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  1. #1
    db9
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    Northern Algonquin - Kiosk

    We have friends who live in the area of Kiosk.. looking at a 'bad' map (meaning not much detail) I think that I see a old railway running thru the area - is this ridable? any maps available with more detail? anyone done parts of this trail - day ride - over night camp?

    Just thinking.. (scary thought)

    regards

  2. #2
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    "old" ..as in abandoned?

    Last time I was canoe tripping/trout fishing in this area the railway was active because there were numerous trains running throughout the night. Mind you I had consumed copious quantities of Southern Comfort sitting 'round the fire the previous evening which was real good for vivid dreams and hallucinations that night! For paddling across that big lake next morning with wind and white caps...not so much. But I am older and wiser than that now.
    If it was me I would instead be exploring the forest access roads shown in black that snake off from the road into Kiosk per the map below. And maybe picking a fatbike if you have that in your quiver.
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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  3. #3
    db9
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    BCD.. thanks - our friends live just up the road from Kiosk. planning to be up there in the spring to visit and help around the farm.
    No fat bike.. I have a quiver of one - Niner Jet.. idea about what kind of ride to expect on these roads? precautions? The image that you posted looks as if it came from software - are any of these roads on a 'paper' map?

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    Quote Originally Posted by db9 View Post
    BCD.. thanks - our friends live just up the road from Kiosk. planning to be up there in the spring to visit and help around the farm.
    No fat bike.. I have a quiver of one - Niner Jet.. idea about what kind of ride to expect on these roads? precautions? The image that you posted looks as if it came from software - are any of these roads on a 'paper' map?
    Not familiar with these but typically they vary from simple cottage road over natural terrain to logging roads which are bulldozed with lots of gravel and stone fill. Your friends should know maybe? Yes its great software and I can zoom down to small detail. I can send you a zoomed in screen shot of an area you are interested in if you want.
    Backroads Mapbook should show them but the scale is so crude, I find the book to be rather useless. Topographical maps are good but getting the one you need easily could be a challenge
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Last time I was canoe tripping/trout fishing in this area the railway was active because there were numerous trains running throughout the night. Mind you I had consumed copious quantities of Southern Comfort sitting 'round the fire the previous evening which was real good for vivid dreams and hallucinations that night! For paddling across that big lake next morning with wind and white caps...not so much. But I am older and wiser than that now.
    If it was me I would instead be exploring the forest access roads shown in black that snake off from the road into Kiosk per the map below. And maybe picking a fatbike if you have that in your quiver.
    I had to google it as my memory was foggy, but it appears that line closed in 1995. I haven't heard anything lately about trail news in Algonquin park, it is one seriously underdeveloped resource as far as bicycles go. Years ago they were working on a network of winter trails, which I think got set aside due to some safety issues. They were intended for snowshoeing, as fat biking had not yet been invented. But just imagine fat-biking on real singletrack (which is what those trails were, they were not wide nor straight enough for snowmobiles or dogsleds) in Algonquin in late winter/ early spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Backroads Mapbook should show them but the scale is so crude, I find the book to be rather useless. Topographical maps are good but getting the one you need easily could be a challenge
    BCD is right that the Backroads Mapbook is utter crap. Better off using Google Earth to look at stuff.

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    Kay is correct, the rail line was decommissioned in the early 90s and all the track and ties have beem removed. The gravel railbed is still there, and it is that lumpy lava rock stuff, probably only rideable on a fat bike. I know people who drive vehicles on it (you are not supposed to), so it is drivable, at least. The main reason that this trail cannot be developed is that the rail line property still belongs to CNR and there are all kinds of issues to be dealt with (environmental, legal, liability, etc.). It is really too bad because the route of the rail line from Kiosk to McManus would be a world-class bikepacking route, with campsites already established and some stunning scenery along the Petawawa River.

    You need to be careful riding those logging roads in the park, many of them are in active use.

