Day of Discovery – Pipeline Road

The weather has been exceptional up here for the last few days, and I’m taking full advantage of it.  I decided to take a look at an area that I’ve had on my wilderness access possibilities list for a while.  It’s a road just a little north of town and, for lack of a better name, I will call it Pipeline Road.

Just like a lot of the lakes around here, many of the secondary roads don’t have official names but on my maps they do show it as a road which is along a natural gas pipeline.  It appears that this gas pipeline was constructed to supply gas to one of the mine sites in the area but, since the mine is no longer in use, I’m guessing that the gas line is also dormant.

However, it appeared from my maps that the road along the gas line could be an excellent wilderness access road, and the map shows that it goes for miles into the bush, so I wanted to do a visual check first to see what it was like.  There has been road construction going on in this area but, since it was Sunday, there were no workers there today, and all was quiet.

As I started to walk in on this road, this was the first thing I saw;

I really don’t think that this road has been used for logging in many years, if at all, but the message is meant to warn of possible poor road conditions ahead.

Make sure you have enough gas too!

Not far down the road, I found another one of these trails maps.  There are ATV/Snowmobile trails running off this road as far as I walked in.

This is all Crown Land in here, and it is free to access and camp on, if you can find a suitable spot.  I did speak to a couple of guys the other day, who were mapping the trails in this area, about Crown Land camping and I’m quickly getting the feeling that this subject is somewhat taboo.  The people who do it don’t want you to know where ‘their’ spots are, and the officials who administer the area don’t want to advertise that it’s available.  Some of the problems exist because of people who find camping spots on Crown Land and claim it as their own, by putting up barriers, or parking a trailer, or by building some kind of quickly slapped together structure.

It’s the old human nature of….give’em an inch, and they’ll take a mile.  We humans can be a very greedy bunch on one hand, but with accessible Crown Land at a premium here in Ontario, it is somewhat understandable that people want to keep it as secret as possible so that they have a quiet place to go to.

However, claiming public lands as your own is a bit of a stretch, and I can also understand why those people responsible for administering these lands would be upset with such practices.  There will always be people who will take advantage of any given situation and, in the process, ruin opportunities for others.  The way governments tend to deal with problems like this is to make everyone suffer by banning this and that, or closing access.

Anyway, it is what it is, and my only concern is to find accessible Crown Lands that exist right now.  If someone has taken up residence on Crown Lands in any particular spot, then so be it, I’ll just move on to another.  I haven’t personally run into any of this yet, but I’m told that it is happening so at least I got a heads up.

I really love these kinds of places, where there are no fences and you can walk for miles in a quiet natural environment without seeing another soul.

I’m just putting up a few of these pictures I took for as far as I walked in.  I’ll be back in the truck, at some point, to investigate further.  I know that the map shows this road running for many miles into the bush, but there is no guarantee that all those miles will be accessible by vehicle.  There could be sections that are impassible for one reason or another, or the road could just change into an ATV trail.

You can see from these pictures what a beautiful day it was, and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk along this lonesome bush road.


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