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Upper Madawaska Basin Trails | Notice Board

Upper Madawaska Basin Trails | Spectacle Lakes / Bear & Burnetts Mountains

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New & Recent Postings / Active Advisories
2022-05-14Spring 2022 Trail Maintenance Completed
2022-04-082022 Hunting Season
2021-10-14Moose Trail ~ Minor Re-route
2020-08-14Burnetts Trail ~ 2 Sections Flooded

  Spring 2022 Trail Maintenance Completed  

     2022-05-14: A volunteer work party completed (8-13 May) Spring 2022 maintenance of 50-km SLBM Trails network.

See status of maintenance for each trail in below chart.

Plans are being made to re-route flooded sections of Burnetts trail, with work expected to be completed autumn 2022.

  2022 Hunting Season  

     2022-04-08: HEADS UP notice of trail use restriction dates for autumn 2022.

This notice is to help you plan timing of your visit to the SLBM Trails in autumn 2022.

The Spectacle Lakes / Bear & Burnetts Mountains recreation trails lie within the Ontario Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 55A.

PDF version of this notice for viewing, download & print.

Refer to Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry 2022 hunting regulations for more detailed information.
>> Website

>> PDF copy

  Winter Parking Ban in Effect  

     2022-01-19: SLBM Trails is affected by the South Algonquin Township's complete, no exception, parking ban on all township roads for period 1 November - 15 April.

As there is no off-road parking locations at the 4 trailheads that serve the SLBM Trails network, the trails are no longer accessible for winter use.

See posting immediately below for reason why SLBM Trails are not accessible at trailheads along Hwy 60.

South Algonquin Township notice of parking ban (print version PDF).


  Winter Trail Maintenance Suspended  

     2022-01-19: See below notice.

Reason for suspension also applies to those who intend to use the SLBM Trails.

South Algonquin Township notice of parking ban (print version PDF).

(Print Version - PDF)

  Moose Trail ~ Minor Re-route  


  CAUTION: "Ball Bearings on SLBM Trails  


  Trail Sign Refurbishment  


  Tracking Autumn 2021 Foliage Colour @ SLBM Trails  

     2021-10-27: (Update) 27 Oct.: Volunteer maintenance team refurbishing all trail signs along Ramblers Way trail report that the oaks are at tail end of their autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails. All other deciduous tree species are denuded of their leaves.

This is the last update of fall foliage tracking for 2021.

NOTE: Deer hunting season begins Monday, 1 November, for a 14-day period. There are quite a few white-tail deer transiting through area of SLBM Trails at this time of year. See Hunting Season Notice.

See this Facebook posting for some photos from 27 October observation https://www.facebook.com/slbmtrails/photos/pcb.3104018376543842/3104012686544411/

Below leaf colour change timeline for 2021 will be updated as in-field observations are made.

Photos, trail maps & activity guide for SLBM Trails.

  Autumn Foliage Colour Timeline Trend @ SLBM Trails  

     2021-08-19: We frequently get querries regarding the timing for autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails.

The timeline graphic below was created to provide a guide for three distinct phases of various types of foliage turning colour in the fall. The timeline is indicative based on in-field observations over the years 2018, 2019 & 2020.

There are a number of environmental factors that determine the start of the main event and scope of the autumn show. The kickoff for the show usually begins with the first killing frost of the season, which also marks the beginning of the all-too-short "Indian" summer.

Check out this briefing note "Why Do Leaves Change Colour In The Autumn?" for the science behind this natural phenomenon.

To get a sense of the autumn foliage views one can experience @ SLBM Trails take a look at Photo Gallery that covers the years 2000 - 2018.

For autumn 2021, the sequential timeline graphic will be posted on SLBM Trails Facebook page as and when in-field observations take place.

SLBM Trails Fall Foliage Timeline

  SLBM Trails Maintenance Status Chart 2021  

     2021-09-18 (Update): A 5-man volunteer work-party spent the past six days completing comprehensive maintenance of the 50-km SLBM Trails network.

The trails are in tip-top shape for hiking to take in the panoramic views of the 2021 autumn foliage colours.

The trails have also been prepared for backcountry style snowshoeing & cross-country skiing this coming winter.

