And then you come into Seguin Falls a red brick schoolhouse, now privately owned, just beyond it, the centre of the one time village. Please respect private property as most of the land and buildings are private. Booth Canada Atlantic Railway. A group of cyclists checking directions in Seguin Falls. The King George Hotel from a post card. The Hurdville Mill is no longer in existence. As the son of the present owner, I witnessed its demolition in the summer of ' My parents purchased the property in '64 and sold the mill to the Hamilton Historical Society in ' It was taken down piece by piece, each piece numbered and photographed with the intention of rebuilding it at a later date in Hamilton.
It was stored in a barn in the Hamilton area for years and basically forgotten. When the Society decided to start the rebuilding project in the '80s, they discovered the man who owned the barn had burned most of the pieces of the mill because he was never paid the rent promised for his barn. Hurdville is still a very picturesque village to visit, and information on the Mill can be had by dropping in to the General Store and Marina.
It is owned by my parents, who built it on the site of the old Hurdville Saw Mill, and they love to reminisce about it. My father was born on the property next to the mill site and it was his first job as a boy. They can be reached at:. The Orange Valley Road intersection also marks the site of the one-time village of North Seguin, again a site with no trace of its former activity.
In the fall after the leaves have fallen you can see the old stone foundations of a road house. Then follows a scene not unlike that which awed the Nipissing Road's first pioneer travelers The road plunges into a dark forbidding forest. Trees close in from both sides and meet overhead. Through this tunnel the trail twists one way and then back upon itself; it lurches over granite outcropping and slogs through muddy swamps.
After you cross an old cement bridge, there is an over grown trail to the right. It was the road to Rock Hill, another pioneer village now long abandoned the only remains is the cemetery. After 6 km the road brings you to Spence. John Nelson settled in Spence in , was the first master at the Spence Orange Lodge in dying in Nelson Lake Road and Nelson Lake are memories of him and his family.
A view of the road from a hill south of Spence. The Spence School house is now a private residence. I was up that way September 20th.
Take the left branch. The Nipissing Road is further along than that, after crossing a bridge farther upstream, the the trail branches to the left as the main road continues on to Cardwell and Bear Cave. He seemed to be afraid of me but since I was alone, I didn't stick around to see if he was also. In A. In his book Berton doesn't elaborate on this because the contract was annulled about a year later.
On the 21st of April, , Senator Foster wrote to the Attorney General of Ontario, calling for improvements to the road so that supplies could be drawn from the new rail head at Gravenhurst, and the head of navigation on Lake Rosseau Helmsley. Foster desired to establish a main camp of operations at Commanda, so that work could be started east and west of that point.
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Foster's hand written document is preserved at Ontario Archives. The letter was also signed by steamboat owner and area M. Cock burn. At least the petition accomplished one thing. Note the historical plaque says that the road was passable for wheeled vehicles by , hmmm. There was probably more written about the road in the Journals of the Legislative Assembly, of that time, than what has been put into recent publications.
Watson describes some of his travels between Rosseau and Magnetawan, in the 's. I'd had my own copy of this book, but since sold it. There may be one in the Burk's Falls Library. On one of those trips to the northern wilderness, the fishing party camped on the outskirts of Spence. From reading the book, I'd had the understanding that their guide, a Captain Ross was the proprietor of Spence Hotel.
There are a number of Ross's in the Cornball cemetery. As the historical plaque notes, and your overview doesn't, the Nipissing Road lost its importance with the completion of the railway through Burk's Falls. His last trip out was by rail, as he remarked "it was thought this line would bring prosperity to the region" or something like that, and so it did.
In your description of Seguin Falls, you mention of a lumber company that was there shortly after the railway had arrived. Where can I find more information about that company. When I explored that area on Monday, I saw there were traces of yard tracks about feet west of the road, at that point the pathway veers slightly to the north of the original roadbed for about feet.
In that area, the grade is wide enough for three tracks. Uneven ground surfaces on the south side indicate the locations of small buildings, perhaps a waiting room and a tool house. One near perfectly square mound is overgrown with moss while saplings and alders etc. That part of the track can more easily be found by a one foot rock cut along the south side. North of Spence the road suddenly widens and enters a pastoral farming area.
On the left lie the waters of Ahmic Lake, a bulge in the Magnetawan River. For 10 km rolling green fields and old barns mingle with forested hills and overgrown pastures as the road winds along the rolling hills surrounding the lake to the homes and stores of Magnetawan. Just north of Spence is a left turn onto a scenic side road. If you have the time, it is a pleasant drive to Ahmic Harbour which has particularly spectacular colour in the fall.
