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Spectacle Lakes / Bear & Burnetts Mountains


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New & Recent Postings
Active Advisories
2023-11-06Trail Marker Revision & Replacement
2023-09-16Trail Status Report ~ Autumn 2023
2023-09-13Trail Bridge Decommissioned
2023-05-29Trail Signage Revisions & Maintenance
2023-01-19Full Moons in Canada 2023
2020-08-14Burnetts Trail ~ 2 Sections Flooded


  Trail Marker Revision & Replacement  

     2023-11-06: As announced earlier this year, the SLBM Trails maintenance team has begun to replace trail markers that have reached an end-to-life state. See bulletin below.


  Tracking Autumn 2023 Foliage Colour (Update)  

     2023-10-25: Oct. 24: It's a wrap as autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails comes to a close for 2023.

Pockets of foliage colour remain evident in areas that are somewhat protected, dominated by the yellows of aspens, poplars and birch. Beech and oaks that have been sheltered from winds are still cloaked in leaves of varying shades of brown, ranging from copper tones to red-brown.

This is the final in-field observation report for the season.

Reminder that deer hunting season begins on 6 November for 14-day period.

View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=304797665635171&set=pcb.304800258968245



     2023-10-14: Oct. 13: Autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails continue to be variable depending on elevation. The maples are finished.

TAt high elevations in exposed areas the aspens, poplars, birch, beech and oaks are on backside of peak in colour and coverage. At lower elevations these tree species have begun to put on colour and most likely will peak in coming week.

No in-field observations will be done during Moose hunting season (16-22 Oct.). A final in-field observation for the season is planned for early in the week of 23 Oct.

View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=304797665635171&set=pcb.304800258968245



     2023-10-06: Oct. 5: Autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails continue to be variable depending on elevation. At high elevations in exposed areas the maples, aspens, poplars, birch and oaks are at peak in colour and coverage. At lower elevations the maples colour and coverage are past peak, while the aspens, poplars, birch and oaks have have put on colour.

The prolonged dry conditions this fall, and the hot days and warm nights of the past week have not been conducive to stimulating the chemical change in the leaves to produce the vibrant colours of recent past years.

The rain and winds forecast for this weekend and into next week will cause the trees to shed their leaves more quickly than normal.

View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=299867572794847&set=pcb.299869202794684



     2023-10-02: Oct. 1: Autumn foliage colour @ SLBM Trails is variable depending on elevation. At high elevations in exposed areas the maples, aspens, poplars, birch and oaks are at an advanced stage, being at or near peak in colour and coverage. At lower elevations the maples colour and coverage is near peak, while the aspens, poplars, birch and oaks have yet to show their colour. View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=297849069663364&set=pcb.297850192996585


     2023-09-29: Sept. 28: Autumn foliage colour of maples are nearing peak of coverage @ SLBM Trails. The aspens, poplars, birch and oaks have yet to turn colour. View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=296124066502531&set=pcb.296125686502369



     2023-09-23: Pockets of maples, primarily along shores of lakes and ponds, have begun to show their brilliant reds and oranges. View photos on SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=292758516839086&set=pcb.292762293505375



     2023-09-19: Plan is to post here at least once a week the chart below tracking progress of the autumn 2023 changing of foliage colour @ SLBM Trails.

Autumn is a time for leaves to turn dramatic bright colours. A briefing note "Why Do Leaves Change Colour In The Autumn?" (PDF) has been prepared on the science behind the chemical reactions that cause various species of leaves to change to a spectrum hues of colour. The briefing note includes a graphic depicting timeline for leaf colour change at SLBM Trails.


Foliage colour tracking chart

  Trail Status Report ~ Autumn 2023  

     2023-09-16: Inspection and required safety-related maintenance of 50-km trail network carried out over period 14 August - 15 September.

All trails are in good shape for autumn season hiking to enjoy foliage colours.

Note dates for 2023 hunting season in this posting.

SLBM Trails are on crown land and, as such, governed by the Ontario Hunting Regulations.


Trail Status Report

  Trail Bridge Decommissioned  

     2023-09-13: The SLBM Trails multi-use bridge over Spectacle Lake Creek on the Spectacle Lake Tail has been decommissioned and removed as it was no longer usable.

The MT Group volunteers were not prepared to spend the $100s to replace it. The foot bridge over the creek will continue to be maintained.


Bulletin 2023-04 Trail Bridge Decommissioned

  Trail Signage Revisons & Maintenance  

     2023-05-29:


  Trail Maintenance Spring 2023 Completed  

     2023-05-05: A team of volunteers completed maintainance of the SLBM Trails during period 30 April - 5 May as indicated in chart below.

Changes to trail conditions in months ahead will be posted on this Notice Board, as well as SLBM Trails Facebook page, as they occur.



  ADVISORY: Trail Maintenance Status  

     2023-04-17: Inspections have begun to access damage to the trails caused by the 5 April freezing rain and ice storm and develop a work plan for the trail maintenance team that will be clearing the trails 1-5 May.