    I have not been paying attention to MTBR over the winter (sorry, gotta ski), so don't know if this has been posted already: in February, APP quietly opened the XC trails at Fen Lake and Leaf Lake, plus the Old Rail Line (from Mew lake to Cache Lake), to fatbikes. The only rule is to stay out of the track set for XC skiers. A friend of mine rode the David Thomson loop on the Leaf Lake trail system and reported that it just about the most fun he had ever had on a bicycle, and believe me, this guy has spent a lot of time in the saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestdawg View Post

    I have not been paying attention to MTBR over the winter (sorry, gotta ski), so don't know if this has been posted already: in February, APP quietly opened the XC trails at Fen Lake and Leaf Lake, plus the Old Rail Line (from Mew lake to Cache Lake), to fatbikes. The only rule is to stay out of the track set for XC skiers. A friend of mine rode the David Thomson loop on the Leaf Lake trail system and reported that it just about the most fun he had ever had on a bicycle, and believe me, this guy has spent a lot of time in the saddle.
    Well, that is news indeed. The old rail line is one thing. Leaf lake is a very different matter altogether. That was a long and somewhat challenging trail when I last skied it. If you say it's open for biking, rideable, and as much fun as skiing if not more so, then I'd have to say that is a BIG step for Algonquin.

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    Yes, it was a bit of an experiment on the park's part but even the skeptic who grooms the LL trails admitted that the bikes didn't make much of a dent. My friend rode both Pinetree and the DT loop in pretty firm (and cold) conditions with two other guys. He reported that Pinetree was nice but there was some HAB on the long hills. In this case, it a good thing since walking gave them an oportunity to warm their feet. DT had been only groomed by snowmobile packing, no tracksetter, so was very suitable for fatbiking. The Old Rail Trail is pretty flat but would be a good intro to winter riding. If you know them, talk to the bike shop crew at AO in Huntsville (Glenn, Donnie, etc.), they will have more beta.

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    That is pretty big and exciting news. We were actually destined for xc skiing in AP today but we're taking a rest day after a few days of sloppy spring alpine skiing.

    Any idea if Leaf Lake or Fen Lake trail would be open to bikes in the summer?
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_o View Post
    Any idea if Leaf Lake or Fen Lake trail would be open to bikes in the summer?
    I doubt it. Park staff have been making noises about improving the Minnissing Trail, which is a bit rough around the edges to put it mildly. Trouble is that MNRF "improvements" usually involve heavy equipment and long term trail closures. A dedicated crew with loppers, mattocks and rakes could make a lot of improvements to that trail in a much shorter time.

  12. #12
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    Ugh Minnissing. So little flow. I can bushwack in the ravine two mi utes away.
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestdawg View Post
    I doubt it. Park staff have been making noises about improving the Minnissing Trail, which is a bit rough around the edges to put it mildly.
    For my purposes, repairing a few washouts to bring it back to 1990s conditions would suffice. Although I didn't ride it least summer, as it bucketed rain for each of the five straight days I was in the park.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    For my purposes, repairing a few washouts to bring it back to 1990s conditions would suffice. Although I didn't ride it least summer, as it bucketed rain for each of the five straight days I was in the park.
    Don't remind me about the rain last summer.

    Agreed on bringing back to '90s conditions, those were the heydays of the Minnissing Trail. I live in Huntsville and the only time I think about riding the MT is during hunting season, because it offers a safe haven and an adventure ride in November. Bring a fatbike.

    To Greg_o's comment about flow, absolutely correct. But imagine what a destination it could be if the existing trails were upgraded to nice doubletrack, and a whole new network of flowy trails was built in between and around, kind of like Buckwallow? Add in some bikepacking campsites and it would be worth the drive from Southern Ontario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestdawg View Post
    Don't remind me about the rain last summer.

    Agreed on bringing back to '90s conditions, those were the heydays of the Minnissing Trail. I live in Huntsville and the only time I think about riding the MT is during hunting season, because it offers a safe haven and an adventure ride in November. Bring a fatbike.

    To Greg_o's comment about flow, absolutely correct. But imagine what a destination it could be if the existing trails were upgraded to nice doubletrack, and a whole new network of flowy trails was built in between and around, kind of like Buckwallow? Add in some bikepacking campsites and it would be worth the drive from Southern Ontario.
    I rode Minnesing some years ago... what happened to it? If it lacks flow, which I also thought it did, that's probably because part of it is an old road grade. No way to get flow out of a road. It was a good first chapter for mountain biking nonetheless, but I think the time has come for Algonquin management to dig a little deeper. The potential they have to work with is unparalleled in so many ways. They have a resource that's the equivalent of any national park, without the restrictions of Parks Canada. By comparison, Ontario parks is far more progressive about multiple uses co-existing with eco-preservation. Resource extraction being the elephant in that room. Way way down that list, you have the minimal impact of a singletrack trail network. Ought to be a no-brainer.