Trail maps and activity guide available
Full-scope maintenance of trails has begun to prepare them for coming autumn & winter seasons. It is planned to have all trails completed by 17 September. Trails that have full-scope maintenance completed are indicated by red-lettering date. All other trails with black-lettering date have had safety related maintenance done up to this point in time.
Below is chart recording progress on maintenance of each trail in the SLBM Trails network. See immediate previous posting on maintenance work order.

This chart will be updated as maintenance of each trail is completed.

The updated chart is also available on SLBM Trails Facebook page, pinned at top.

PDF version for printing.

2021 Trail Maintenance Status Chart

  SLBM Trails ~ Gypsy Moth Infestation Damage  

     2021-07-23: There has been a massive defoliation of oak and maple trees in area encompassing the SLBM Trails caused by Gypsy Moth infestation.

Scope of the Gypsy Moth infestation and defoliation reported in posts (below) on SLBM Trails Facebook page.

You do not need a Facebook account to view/read above postings.

  YouTube Channel Launched  

     2021-05-04: Over the past several years the MT Group team has accumulated a substantial quantity of raw videos and photographs taken over the 4 seasons @ SLBM Trails.

With travels to the trails curbed by COVID-19 emergency response measures, including Stay-at-home Orders, time has come to open the vault and process this pictorial treasure trove to create virtual hike videos to view from safety and comfort of an armchair.

To carry out this mission an YouTube channel has been launched under "MT Group / SLBM Trails".

Videos will be added to the channel as they are processed. To be notified when new video is posted hit the "Subscribe" button near top of the channel page.

The videos are uploaded to YouTube in high definition resolution (1080p) format. However, the quality of the video YouTube automatically streams to your viewing device — desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone and large-screen digital TV — is dependent on speed of internet or mobile connection and type of device. YouTube recompresses the original uploaded video into various resolution formats, but the HD (1080p) format is still available if your device can handle it.

Viewing the HD format video on a large screen digital TV gives you the sensation of being in person on the trail.

1) System requirements - YouTube Help - Google Support

2) Google Video Quality ReportBear Mountain Loop

3) YouTube Slashes Video Quality to Save Bandwidth

4) YouTube is reducing its default video quality to standard definition for the next month

Bulletin 2021-09
YouTube screen capture(Screen capture of MT Group / SLBM Trails YouTube channel)

  Burnetts Trail ~ 2 Sections Flooded  

     2020-08-14: An exploding beaver population has resulted in multiple beaver dams being constructed along Burnetts Creek, resulting in the flooding of two sections along Burnetts trail (see accompanying briefing note with map).

With no feasable option for rerouting the flooded eastern section of the trail it will remain closed for an indeterminate period. (Note: It is possible to wade through flooded area using high-cut or calf-high rubber boots.)

PDF version of briefing note for download & print.

Burnetts Trail Flooded Sections

Frostbite Risk ~ Quick Guide

     2020-01-19: The "Dead of Winter" is upon us in the Ottawa Valley & Madawaska Highlands. For at least the coming month, sub zero temperatures and wind are factors that combine to determine the risk of frostbite.

Below is a quick guide of frostbite risk based on various combinations of temperature and wind speeds that form what is commonly known as "wind chill".

The cold temperatures should not be a deterrent to enjoying winter in nature as long as proper preparations are undertaken to ward off frostbite. For such guidance refer to posting immediately below this one.

Now you can prepare for an enjoyable snowshoe hike or cross-country ski on the SLBM Trails.

Printable (PDF) version or downloadable image version available.

Frostbite Risk Quick Guide

Frostbite Prevention Tips ~ Quick Reference

     2020-01-17: The "Dead of Winter" is upon us in the Ottawa Valley & Madawaska Highlands on 19-20 January. This is the period of coldest of cold based on 30-year temperature average (see Climate Normals).

The cold temperatures should not be a deterrent to enjoying winter in nature as long as proper preparations are undertaken, including warding off frostbite.

Below is a quick tip sheet on how to prevent frostbite as you prepare for an enjoyable snowshoe hike or cross-country ski on the SLBM Trails.

Printable (PDF) version or downloadable larger image version available.

Frostbite Prevention Quick Tips

Winter Safety Tips ~ Quick Reference

     2019-12-16: Winter 2019/2020 has begun to settle in on the SLBM Trails with significant snow coverage and cold temperatures. Below is a quick tip sheet to help you prepare for an enjoyable snowshoe hike and cross-country ski on the SLBM Trails.

Winter Safety Quick Tips

(Top banner photo: Snowshoeing on Spectacle Lake, heading north.)

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