Trail maintenance status will be recorded in below chart and posted on this Notice Board, as well as SLBM Trails Facebook page.



  ADVISORY: Spring 2023 Trail Maintenace  

     2023-04-10: The 5 April freezing rain storm did a number on some of the SLBM Trails, which was more than the normal winter damage.

A maintenance plan has been developed as noted in document below.



  ADVISORY: Ice Crossing Routes on Lakes & Ponds Closed for Season!  

     2023-04-02: Recent rain and snowmelt runoff has begun to compromise the ice along shores of water bodies. As well, water is accumulating on the ice covered by snow.

Thus, for safety reasons, the ice crossing routes on Spectacle Lake, Loon Lake, Beaver Pond, Wolf Lake & Black Cat Lake for snowshoeing and x-country skiing are closed for the season.



  2023 Hunting Season  

Calendars
2023
2024
     2023-03-31: HEADS UP notice of trail use restriction dates for autumn 2023.

This notice is to help you plan timing of your visit to the SLBM Trails in autumn 2023.

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 2023 hunting regulations for more detailed information.
>> Website

>> Pdf copy


  ADVISORY: Ice Conditions on Lakes & Ponds are Safe (for now)!  

     2023-03-05: Weather conditions have been favourable to form ice on ponds and lakes that is sufficient for safe passage.

It is anticipated that ice conditions will remain favourable on Spectacle Lake, Loon Lake, Beaver Pond, Wolf Lake & Black Cat Lake for snowshoeing and x-country skiing through to at least 20 March.

Minimum ice thickness for safe passage on snowshoes, skiis, skates and winter footwear is 15-20 cm (6-8 inches). Of course, the ice has to be blue-ice, not translucent or slushy.



  Full Moons in Canada 2023  

     2023-01-19: Below graphic identifies the 13 full moons that will appear in Canada for 2023.

See this briefing note for complete details (date, name & time) for each of the full moons.



  Winter Parking Restrictions  

     2023-01-15: Winter parking restrictions affecting access to SLBM Trails are in effect.

See bulletin below for parking options.

PDF version of Bulletin 2023-01.





  Freezing Rain Warning! ~ Potential Trail Damage  

     2023-01-04: Today is 25th anniversary of the 1998 ice storm of the century.

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for today through Thursday morning.

Depending on amount of ice accretion there could be significant damage at SLBM Trails caused by fallen branches and trees, and trees bent over the trail from weight of ice on them.



  WARNING: Ice Conditions on Lakes & Ponds Not Safe (for now)!  

     2023-01-03: Weather conditions to date have not been favourable to form ice on ponds and lakes. The rain and warm temperatures of past week have undone what ice that had been formed prior to 23 December.

It is not clear at this time when ice on the lakes and ponds at SLBM Trails will be of sufficient depth (and quality) to safely snowshoe and ski on.

Minimum ice thickness for safe passage on snowshoes, skiis, skates and winter footwear is 15-20 cm (6-8 inches). Of course, the ice has to be blue-ice, not translucent or slushy.



  What's With Winter This Year  

     2023-01-03: Winter 2023 outlook.


  Thanksgiving Greetings 2022 @ SLBM Trails  

     2022-10-07: Autumn foliage colour will be prime show Thanksgiving weekend @ SLBM Trails.


  Autumn Foliage Colour Timeline Trend @ SLBM Trails ~ It's a Wrap  

     2022-10-28: 27 October: The loons have gone south and deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, leaving only the golden hue of tamarack needles turning colour. The forest is now at rest awaiting the snow of coming winter.

As moose hunting season was a week earlier in 2022 compared to past years, we were not able to provide a foliage colour progress update since the last observation on 6 October.

This post marks the last observation to be taken for the 2022 fall foliage colour.

Please note that deer hunting season for 2022 is 7-20 November.

SLBM Trails are open for hiking until deer hunting season.



Photos on MT Group / SLBM Trails Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=139341168847489&set=pcb.139342198847386



  Autumn Foliage Colour Timeline Trend @ SLBM Trails  

     2022-09-13: 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 2022, the sequential timeline graphic will be posted on SLBM Trails Facebook page as and when in-field observations take place. The autumn 2021 timeline.


SLBM Trails Fall Foliage Timeline

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.





  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  

     2021-10-14:


  CAUTION: "Ball Bearings" on SLBM Trails  

     2021-10-03:


  Trail Sign Refurbishment  

     2021-09-29:


  Tracking Autumn 2021 Foliage Colour Timeline @ 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.



  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.


Trail Maintenace 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.

  2021 Trail Maintenance Underway  

     2021-06-11: Crews started today the 2021 maintenance of SLBM Trails. Below is work order that will guide & prioritize the COVID-19 related delay in maintenance.


Trail Maintenance Work Order

  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.

Resources:
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


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 viewing, download & print.


Burnetts Trail  2 Sections Flooded


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 larger 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 Chart


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.




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