Traveling in Northwestern Ontario

We are experiencing a late spring up here in the north.  So when traveling in Northwestern Ontario, keep in mind road conditions can change daily.  The frost is not close to coming out of the ground as it is still covered in snow!  Here are some things to look out for when traveling in Northwestern Ontario.

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This is quite dangerous when traveling at high speeds.  Your vehicle may hydro plane out of control.  Be sure to slow down and crawl through the water.  It sounds a little weird but it is best to travel through the wider spot of water.  This is especially true on gravel roads.  The water will puddle until it reaches a spot where it can start flowing across the road. The trickle across the road will start to erode and trench out the road.  But where the puddle is, usually there isn’t any erosion.  It is best to get out and either walk across and check the depth and see if there is a wash out.  Proceed through the puddle slowly so you don’t help with the erosion.  I traveled South Bay Road on Sunday afternoon and by Monday afternoon, there was a 3ft deep wash out.  There was no water on the road when I had traveled and things were great.  That’s how fast conditions change when traveling in Northwestern Ontario.

Frost Heaves

These bad boys spring up out of nowhere and can be tough to see on some of the roads when traveling in Northwestern Ontario.  On our access road, there are stretches where the heaves are very prominent because of the high clay content under the base layer of the road.  Be sure your motor is trimmed up if you are towing a boat.  These heaves can be hard on your shocks and definitely a chance to bottom out your vehicle.

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At the present time, I am aware of two construction projects which will slow down motorists when traveling in Northwestern Ontario from Fort Frances to  Ear Falls.  One is on the causeway just west of Fort Frances on Hwy 11.  It is a temporary stop light as a section of the causeway is down to one lane.  The other construction site is along Hwy 17 between Dryden and Vermillion Bay.  They began repairs on a bridge and it too is restricted to one lane by a set of lights.  I am not sure if either project will be completed before the tourist season starts.  An alternate route would be to head west out of Fort Frances and come up Hwy 71 then turn east on Hwy 17 to Vermillion Bay and north to Woman River Camp.

Wildlife

Tis the season to see lots of wildlife along any road as the come down to the ditches for salt and get away from the bugs.  Keep a watchful eye but be especially cautious at dawn and dusk.

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Be cautious of animals along the roads when traveling in Northwestern Ontario

Remember

  • no radar detectors in Ontario

  •   The use of hand held electronic devices are illegal.  Only hands free operation.

  •  1.6km in 1 mile.

  • 90kmph = 55 mph

  • When looking for points of interest, download the new Sunset Country Mobile APP from Sunset Country Travel Association.

Have a safe trip and we hope to see you on the water!

Cheers,

Moss