Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON

    A few weeks back, friends and I rode a portion of the Seguin Trail in the Muskoka region of Ontario.

    Seven guys riding different bikes.


    Young Paul on a 26” mtb converted to drop-bars
    Big Paul on a 26” mtb he built from old parts
    Joe, on a huge Surly ECR
    Adrian, also on an ECR, just not as huge
    Grant, on a super light 9Zero7 carbon Whiteout
    Ted, on a small Salsa Mukluk
    and I, on a Felt DD30:

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-11222159_10153621254128762_3889984761143620119_o.jpg
    ————
    We meet at Tall Tree Cycles (our local bike shop) at about noon. One last gear check, bikes are strapped to the bike racks, some chit chat and all... An hour later, we’re off. Adrian puts on the tunes. Mostly 80s punk.

    Coffee stop in Barry’s Bay. We buy beer next door while we’re at it. Grant forgets his coffee on the rooftop of the car. The Windows are covered in foamy latte. Bye Bye, caffeine…


    We get to Parry Sound at about 6:30pm. Quick stop at the grocery store to pick up dinner items. We set up camp at Oastler Lake Provincial Park for the night.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-11118387_10156103713100453_7378269680298789625_o.jpg

    By now it's 7:30pm. Dinner is cooking, we make a nice bonfire and have beer to keep us going for some time.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12138578_10156103713600453_3889694324490453153_o.jpg

    Needless to say we go to bed late (or I should say “I” go to bed late, the others are used to this), and pretty tipsy...! It's a cool night, about 2 or 3C. I sleep with a tuque on…


    Before our trip, I had read that Oastler Provincial Park was near train tracks. A ton of people had reviewed the Park and had mentioned the noise from the train... I had come prepared. I put on earplugs and sleep soundly. My poor friends toss and turn all night!


    Next morning is slow, as expected. We burn the rest of the wood, have coffee, make breakfast.


    We reach the trailhead by 10am. Two of the dudes had decided to stealth camp the night before and so we meet up with them. We waste a bit of time, drink a beer or two and finally hit the trail an hour later.


    It's on.


    ————


    the Seguin Trail is part of the Park-to Park trail, an east-west link through Parry Sound and Muskoka Districts and Haliburton County. It connects Killbear Provincial Park to Algonquin Provincial Park. The Park-to-Park trail is about 230 kilometres long; the Sequin Trail, about 70km.

    Here is the map:


    Map ? Park to Park Trail


    The Sequin Trail is a rail bed. The rail corridor is said to have been constructed by JR Booth in the late 1800s for moving lumber from the Ottawa River area to shipping yards on Georgian Bay. The rails are long gone now. The trail is quite popular with motorized vehicles, ATV, dual sport bikes, SxS, etc. It’s also popular with mountain bikers.


    While most trailbeads are straight and, well, pretty uneventful, this one is different. It twists and turns a little more, there are rocks everywhere, and, as we will soon lear, there are substantial mud puddles.


    It takes us a minute to realize that this is going to be a great ride.
    ————


    Joe, quickly takes off on his huge bike and sets a fast pace.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-11224397_10156103713635453_3939634074896668302_o.jpg

    We're huffing and puffing behind. We see a lot of people wearing orange race bibs, turns out they are participating to a 24hr race called "Wilderness Traverse". We cheer them on, but after several dozen racers pass by, it starts being a chore!


    This trail is awesome. It's unlike any other trail bed I've seen before. Lost of exposed rocks. Lots of holes everywhere. I have to concentrate hard to read the track and try to find the best line. As always, I end up taking the worst ones.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12139983_10156103713355453_4978673922702406519_o.jpg

    We go on like this for a while and decide to head for Sprucedale, about 50km from the trailhead.


    We reach a very sandy area at about km 25. Some of the dudes take the road instead of the trail. It's hard. It's sandy and rocky, but it's a ton of fun.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12080111_10156103713520453_4600300841452903099_o.jpg


    We pass Seguin Falls and decide to plow on for another few km before we break for lunch.


    But first, we have to pass three large mud puddles. Waist deep (except for Joe, only knee deep for him!).


    Grant, Joe and Big Paul plow through. The rest of us prefer not to get wet if we don't have to. I'm wearing heavy denim pants and leather boots. I know, I know. Not the greatest decision...


    We clear the first puddle from the side, then the second. But the third... I try to go to the side and start sinking... And sank all the way down to my belt. Yeah, the boys laughed at me for the remainder of the trip! At that point all riders have to clear the puddles, and so we embraced the mud.

    Ride report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12067829_1097615293597055_543911214_n.jpgRide report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12071694_1097615143597070_610078390_n.jpgRide report - Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, ON-12084113_1097615090263742_1573327997_n.jpg


    Soon after we stopped for lunch. It's cold and windy, and let’s face it, my clothes are not going to dry… We decide it's best to go back to Oastler Lake or the night, make another nice bonfire, drink some beer and dry off. So that's what we did. Through the puddles we go again, and after a long afternoon of riding, we’re back at the trailhead. More beers. Then back to the campsite. It soon starts to rain…


    We're in bed by 10pm and sleep soundly…. As soundly as we can with trains passing by every hour.

    More pictures of our trip here:


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulga...57659119403188

  2. #2
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    Finally! I was wondering where the thread had gone! Seems it was in limbo for a half-day or so from the time I posted last night. All is good. Happy to see that it passed the moderators

  3. #3
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Nice pics and write-up...thanks for sharing!

    Been thinking about doing all or part of the P2P trail myself someday.

  4. #4
    Muskoka
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    Yep ... nice write up and pics, enjoyed the flikr link too. Have been curious about this trail, sounds good except for the waist deep puddles!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Yep ... nice write up and pics, enjoyed the flikr link too. Have been curious about this trail, sounds good except for the waist deep puddles!
    Thanks! It wouldn't be so bad to cross those puddles in the middle of summer. I was just not prepared for that to happen in early October...!