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There is a hotel, restaurant and gas bar here. At the Cornball store intersection you can take a right turn, just past the Spence Cemetery and follow a good gravel road about 15 Km to the Screaming Heads. On your way to the heads, the road passes the Midlothian Cemetery and a cut off back south to Sprucedale. The heads are being built by Peter Camini , an art teacher from the local High School. Their are ghosts in the field behind the castle and Dragons to defend the walls!!
You must take the side trip. Click on the link for more information. Unlike the ghosts of Spence and Seguin Falls, Magnetawan is very much alive, with a population of Solid frame homes line the village's half dozen streets, while shops and a restaurant cluster by the bridge over the Magnetawan River. In a park beside the bridge is a historical plaque commemorating the story of the Nipissing Road. There is also a plaque at the dam telling the story of the Magnetawan Water Way. Magnetawan grew quickly during the nineteenth century, for it was situated at the junction of the Nipissing Road, the Ahmic Road, and the Magnetawan River.
Settlers and loggers flowed in and turned the valley from forest to farm and mill. A hand powered swing bridge allowed steam boat traffic to navigate from the rail siding in Burk's Falls to Ahmic Harbour, some 48 miles down stream. The workings for the swing mechanism have been removed to make a two lane bridge This was tourists' only means of access to their lake country homes.
In the area's first hydroelectric plant whirred into life, powered by the falls on the river. Commercial traffic on the lakes ceased in , and the hydro plant fell silent in , when Ontario Hydro began to provide Rural Service. Magnetawan has continued to prosper because of the cottage and recreation trade. The dam and locks were rebuilt in to allow boats to navigate from Ahmic Harbour to Burk's Falls. It has become a popular attraction. The old hydro plant, with its original generators still in place, is now a museum. It stands a few paces east of the Nipissing Road on Hwy.
If you ask at the museum, they may start the generators for you. Located beside the bridge, you will pass the "Church on the Rock". St George the Martyr Anglican church was made famous by the group of seven painter A. The town offers a selection of services. You can lunch at the the Grill and Grocery a general store, post office, hardware store, licensed hotel, burgers and soft ice cream stand, museum, and liquor store. If, by the time you have filled your day and wish to spend the night in the area, accommodation is available locally.
It is suggested you call ahead if you plan to travel in the summer as accommodation is limited. For the next 2 km the Nipissing Road is impassable, except by foot or bike. Plans are underway to have this part of the road returned to a condition to allow for hiking or Mountain Bikes. If driving, take the road right for 1. After 2 km you will rejoin the original alignment at the abandoned hamlet of Rye. Gone now are the store, post office, and log hotels - some sources say as many as four - and Rye today consists of a brick school now residence and 1. The Rye cemetery contains some unique wooden grave markers.
Named for a local Ojibway chief, Commanda is a small cluster of houses at the intersection of Hwy. Here, in , James Arthur built the area's first general store. It was larger than most for a pioneer village - two stores high, with a double porch and extensions to each side. Arthur distinguished his store with elaborate flourishes to its fret work gingerbread.
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While most such buildings would have been replaced or severely altered, the Commanda store has survived five ownership's intact. In the Gurd Township and Area Historical Corporation purchased the building and refurbished it as a turn-of-the-century general store, and in opened it as a living museum. You may find it the single most photogenic building on this road trip and one of the most colourful in Ontario. An interesting foot note to the history of railway building.
Commanda was the site of a construction camp of railroad builders in From the store follow Hwy. Commanding a high, gravely ridge is the Nipissing Road's only surviving farm community. Although stony, the soils here are deep and they have allowed the farmers to grow hay and to graze beef cattle. Most of the frame homes and plank barns have been little altered from pioneer days, though their occupants now supplement their incomes with off-farm jobs.
At 5 km from Hwy. There is a public beach here, but few other services. Turn right and follow the highway around a steep mountain and past modern rural residences into the road's final village. Comments from a resident Tom Armstrong. Map of the area north of Commanda. Nipissing remains small, thought modern cottages and retirement homes now mingle with the pioneer church, school, and houses.
During the village's short-lived heyday as a busy stagecoach terminus, stores and hotels sprouted at each other. Today they are gone. No longer does Nipissing provide liquid refreshment for the weary traveler But then no longer does the journey from Rosseau take a full week as it did a century ago! If you would like more information about Nipissing Village's history follow this link from the North Bay Nugget's history pages. As well click here for information about the cemetery in Nipissing village.
