Missinaibi River Trail

The Missinaibi River is a canoeist’s dreamscape, the trail was unpassable. We saw the Rock Island Rapids

GPS Coordinates are 49.659196, -83.2478895.
Link on Google Maps

Missinaibi River They say that the Missinaibi River is a canoeist’s dreamscape. It is a historic fur-trading route that flows into the Moose River, then into James Bay. For us, we had to see the rapids and waterfalls north of hwy 11. The river requires an Ontario park's permit as any other Provincial Park does. The 50 km road starts in Mattice and follows the river on the east side. The first few kilometers services residential properties. At the 5 km mark, it is unmistakably marked as an unserviced road and the packed gravel changes to the sand-clay-organic ground. After a rainfall, it turns into a soft, nasty paste that renders the profile on the tires useless

Missinaibi River is a Provincial Park (Policy ID: P1543e). The surrounding area is mostly Crown Land (Policy ID: G1737 ) and belongs to the Hearst, Cochrane Districts. Consult the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas from the Ministry of Natural Resources for current information. Provincial Parks are regulated by a different Policy ID. Be aware, there is usually no cell phone connection.Map Icon

Road turnaround It was sunny and warm when we entered the road shortly before 11 AM. The first few kilometers were no problem until we hit the "Unserviced Road bla, bla, bla, own risk" sign. We looked at the trail ahead.
Our tires were already worn down. We entered anyway, hoping that we had enough traction to keep moving forward. Almost immediately, the wheels got trapped in a rut. Even with 4-low, the Jeep didn't really move forward as we were hoping.

Flat tire Well, we made it about 20 meters, yes meters. The front tire exploded. Slowly backwards until we were on solid gravel again. Change the tire with the OEM jack. This thing works great and is still my preferred method in most situations.
Looking back, the incident was probably a good thing. We were prepared for a situation like that. The tire was old and would have been replaced for the next season anyway. We had all the items that made the repair pleasant, well, considering that it was a repair in the field.

Missinaibi River  Missinaibi River

We inspected the crime scene and found the instrument that caused the destruction of the tire, a tree branch perfectly placed to rip open the sidewall. It is very likely that even a new tire would have ripped. Possibly airing down the tires would have made the sidewall more flexible.
So let's review the gear we had with us. All of it was planning for these situations and we always carry that stuff with us.

Gear to replace a tire icon A tarp to work on.
icon A jack to lift the Jeep.
icon A tire cross wrench to get the wheel off.
icon Rubber gloves to keep the hands clean.
icon Wheel chocks to block the front tires.
icon A wood board to prevent the wheel chock from sinking
icon A big garbage bag.
icon A camera to take pictures. If you don't have pictures, it didn't happen.
We also carry a HiLift Jack, but that was not required here. We always carry garbage bags with us to throw the dirty parts in. The cleanup will be done in a more suitable environment. All garbage from the recovery goes in there, as well as food wrappers, cans, hand wipes etc.

The tire was beyond repair. Now the big question: What happens when we have another flat? How could we get a tire repaired for the purpose of driving to safety, NOT HIGHWAY. We thought about it and will post an update on how this can be done, with all the parts and pieces required to get the tire off the rim.

We found more mud holes Now that the Jeep is operational again, it is time for plan B. We hiked the trail along the Missinaibi River. About 300 meters up the trail, we decided that hiking through mud is not that enjoyable and turned back. We didn't make it all the way to the waterfall, but it was not a complete loss.

On the way back, we pulled over and had a look at the Rock Island Rapids @ 49.654, -83.251.

Missinaibi River Rock Island Rapids Missinaibi River Rock Island Rapids

The meadow above the rapids showed signs of camping. All the places we went during our 2 week trip were clean. We picked up a can, that's it. It is nice to see that visitors don't leave trash behind. For all of you out there, keep up the good work.

Meadow near Rock Island Rapids Even so the trip ended with a blown tire, this excursion overall was a success. We saw the rapids and got an idea of the size and power of the Missinaibi. Sure, we would have loved to see the waterfall further down and the other rapids. Without the incident, we may not have walked through this meadow and would have missed the rose hips. They were ripe for the picking, When we use them in a tea or receipt during the winter, we will remember this day and the interesting time we had.
Back in Mattice, we visited The Missinaibi River Voyageur, a rest stop by the bridge. The plaques explain the history and importance of the river and the town.

Rose Hip along Missinaibi River The Missinaibi River Voyageur

Wild Roses
Wild Roses in Ontario We knew about the benefits of rose hips in tea. When we saw the many shrubs, the first thing we did was read about them. There seems to be no poisonous look-alike plant here in Ontario. However, they did warn of the use of cultivated rose hips due to possible pesticide use. These here were clearly wild roses. The longer the fruits grow on the plant, the sweeter they become even to the point where they are a bit wrinkly. We picked the fruit that almost fell off the stem.
The edible part of the fruit is the skin (for our use), the seeds and the hair inside may cause irritation to the digestive tracks. After skinning the fruit, not much was left. For now, they are still in the freezer until we add them as a salad topping or a dessert.

First published on September 20, 2022 Contact Us  Help