    It's been pretty dry this summer in my part of Ontario (I'm in Ottawa). Not sure if things are the same in Muskoka. If so, then those puddles would be dry. You could always check with the Park-to-Park Trail crew to see how things look. They are active on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/p2ptrails/?fref=ts

    I think the puddles are in the Manitouwaba Lake area.

  6. #6
    Muskoka
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    Quote Originally Posted by simasona View Post
    Thanks! It wouldn't be so bad to cross those puddles in the middle of summer. I was just not prepared for that to happen in early October...!

    It's been pretty dry this summer in my part of Ontario (I'm in Ottawa). Not sure if things are the same in Muskoka. If so, then those puddles would be dry. You could always check with the Park-to-Park Trail crew to see how things look. They are active on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/p2ptrails/?fref=ts

    I think the puddles are in the Manitouwaba Lake area.
    Agreed! Hotter and drier summer in Muskoka so far this year, certainly when compared to last two. And once we are into mid September and beyond there is usually much rain. Thanks for the additional info, it looks like a rather sweet bike packing ride!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  7. #7
    Sweet Monkey Tuesday!
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    BlackCanoeDog just sent me a message asking some more questions about this thread a few minutes ago and after reading it I realised that I saw a fat bike loaded up for a trip right around the time you made the trip at the Tim Horton's at Horseshoe Lake Road but didn't have time to strike up a conversation...

    Anyhow, just a few weeks before you made this trip I made a solo attempt going West from Kearney. A friend of mine and I had always wanted to do the trail but didn't make it a priority because of the amount of sand we always saw in the middle section. Having left Kearney on a bike with 29x2.5" rubber I decided I'd go fat bike next time. Most of the far East end was dry but heavily rutted - some sections almost as though they had just left the rail ties in place. I only ran across one significant water crossing - it was about knee deep while riding and about 4-500m long where the swamp had burst over the trail. But being warmer in early October and nice clear water it wasn't a big concern. There were a couple smaller puddles along the way, but nothing show stopping. What stopped my ride was the last about 4-5km into Sprucedale were being logged and approaching beach sand consistency. But when I started west from Sprucedale it was full on, deep beach sand - unrideable on skinny tires - and when I waved down one of the ATV guys they said that it was pretty much the same going west almost as far as Sequin Falls.

    Some day I'll make another pass at is coming from the west end like you did.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Pedachenko View Post
    Some day I'll make another pass at is coming from the west end like you did.
    Keep me in the loop, I'd be up for that!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  9. #9
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    Fat tires only? ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Pedachenko View Post
    I made a solo attempt going West from Kearney. A friend of mine and I had always wanted to do the trail but didn't make it a priority because of the amount of sand we always saw in the middle section. Having left Kearney on a bike with 29x2.5" rubber I decided I'd go fat bike next time. Most of the far East end was dry but heavily rutted - some sections almost as though they had just left the rail ties in place. I only ran across one significant water crossing - it was about knee deep while riding and about 4-500m long where the swamp had burst over the trail. But being warmer in early October and nice clear water it wasn't a big concern. There were a couple smaller puddles along the way, but nothing show stopping. What stopped my ride was the last about 4-5km into Sprucedale were being logged and approaching beach sand consistency. But when I started west from Sprucedale it was full on, deep beach sand - unrideable on skinny tires - and when I waved down one of the ATV guys they said that it was pretty much the same going west almost as far as Sequin Falls.
    Wow---so
    fat tires only?
    I was hoping to ride my cross bike with 700 x 35 tires. No go?

  10. #10
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    Big thanks to Simasona for this report!!
    Wonder what months are best for this ride, regarding snow, mud, blackflies, etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flydyl View Post
    Wow---so
    fat tires only?
    I was hoping to ride my cross bike with 700 x 35 tires. No go?
    Two of our friends were on rigid 26" mtb and they were pretty beaten up by the end of the day. Not to say it's not feasible, though... But it's a rough trail. Lots of exposed rocks and lots of mud when it's wet. But again, when there's a will, there's a way


    Quote Originally Posted by Flydyl View Post
    Big thanks to Simasona for this report!!
    Wonder what months are best for this ride, regarding snow, mud, blackflies, etc.
    The Muskokas are some ways from where I live (Ottawa) and we don't get the same weather patterns... But I can tell you this: the trail is very eroded and nothing is done to improve drainage. If the snow base is heavy and the spring is cold and wet, these trails may not be opened until late spring... Which coincides with black fly season! The black flies die down a month later and the mosquitoes are in full force until august.

    I'd hit the trail then. August to October. Make sure to check whether hunting is taking place (you can easily google ontario "hunting regulations", figure out the hunting zone number and then see if anything is going on in that zone at the time you'd like to go). If that's the case, wear something orange.

    If you want the most up-to-date information regarding the trail, I'd suggest that you post a message on the Park to Park Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/p2ptrails/ The people in charge of the trail are friendly and will probably post a couple of pictures to give you an idea of the conditions.

    If you end up going, post up!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flydyl View Post
    Wow---so
    fat tires only?
    I was hoping to ride my cross bike with 700 x 35 tires. No go?
    I mentioned the exposed rocks and the mud... I had forgotten about the sand. As Biff pointed out, there's lots of that too.

  13. #13
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    Just did this trail from scotia at hwy 11 to killbear.
    I fully echo the sentiments that this is not your typical rail trail! Almost ate me up and spat me out...
    hopefully the link to the google album works here. Needless to say it was a little moist.

    https://goo.gl/photos/mJSqEjwGgEFqe2m3A

  14. #14
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    Nice pics!

    How were the bugs?

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