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    While we're on the topic has anyone ever considered taking a peek at some of the unofficial roads (presumably logging roads)? There's a pretty detailed map here showing that it might be possible to do so.

    From what I understand you are allowed to walk on the roads, but since bikes are considered 'vehicles' in Algonquin you're not allowed to bike them. It seems pretty common practice for people in other parts of North America to ride 'restricted' logging roads, has anyone ever tried it in Algonquin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by poo_head View Post
    While we're on the topic has anyone ever considered taking a peek at some of the unofficial roads (presumably logging roads)? There's a pretty detailed map here showing that it might be possible to do so.

    From what I understand you are allowed to walk on the roads, but since bikes are considered 'vehicles' in Algonquin you're not allowed to bike them. It seems pretty common practice for people in other parts of North America to ride 'restricted' logging roads, has anyone ever tried it in Algonquin?
    Simple answer, cyclists and walkers are not permitted on the logging roads. It would be pretty boring riding anyway, they tend to avoid hills and do not have much scenic value. IMHO, it is an error in judgement to show them on that map. Here is a quote from the APP Rules and regulations posted on the FOAP website:


    • Roads not shown on the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Provincial Park map-brochure are closed to unauthorized travel. A Park permit is not authorization to travel on a closed road.
    Note that the map you are referring to is not the official map referred to the quote above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestdawg View Post
    Simple answer, cyclists and walkers are not permitted on the logging roads. It would be pretty boring riding anyway, they tend to avoid hills and do not have much scenic value. IMHO, it is an error in judgement to show them on that map. Here is a quote from the APP Rules and regulations posted on the FOAP website:



    Note that the map you are referring to is not the official map referred to the quote above.
    Hey Forestdawg,

    Apologies for resurrecting an older thread, but as the creator of the map I just wanted to follow up briefly to set the record straight regarding Algonquin's logging roads.

    It is indeed legal to walk them, but since bikes are vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act, it is an offence to bike any closed roads.

    You'll note that I stylize those roads differently and include notes in bold black text all over the map and in the legend trying to make it clear that driving/biking/canoe carting them is illegal and that it's only legal to walk them.

    Essentially, the concern is that the roads make it easy to get places that are otherwise remote and relatively untouched. I know park staff are concerned about overfishing and other damage caused by more people accessing those otherwise rarely visited places.

    While I certainly appreciate your thought that it's an error in judgement to show them (presumably because you feel it implies they're bikeable even though it's illegal to do so?) this is something I've thought long and hard about over the years.

    Fundamentally my map is intended only for canoeists, kayakers and backpackers. It's not a road map. For that audience the roads represent an opportunity to explore on foot, help determine what areas of the park might be noisy (when used alongside the Algonquin Forestry Authority's Annual Work Schedule map - see http://logging.jmap.it), clarify where portages follow roads and for how long they do so and offer an overview of potential emergency evacuation routes should someone get into serious trouble on a trip.

    While I don't expect that the park will ever open up any of the logging roads for public biking I've heard rumblings about more resources being directed towards bike trails in the park.

    I hope that clears things up a bit

    -Jeffrey

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmcm View Post
    Hey Forestdawg,

    Apologies for resurrecting an older thread, but as the creator of the map I just wanted to follow up briefly to set the record straight regarding Algonquin's logging roads.

    It is indeed legal to walk them, but since bikes are vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act, it is an offence to bike any closed roads.

    You'll note that I stylize those roads differently and include notes in bold black text all over the map and in the legend trying to make it clear that driving/biking/canoe carting them is illegal and that it's only legal to walk them.

    Essentially, the concern is that the roads make it easy to get places that are otherwise remote and relatively untouched. I know park staff are concerned about overfishing and other damage caused by more people accessing those otherwise rarely visited places.

    While I certainly appreciate your thought that it's an error in judgement to show them (presumably because you feel it implies they're bikeable even though it's illegal to do so?) this is something I've thought long and hard about over the years.

