwy as it does not end at Newburg but further towards Napanee at Strathcona at the paper mill.

It should be mentioned that the K&P trail not shown has been pushed further north past Harrowsmith with the long ter, goal of getting to Sharbot Lake.
 

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Muskoka
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Muskoka Bikepack

Did this overnighter out from Gravenhurst to the Torrance Barrens Trails via The Old Stone Road Trail, then return via the Devils Gap Trail. Weather was fantastic, bugs were a none issue on Saturday but deer flies were bad on Devil's Gap on Sunday to the point where about 2/3 through I finally stopped and smeared myself with Muskol ....something I rarely do!

















More pics..
https://goo.gl/photos/Ud3NhJMCPwrPK6oL7
 

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Finally!
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Did this overnighter out from Gravenhurst to the Torrance Barrens Trails, then return via the Devils Gap Trail. Weather was fantastic, bugs were a none issue on Saturday but deer flies were bad on Devil's Gap to the point where about 2/3 through I finally stopped and smeared myself with Muskol ....something I rarely do! Link to all the pics...
https://goo.gl/photos/Ud3NhJMCPwrPK6oL7
Looks awesome. I might do the same loop in September.
 

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Has anyone bikepacked in the Queen Elizabeth Wildlands II? We've backpacked the trails before (We've done sections of the Ganaraska, Montgomery, and Ragged Rapids trails) but was thinking of taking our fatbikes for a quick overnight.
 

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Has anyone bikepacked in the Queen Elizabeth Wildlands II? We've backpacked the trails before (We've done sections of the Ganaraska, Montgomery, and Ragged Rapids trails) but was thinking of taking our fatbikes for a quick overnight.


Never bike packed it, but I've been backpacking on the "wilderness section" up by Minden. It was very challenging, it would be lots of hike a bike.


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Never bike packed it, but I've been backpacking on the "wilderness section" up by Minden. It was very challenging, it would be lots of hike a bike.


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There would definitely be challenges such as the many beaver dams and small scrambling sections but I will probably head out there sometime in Oct to give it a shot!
 

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A bit of a question mark for bikepacking - the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance (www.thetrail.ca) bills these as multi use trails, but they are basically snowmobile/atv trails, some of which may be impassable in summer. A lot of them are rail trails. It's hard to find on their website, but a trail pass for a bicycle is $50 a year, or $5 per day, but I don't think there is much in the way of patrolling.
Their interactive map is at Maps

I may do some exploring of the Cloyne to Coe Hill trails this summer, but I read an account of a trip by trail motorcycle on some dirtbike forum that sounded like it is a tough slog at best.

Hopefully some of these trails could be developed for bikepacking excursions. If I get out that way, I'll report on trail conditions.
I've snowmobiled over that area quite a few times and the "northern" route that follows the powerline from the Silva Lake area to Hwy 41 is very rugged. The "southern" route to Skootamatta may a better choice. It has been a while since I've taken that trail, but it seemed flatter (being a relative term) & straighter.
 

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Has anyone bikepacked in the Queen Elizabeth Wildlands II?
4 or 5 years ago (at least) I contacted the GTA who maintains the trail and asked about bikes and the permission/status on the trail...they replied that bikes are not welcome, and the email reply was CC'ed to someone at the BTA (Bruce Trail), for some undisclosed reaso. I felt like I hit some kind of political nerve and decided to look elsewhere...
 

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This has possibilities:

Renfrew County signs historic rail trail deal | Pembroke Daily Observer

From what I saw of the railbed in the Mackey Creek area (between Rolphton & Stonecliffe) the ballast is very coarse. This route was the CPR's main line between Smiths Falls & Sudbury, so the trackage was well maintained. In 2015 I was camped @ Driftwood PP & thought I'd take my bike for a ride along the railbed (tracks had been lifted). One look @ the ballast & I said that's not going to happen.

A fat bike is a must if 1 were to think of riding the route as it stands now.

From my post in the Nfld by Fatbike thread:

That's a pet peeve I have w/ the "work" that is done to some of the railbeds in southern Ontario. "Oh a load of crushed stone will be fine to spread along the trail". NOT! Several years ago I rode the old CPR railbed from Dranoel to Lindsay. For the most part the trail is OK for a typical MTB, but there was one long stretch that had been surfaced w/ crushed. Pedaling along it was like trying to cycle thru the Playroom @ a McD's.

On your trip would a MTB w/ + sized tires be OK?

Pretty sure we don't have any routes that long in Ontario, mind you the former CPR line from Mattawa to Smiths Falls is being set up as a multi-use trail. Seeing the railbed (large ballast) north of Deep River last summer, a fat bike would be a necessity.

Two other longer lines that are currently available are the Hasting Heritage Trail on the old CN Marmora Sub from Trenton to Wallace & the former CPR line from just east of Havelock to Glen Tay. Not sure what the regs say about camping along those routes.

One rail line that comes up in conversation in Algonquin circles is the former CN Beachburg Sub that runs from the Ottawa River east of Pembroke to just outside of North Bay. A lot of people wish something would happen w/ it, but I don't think anything will ever come of it.

There is also the abandoned CN railbed from Capreol east to North Bay. The OFSC uses it as a snowmobile trail from Capreol to Crystal Falls. I think the land ownership may be in question east of there, explaining why the sled trail doesn't go directly to North Bay.
 

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4 or 5 years ago (at least) I contacted the GTA who maintains the trail and asked about bikes and the permission/status on the trail...they replied that bikes are not welcome, and the email reply was CC'ed to someone at the BTA (Bruce Trail), for some undisclosed reaso. I felt like I hit some kind of political nerve and decided to look elsewhere...
That's really weird because the Bruce Trail doesn't even cut through the park. Also, ATV's are permitted in the QEWII so I don't see why cycling isn't welcome. I did a bit of googling and found photos of cyclists posted on the ganaraska trail website.
 

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Plenty of Options

Just completed a three day bikepacking trip in the Pickerel and Still river area. I used the Backroads map to get a general idea of what was available. We just covered 114 kms in 3 days, with some bush roads, quad trails and good gravel road. Met quads and some vehicles but under 12 total for the 3 days.

Last year we did a loop on the VMUTS trail system between North Bay and Mattawa.

Venture into the northern part of central Ontario and even north eastern Ontario. Plenty of old logging roads that are being used by ATV's. You find remote lakes, fishing holes and hunting camps of all kinds. Be respectfull and visible and you'll be fine. It's not like riding single track in Albion but it's an exercise in adventure and discovery.
 

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Since there has been talk about bikepacking routes in Ontario I thought I'd share another idea(more like a dream lol) of a backcountry route. The Severn River Conservation Preserve is the huge area South-West of Gravenhurst going all the way down into Severn Township North of Orillia. The trail starts a with a mix of bedrock and dirt ATV trail in the woods but after 5km it opens up into large areas of bedrock connected by short trails through clumps of trees. You will think you're in Torrance as it is that similar. So the idea is to connect these trails together from the end of New Brailey Line all the up to Torrence Barrens. This would be around 30km as the crow flies from start to possible river crossings to Torrence. From there you can jump onto BlackCanoeDogs' route adding to the distance. I hope to get a free weekend soon to get way farther out there with a GPS but thought I'd share this incase anyone else has the adventure bug biting them.

Area

Possible route.jpg

What the terrain is like going in the first few Kms

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And then it opens up to bedrock

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Used to do a race ( in my case 100 km survival ride) at vmuts. ' Lost in the Rocks and Trees' great area and very scenic. Stayed in Mattawa. Sure an area for overnight trips . Home
 
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