08-Jun-2001 -- This area is "Upper Great Lakes Deciduous" ecosystem. It is heavily wooded. The trees are maple, oak, birch, aspen, white pine, red pine, jack pine, spruce and others. This is publicly owned (Crown Land) that has been logged. Trees are about 50 years old. The site of 47N 84W is on the side of a hill known as Ogidaki Mountain (elevation about 600 m). This region is also known as the Algoma Highlands. It was lush and green this June. The colours of the forest are spectacular reds, oranges and yellows during the last weeks of September.
Pauline and I leave home in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario on sunny Friday June 8, 2001 at 8:40AM, travel N on HWY 17 then E on 556. The Searchmont road winds thru hills and to the Goulais River valley. Deep blue lakes and vivid green hills border the road. After 29 km we are in Searchmont, a small village. We cross the tracks (0 km) and the bridge,
turn E on Whitman Dam Road.
The paved road ends after 5 km, and the rough dusty gravel road can be impassable in the spring until it dries, and has few road signs. Isolated and infrequently traveled, we saw only two other vehicles during our trip. But beware of logging trucks that don't
want to share the road! The road is not plowed in the winter but is used as a snowmobile trail. Two snowshoe hares share the road with us today. They dash excitedly down the road then into the forest. The Goulais River is on our right (east) and we see two beautiful waterfalls. Canoeing this section of the river is fun, but the waterfalls require that you have good exit skills!
After about 25 km, take the less traveled west fork at N46 59.048 W083 56.236 which quickly becomes a single track logging road. The car's undercarriage hits big protruding rocks and bushes scratched the sides of the car. This road is impassable except by off-road vehicle sometimes of the year. I park at the junction of a skidder trail (a skidder
is a tractor that drags logs out of the forest) about 4 km from the fork.
The logging road heads directly towards the confluence for about 1 km then heads W so we hike into the bush. It is an uphill walk through the forest for another km that brings you to the site of N47 W084! These dense woods allow only intermittent GPS reception.
The mosquitos are dreadfull, but it is June and the blackflies are gone? On the way out we collect violets for our garden. Someone actually left a campfire burning at a campsite near the road! There was only the fire and some garbage. We put out the fire and turned in the beer cans when we return to the city and earn $2.40 for our trouble!