    Fundamentally my map is intended only for canoeists, kayakers and backpackers. It's not a road map. For that audience the roads represent an opportunity to explore on foot, help determine what areas of the park might be noisy (when used alongside the Algonquin Forestry Authority's Annual Work Schedule map - see http://logging.jmap.it), clarify where portages follow roads and for how long they do so and offer an overview of potential emergency evacuation routes should someone get into serious trouble on a trip.

    While I don't expect that the park will ever open up any of the logging roads for public biking I've heard rumblings about more resources being directed towards bike trails in the park.

    I hope that clears things up a bit

    -Jeffrey
    Hola Jeffrey,

    I appreciate your point of view as the map maker, and thanks for chiming in. From your point of view, it is indeed a tough call. Most, if not all, of those roads are viewable on Google Earth, so why not put them on a map? I would argue that if the recreational user is not supposed to have access to those roads, why tempt them? If is not a road map, why show the roads? We could debate all day. I don't buy the emergency argument. The people who come to rescue folks will mostly likely be arriving by aircraft, or be MNRF staff who know where the roads are with or without your map. I've got a story about people lost on a portage who followed a road shown on your map, only to become more lost though they were not far from a marked portage. It is a double-edged sword. Thankfully they had cell reception and could call for advice and directions. Might give you a clue who Forestdawg is.

    The rumblings are indeed happening but from what I hear, any bike trail developments in AP in the near future will be along existing or historical trails.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmcm View Post
    I've heard rumblings about more resources being directed towards bike trails in the park.
    I guess we can always hope.

    But the (permanent, apparently) closure of the Linda Lake loop of the Minnesing Trail seems to be all that has happened lately...for summer riding, anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I guess we can always hope.

    But the (permanent, apparently) closure of the Linda Lake loop of the Minnesing Trail seems to be all that has happened lately...for summer riding, anyways.
    Exactly...due to lack of resources. So the statement that more resources are being directed towards bike trails in Algonquin is total bull moose shit!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Exactly...due to lack of resources. So the statement that more resources are being directed towards bike trails in Algonquin is total bull moose shit!
    True. Not resources but at least some thinking. I do not work for the MNRF but have inside intel. Some experimental rides have been done on the David Thompson loop of the Leaf Lake system, in both summer and winter, with Algonquin Park blessing. Reports are that it is awesome old school riding. Plus the old rail line from Whitney to Rock Lake, extending into the current rail trail system. Park staff are very supportive but have no money to develop trail. Bit of a conumdrum. Baby steps, on government time. Fat bikes are currently allowed on the rail trail, Fen Lake, Minnessing (good luck) and Leaf Lake systems in winter. BCD, check with Donnie, he has been talking to the park guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestdawg View Post
    Fat bikes are currently allowed on the rail trail, Fen Lake, Minnessing (good luck) and Leaf Lake systems in winter. BCD, check with Donnie, he has been talking to the park guys.
    I'm surprised Donnie has not mentioned this to me, but then I haven't seen him much or ridden with him for 2 years...

    I will be looking for more info on this in the coming winter, could make for some phenom spring riding!!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Hiking from the Barclay Estate on Rock Lake east along the railbed has been on my bucket for awhile now. I just can't seem to get around to it.

    I think that addition to the ORBT has been mentioned even before the trail was extended by utilizing part of the Track & Tower Trail.

    One can always hope.
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    I did similar trip over a couple days around 2003? Was east of Kiosk. Tracks are all up was only rail bed gravel, harder riding on large stone bed, but on larger wheels etc of these days may be fine. I went south on an access road a few km west of Mattawa. Followed it south past some homesteads towards park boundary . Did it late April. Gravel road. Came to a gate. Parked and rode in to what is now ( seems like different name ) little Cauchon lake. ( google earth shows) Gate was likely 15 km before lake. Did run into one logging pick up near tracks. Chatted. Not worried. Did see a couple old logging grave yards and mill sites near water, was interesting. Purpose of trip was to try to recover ( not successful ) something lost after helicopter inserted us to a forest fire cause by train on north shore of lake mid 1900s . Road in and out same day. Explored some off shoot logging roads next day. Wild life a concern !? As far as MINNISING trail. What a joke. They have had Twenty 20 years to jump on bike band wagon with some awesome opportunities for trails, not to mention Fixing that washed out joke of a walking let alone bike trail. Outer loop once way back was great, but tried again last year to get in with a couple intermediate skill riders, they cursed the turn around walk out and never returned.

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