Nipissing marks the end of your route. At the time of writing this also makers the end of the Trans Canada Trail. There are plans to have a link complete to North Bay through Callander in the Near future. The Discovery Routes Trails Organization is working on it. From here you can follow Hwy. This modern-day finish your Nipissing Road trip has a number of sights, restaurants, pubs, and places to lay your head. The regional Information centre has endless suggestions of what to do while in North Bay, and it can be found on Hwy. Inspecting the Trans Canada Trail in the Fall of Following is a list of historic sign locations along the Nipissing Road:.
If you are looking for another way to explore the Nipissing Road, a number of "Geo" caches have been placed along the road and environs Bring your Geocach App on your cell phone. Note Cell service is NOT available on some parts of the road. Seguin Falls owes its start to lumber king J. In this Ottawa timber baron acquired extensive timber limits in Algonquin Park, km to the east. By providing the shortest link between the Upper Great Lakes and the Atlantic, he quickly captured the grain trade.
For more than three decades, steam engines transported grain, lumber, manufactured goods, and passengers. The settlement grew to have a population of , with a general store, a post office, shops, a church, a school, and the King George Hotel. The town prospered until , when a trestle in Algonquin Park was washed out and the rail traffic dropped drastically. During the following years, as the timber vanished and the farms failed, the town's residents moved away. Finally, in , the line was closed and the tracks lifted.
When the hotel and its confectionery shut their doors forever, Seguin Falls became a ghost town. The abandoned rail line is now the Seguin Recreational Trail, one of the provinces most popular snow machine and recreational trails. There is an active group of people working on making this trail a "park to park" trail - Algonquin to Killarney.
The additions on the lower French River are located at the northern edge of the Georgian Bay fringe physiographic region of Southern Ontario. A broad belt bordering Georgian Bay, characterized by very shallow soil and bare rock knobs and ridges occupies much of Parry Sound and Muskoka. The northern boundary has been conventionally drawn at the French River, but for convenience can be extended across to encompass the present western group of additions. The eastern half of French River Provincial Park and the group of eastern additions lie at the northern edge of the much broader Algonquin highlands physiographic region of Southern Ontario, that differs from the Georgian Bay fringe in this area chiefly by thicker till coverage and fewer rock knobs and ridges OMNR , Elevations along French River range from ft above sea level a.
Many areas in the additions have very thin surficial deposits of glacial and postglacial materials. Postglacial erosion is partially responsible for the lack of surficial deposits. There would probably be a greater suite of drift and lag deposits had the area not been washed by subglacial meltwaters associated with the glacial lakes from the Abitibi drainage events Kor, Shaw and Sharpe Surficial deposits that are in the area consist of boulders, glacial till, gravels, sands, silts and clays McKenzie, Lawrence forest region and typical of the Georgian Bay area.
Forests in the additions are mostly comprised of stunted open treed communities, with common juniper growing extensively with red oak and Jack pine. Low lying areas are more diverse with vegetation communities able to persist in both wet and dry environments. The complex mosaic of vegetation communities found within the additions is typical of eastern Georgian Bay.
The western section of the additions provides extensive habitat used by Eastern Massassaga rattlesnake, a threatened species in Ontario OMNR c. In addition, updates and discussions with First Nations, other agencies and stakeholders may be carried out to identify cultural heritage values and features within the park and their significance.
This information may be used to develop management guidelines to conserve and protect representative archaeological and historical values and features, or to provide direction for further research. The eastern section of the additions is roadless and less likely to support extensive recreational activity e. The western section of the additions will support a great deal of recreational activity and has potential for both canoeing and hiking. The dominance of lakes, river channels and Georgian Bay, along with the absence of roads makes travel by other means unlikely.
This portion of the Canadian Shield is particularly well suited to canoe and kayak tripping.
The long channels, along with the short portages allows for relatively easy canoe travel in the area Kutas, No formal hiking trails exist within the additions; however there are many suitable areas that could be developed into hiking trails. All trails are likely to be of the day use variety. Off trail hiking opportunities will primarily be of interest to canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts that want to explore the open barrens as part of their recreational experiences while visiting French River Provincial Park.
The opportunity for off-trail hiking is almost limitless in the additions; the many low, open bedrock ridges allow for extensive exploration opportunities Kutas, Fishing is also very popular in the water channels of the additions. Numerous other activities are also presented within the additions including cottaging, hunting, snowmobiling and nature appreciation. Artistic appreciation, painting and photography have a history of use in this area with individuals depicting the open landscape and wind swept pine e. First Nations have expressed interest in and have shared knowledge of the park and surrounding area.
