Chalets – South Brook
Well I can’t say enough about this trip! It’s a route that you will consider as one of the best, if not the best trip you had ever done. If you have decent GPS skills you can easily do this one with-out a guide.
We had our first client based trip last Tuesday and the feedback was excellent! I can give you the main points and junctions in this trip description but it would be best if you uploaded the track to your GPS.
We left the chalets last Tuesday at 9 in the morning with 5 customers and two good friends…all eager for a long, scenic ride on a beautiful clear day. Leaving the chalets we went straight across the highway on Cornfield road and traveled to Rocky Brook warm up shack which took about 45 minutes. There we stopped for a break and chat about the beautiful day and the trip ahead. I didn’t want to stop too long as I knew we had much ground to cover and little extra time in the case of mechanical issues.
We traveled across the highway following the groomed trail for a short distance before exiting the trail on the first right. This road system takes you to Powderhorn Lake. On the other side of the lake you can connect to another road system (also a groomed trail) which will take you to Dawes Lake, a fairly large body of water. From Dawes we traveled straight to South Brook and had another rest. From this vantage point you can see the infamous Gaff Topsails, a huge high elevation plateau which is another worthy trip in itself.
Just across South Brook you can pick-up what most people call Goodyear’s Cover Road. The first part of this road is not much to be excited about but after 5 km or so it widens out with lots of play along the sides. It’s also a good chance to pick up your speed and take advantage of its winding hilly nature. The views along this road are astounding to the right as for much of it the road is carved into a high steep hill. You can also see Hodges for much of this trip which gives you a good sense of where you are.
The warm is up next you if would like another break. You are now approximately halfway to South Brook on this road. The shack is has been well stocked with wood and splits. There always seems to be someone there with the fire going too. It is also a little larger than most…a great place for a quick snack. You then carry on down this road until you see the transmission line, almost to the TCH. Take a right here a nice section of groomed trail will take you to the water plant just west of the town of South Brook. Keep to the right when you see the plant and continue down a smaller pole line until you come to a significant left turn which takes you the TCH. Turn right here and pick your way along the highway past the South Brook Bridge (there is a walkway pass here large enough for machines) and continue on until you arrive at Eddies Restaurant. Here you can get a great home cooked meal and fill machines with gas. If asked they will even put any wet clothes and dry them for you…this is a nice touch for sure! Tell the server you are with Riverfront Chalets and get 10% off your meal to boot!
South Brook – Chalets
After Eddies cross the highway and continue East along side until you come to a trail to your left. This trail is marked and usually well beaten. You will soon see a right hand turn which is also marked. The trail increases in fun factor here until you get to Kippen’s Ridge parking lot (or the sleigh graveyard as I call it….you will see why!) In between just follow the signs which take you down a transmission line, across Roberts Arm Highway for a beautiful stretch of hilly trail with lots of turns. It’s hard to let off the throttle here …very fun!
When you pass by the “graveyard” and parking lot at Kippen’s Ridge Road you must stick to the main drag. If you are a ditch banger like me you will love this road and there are miles of it! Although I plan to construct proper trip notes, these are not it and I am reporting this from my memory of only three trips. Continue until you see a large sign with an area map on it. Good place for a quick stop and a look at the map.
You must head left here and continue along the main drag for a fair distance. Along the way, if you have time you can take a left hand turn and head to Roberts Arm. This, I must say, is probably the sweetest section of trail I have ever been on. As you get down out of the hills and in between them, the trail gets so winding with quick sharp hills it is like a roller coaster! What a spot to section off and hold a timed organized race! It is not a loop though so consider the time it takes from the main route if it is your first trip.
Now comes the only bad part but it is short. You must take a right on a road that is small and grown in with alders. Fortunately it is not long before it breaks out onto a wide road. You will encounter several more grown in areas like this for the next little while but for the most part this section between Kippen’s Ridge Road and Seal Bay Bog is beautiful with mostly pine and fir trees. This road is not used much and you will likely be breaking the path. If you are like me, this is a good thing! It does a get a bit confusing in a couple spots though so make sure you have a GPS with a track and know how to use it. Better than that, you can hire a guide. Either way, I wouldn’t try this in the dark!
Once you get on Seal Bay Bog watch for boulders as there are many. Head across the length of the bog to pick up the New Bay Road system….another gem I didn’t realize was close to the chalets before I started doing this trip. No shortage of beautiful scenery hills and turns on this section! Continue to Frozen Ocean Lake. Now halfway down this lake it narrows in a little and appears to be bad ice. It still is fairly wide and I have never heard anything about it but I don’t like the look of it and I know ice! Keep left or right and be very careful if it is dark.
At the end of Frozen Ocean you can pick up a trail that passes an old log cabin made of large pine. I suspect this cabin was originally built in the 40s or 50s but is still being used. I love this cabin and its well worth a look. Even the shed is made of large pine. A short trail behind the cabin will take you back to the New Bay Road system. Now if you want to avoid this lake I believe you can stick to the road but I have never done it.
Follow the track to the end of 9 mile bog to take in what I consider the most impressive view of the day…Hodge’s Hill. Follow the track or markers from here as both will take you to the trailhead on the far end of the bog. Caribou frequent 9 mile so keep your eyes peeled. Once you are off the bog follow the track though the network of roads back to the chalets (they are not signed for the most part), crack a brew and reminisce about the day. You will be dreaming and thinking about this trip for quite a while!
If you require a guide for this trip please contact us for details.