Last night I explored an interesting unopened road allowance about two concessions south of Richmond Road, just east of Franktown off Hwy 15. Back in the settlement days, Richmond Road was one of the most important routes through eastern Ontario, linking the town of Richmond with Perth. Both towns were important centres for local governance and the provisioning of the steady stream of lumbermen and miners who worked the northern bush camps.
Today, Richmond Road is a straight shot of wide open asphalt through flat countryside that varies from limestone pavement and cedar, to great swampy areas. If you look on Google Earth, you can see that it's pretty much the best (and only) route through the area. It's clear why it was an important route.
So back to the trail. It's probably what Richmond Road looked like in the early days, before modern machinery could work the rock into submission. I love these routes--lots of wilderness and wildlife to see, and surprisingly few bugs considering there's swamp all around you. There I was, putting along, when this stream came up. It was getting darker than the photo would suggest, so I couldn't really tell how deep this crossing would be. Sometimes the embankments, weeds, and flow rate can be clues--but the reflecting light made it hard to actually see the bottom on the far side.
What, that's it?
I decided to just go for it. The worst that would happen is I get off partway and haul my rig back. Judging by previous tire tracks, some trucks had made it through so I was confident I could ride it. Sure enough, it was only about a foot deep, and the rocky bottom wasn't too slick. A little throttle and I goosed through and up the other side no problem, although my right foot got wet.
Nice little trail. At the end I turned left (north) and ended up in Ashton Station. It's a fun little leg that I'll see how to work into a longer ride.