Saturday October 14, 2023 on a beautiful sunny day and a temperature of 14 celsius I guided the Sturgeon Falls ATV Club with my partner Leon Paquin on the trails towards Baie Jeanne and Cross Lake which are both branches south of Lake Temagami. We met in the field near the church in River Valley for a 9 a.m. start. There were 11 mountain bikers and 5 side by side, 21 people and a dog to accompany us. Before leaving I explained to the group that it is a class 2 and we have 100 km to do. Don’t forget to turn on your headlights for better visibility. The point we address most is to always make sure that the one behind you sees him and he sees you in the event of a breakdown, but especially when the track divides to make sure that he follows you in the same direction as you. This is very important so as not to have to turn around to search for the rest of the convoy and join them so that they can turn around. We left at 9:15 which was 15 minutes late because some people came to join us at the last minute.
We arrived at Baie Jeanne at 10 a.m. and took a short 15-minute break. This place is an access to fish or to go to Lake Temagami that many people from West Nipissing use to get there but be careful you need a 4X4 or better an ATV to pull your trailer.
We left at 10:15 and traveled for an hour before stopping at a small clearing for another short break. It was almost dinner time but I pushed for us to go downstream of the Cross Lake dam because it’s more picturesque there. We arrived at 12:30 and had our snack with a 40 minute break. In the distance we could all see the old destroyed bridge used in the past to cross the river.
At 1:10 p.m. we left and headed upstream of the Cross Lake dam, which we reached at 2 p.m. Last summer I went there by personal watercraft from the village of Temagami. In the past many people went there to launch their boats to fish, including me with my car and my canoe. At the beginning of the 1990s the MNR Ministry of Natural Resources decided to make it a park and installed a fence to prevent access. This meant that you could now only access it from the village of Temagami. Well there was a big protest from the people and the Hunting and Fishing club with petitions. So the MNR’s solution is that they abandoned this idea but abandoned this place which is now only accessible by ATV/side by side. The signs and the cement curves were left there to wither away.
After our short break at Cross Lake we line up for River Valley but on the way we can see the devastation of the big fire of 2018. The MNR planted small pines in 2019 and they are now about 3 feet high. We stopped for another short break at the bridge that crosses the Temagami River. I did this river in a canoe many years ago and I did one rapid too many, and split one of my knees so I needed points (sutures). I like to live dangerously just for a bit. When my children were teenagers, I took them there with their friends to swim. You jump into the water at the bottom of the rapids and the current takes you at full speed and when you approach the bank the current brings you back to your jumping spot without swimming. Good place to bring your children and grandchildren.
Finally we returned to our starting point in River Valley at 3:45 p.m. Another great day with good company. To join the West Nipissing ATVclub it’s only $32 per year, a real deal.