Aboriginal communities have used the area for hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering and travel. These uses may continue, subject to public safety, conservation and other considerations. Any communications and cooperation between Aboriginal communities and the MNR for planning and operations purposes will be done without prejudice to any future discussions or negotiations between the government of Ontario and Aboriginal communities. Removal, damaging or defacing of Crown properties, natural objects, relics and artifacts is not permitted in provincial parks Provincial Parks Act RSO Non-native species will not be deliberately introduced into the park.
Where non-native species are already established and threaten park values i. Commercial forest harvesting and renewal activities are not permitted within the boundaries of the park additions OMNR Existing authorized wild rice harvesting may continue. New operations will not be permitted OMNR The harvest of non-timber forest products such as club moss, Canada yew, etc.
Biological control, rather than chemicals will be used whenever possible OMNR Lawrence Fire Management Zone.
In accordance with existing provincial park policy and the Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario, forest fire protection will be carried out in the park as on surrounding lands OMNR b. Whenever feasible, MNR 's Forest Fire Management program will use techniques that minimize damage to the landscape, such as limiting the use of heavy equipment or limiting the number of trees felled during response efforts OMNR b.
Sport hunting is permitted to continue within the park additions OMNR The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, as well as the Migratory Birds Convention Act , governs any hunting activity within this provincial park addition. Hunting is not permitted within nature reserve zones within the original park boundary as per the park management plan OMNR It is illegal to harvest bullfrogs or snapping turtles in provincial parks OMNR a. Hunting, including commercial bear hunting, is permitted to continue in the additions, but not within Nature Reserve zones within the French River Provincial Park boundaries.
Consideration of safety and conservation with respect to hunting will be made during management planning with public consultation OMNR This activity is subject to conditions identified during park management planning i. Existing commercial fur harvesting operations may continue where the activity has been licensed or permitted since January 1, New operations, including trap cabins and trails,will not be permitted OMNR ; Transfers of active trap line licenses are permitted, subject to a review of potential impacts and the normal transfer or renewal conditions that apply 1.
The additions can also be access by secondary roads to a limited extent from Highway 69 in the sections of the additions which parallel Highway There is also another primary road which reaches one of the eastern parts of the additions via Highway 69 north of the French River; all other road access is limited to tertiary roads.
There is access by primary, secondary and tertiary roads at various locations in different sections of the park additions Figure 2a, 2b and 2c.
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Highway 69, the main Highway between southern cities and Sudbury passes along the western section of the additions. Where existing forest access roads are essential for continued access beyond the park for forest management or recreation purposes, and alternative road access does not exist, or road relocation is not feasible, existing roads will continue to be available for access.
Continued use will include maintenance and may include upgrades OMNR a. Ontario Parks is not responsible for the maintenance or upgrade of any roads within the park boundary. Where other existing access roads are essential for continued access to in-holdings e. The crossing of waterway parks by new roads may be necessary. The number of crossings will be minimized where possible and they will be managed to reduce their impact on recreational and aesthetic values. Any future road crossings proposed through the park, where park lands are unavoidable, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Protection of park values will be priority and all requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act will be met. There is one crossing of the French River Provincial Park Additions in the western section south of Allen and Bigwood townships by rail lines which branch with one arm heading to Georgian Bay and the other providing a continuous route from Sudbury to cities in southern Ontario.
Railway corridors are not included as part of the regulated park Figure 2b. Canoe Routes: The Additions are within an ancient canoeing area. Portions of river channels and lakes in the additions include extensive canoeing and off-trail hiking areas. This trail crosses the river with a large bridge at a location just east of Highway 69 within the western additions. ATV Trails: There are no authorized ATV trails within the park additions;however, there may be some existing unauthorized ATV use on forest and tertiary access roads within the additions. Existing use of these roads to access LUP s is permitted continue unless this use threatens park values.
ATV use may be authorized on old forest access and tertiary roads; this use will be reviewed during future park planning with full public and Aboriginal consultation. New trails e. Any proposed development within the park is subject to Environmental Assessment Act requirements. French River Waterway Provincial Park Pe : encompasses 52, ha of land that runs along the length of the French river and is bordered throughout the length of the French River by the French River Provincial Park Additions in various locations.
It also features falls, rapids and steep narrow gorges. The rugged topography of the Canadian Shield supports more than plant species, some rare. Lawrence Mixed Forest zone in the northern portion of Ecodistrict 5E Vegetation in the park represents a variety of communities including wetlands, upland forests, rock barrens and aquatic environments. The Pakeshkag River South contains 17 combinations of vegetation and Landforms including sugar maple stands, flat deposits and sand and sugar maple, yellow birch stands and older balsam fir stands on low hills with sandy soils.
There are no forest reserves in the adjacent area surrounding the French River Provincial Park Additions. This area is characterized by rugged Canadian Shield topography, renowned for its scenic vistas with windswept pines. Bare bedrock is interspersed with pockets of shallow soils, with discontinuous vegetation cover.
North Parry Sound North Bay ER-2 : encompasses 82, ha and is located to the south of the eastern additions, this Enhance Management Area links a number of other Enhanced Management Areas, as well as conservation reserves and provincial parks. This area includes portions of several watershed units. The management of this multiple use area is for high quality recreation, forest management, wildlife management and tourism values.
Individual zones within this overall area will provide for the various needs related to semi-remote recreation, access, natural resource protection and extraction. Wanapitei River West G encompasses 57, ha. This area is south of the City of Greater Sudbury and includes the southern reaches of the Wanapitei River. Fish and wildlife management, in harmony with forest management, will dominate land use activities, in an attempt to ensure that fish and wildlife resources and associated recreation and tourism opportunities will be available in this portion of the District in the future.
Crown land in the area is under sustainable forest licence SFL primarily to supply wood-using mills in the area. Multiple use will continue to dominate the resource management efforts on Crown land throughout this area. Resource extraction for timber harvesting, mineral exploration and development, aggregate extraction, fish and wildlife management and general recreation will be the primary uses.
Lake Nipissing G : encompasses 82, ha in and around Lake Nipissing. Commercial fishing for sturgeon and whitefish by commercial fishermen at Sturgeon Falls is a well established use on Lake Nipissing. There are intensive cottage developments from North Bay to South Bay and along several large bays in the west arm of the lake. Existing uses to manage fish, game, waterfowl and furbearers, resource production including commercial fishing, and extensive and intensive recreation will to continue.
Other private land uses such as urban, industrial, commercial, cottaging, and rural residential, will not generally be encouraged to expand onto Crown lands OMNR West Bay G : encompasses 22, ha north of the eastern additions. This is an area of shallow soils and extensive bedrock outcrops with some drainage north to Lake Nipissing, but most drains east to the French River.
Resource production and fish and wildlife management are the major uses of the area and these will continue. Recreation, tourism and other existing intensive uses of the land will be encouraged. There are numerous tourism developments of varying size and type in the immediate vicinity of the additions.
No land disposition for private use or corporations will be permitted within the park additions OMNR Existing authorized Land Use Permits for recreation camps will continue within the additions and are eligible for enhanced tenure but not purchase of land OMNR , Enhanced tenure, until the park management plan is reviewed, enhanced tenure is defined as a possible extension of the term of the Land Use Permit for recreation camps up to 10 years OMNR Enhanced tenure for a Land Use Permit for a recreation camp is not guaranteed.
Requests for enhanced tenure, to grant enhanced tenure, or to transfer recreation camps will be determined based on a review of the following criteria:. An extension in the term of tenure for an existing Land Use Permit private recreation camp does not convey a commitment to provide for a change in the type or the standard of existing access to the private recreation camp OMNR An existing Land Use Permit recreation camp holder can relinquish their Land Use Permit and are responsible to have existing improvements removed including, but not limited to, the sale of any existing improvements.
There are unauthorized occupations located within the boundary of French River Provincial Park Additions. Patent land is not included within the park boundary and as such park policy does not apply to these areas. Crown land will not be sold in the park Additions. An exception may be the sale of small parcels of Crown land to support subsistence needs of existing cottages such as the need to expand septic systems. There are no authorized boat caches located within the park additions. As stated in the Provincial Parks Act , watercrafts are not permitted to be left unattended in this park without written permission from the superintendent.
Fisheries management activities will be aimed at the maintenance and enhancement of native, self-sustaining fish populations OMNR Fish habitat management may be considered through park planning OMNR , Angling will be governed by the legislation and regulations in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, as well as the Fisheries Act. The Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary contains more information regarding general regulations and exceptions to these regulations that are applicable to this area OMNR b.
There are no commercial fishing operations within the boundary of the French River Provincial Park Additions. If re-allocated, bait harvesting will be permitted to continue indefinitely in the park additions however it may be subject to possible conditions identified during park management planning OMNR Existing motorboat use is permitted to continue, unless park values are being threatened.
The long-term management direction for private and commercial boat use will be determined through future planning, which includes public and Aboriginal consultation OMNR Aircraft landings are permitted in the park OMNR a. All aircraft landings are subject to regulation and valid aircraft landing permits issued by the park superintendent under the authority of the Provincial Parks act. Long-term direction for aircraft landings will be determined through future planning.