TMAT Gunflint Loop map updated

January 25, 2012

Quick update.  The extension off from the TMAT East that I have been calling the “Gunflint Loop” has been updated.  I have been meaning to add a return trail that encourages riders to not follow HWy 61 back to Duluth.  It is now posted.  Keep in mind that this trail addition is still considered “proposed” because I haven’t gotten enough feedback from riders and haven’t ridden it myself.  Check dualsportmaps.com for the updated GPS tracks. Comments, as always, are welcome.


State OHV Maps now available on Android Phones

January 20, 2012

As you may know the website DualSportMaps.com holds all the GPS data for the Trans-Minnesota Adventure Trail.  It is a great site and also has a Android app that goes with it that allows you to use your Android phone as a GPS.  I mount my phone to my handlebars and it works wonderfully!  No need to spend $500 on the latest Garmin!

Well, today it gets even better.  DualSportMaps.com has a new feature that allows you to take a existing paper or electronic map and load it into their website so that it can be overlayed onto their map data.  Sound confusing?  All you need to know is that now you can access Minnesota DNR OHV maps in two new ways:

1. By going to dualsportmaps.com, creating an account, and then clicking on the Map Overlays link.  You will see 2 overlays in Minnesota.  Click on them and they will show Nemadji and Chengwatana MN DNR maps inserted into the site.

2. You can also view the MN DNR OHV maps usign the DualSportMaps Android application.

Why is this great?  There is now no need to have a printed MN DNR map in one hand and your gps in another while navigating down the trail.  Now both can be displayed at the same time on your Android Phone (I still recommend carrying paper maps as a backup in case your phone/gps fails).  Also, when planning a trip there is no need to have one web browser open to the DNR website and another window open to the DualSportMaps.com website.    This is just one more way technology is making this sport much more interesting.

I have uploaded the Chengwatana and Nemadji state maps to the site.  I hope to upload the rest of the state OHV maps soon.

Ride safe!

Screenshot


Nice TMAT East Ride Report

August 9, 2011

“MichaelR” over on Twin Cities Dual Sport yahoo group wrote up a nice trip report from a recent ride on the TMAT East.  He even used the new Dual Sport Maps Android app as a GPS.  He also has included some valuable info regarding trail damage.  Here is the report:

“We left a little later than anticipated on Friday morning, and hit the dirt at May Ave and 120th St. I had the map loaded on my Barnes and Noble Nook(Rooted, Gingerbread)in the Dual Sport Maps application and was feeding the GPS coordinates from my phone using Tether GPS and an Ad Hoc Wifi network on the bike.

It was really nice to have the huge 7″ screen on the nook for a GPS. I put it in my tank bag, and the touch screen worked through my map window, with my gloves on. I had a few app crashes until I stopped auto-rotating the map. Then things worked great. I have to say, mindlessly following ‘the line’ while being able to enjoy the scenery is the way to go. My fall back plan was printed, turn by turn directions, but I also had DSM on my phone, and an eTrex legend along.

The ride was relatively uneventful until we got north of Sunrise. May Ave is really nice, winding dirt road with a lot of trees and road side lakes. It’s paved into and out of Scandia, until you get back on the dirt a few miles north. Outside of Sunrise, we hit another paved section. The road was closed. A quick review of the map showed quite a detour, so with the blessing of the workers who had the road dug up, we rode down into the construction ditch and back up the other side.

Once we got back into the dirt, it pretty much stayed that way all the way to Hinckley with only a short paved section in Pine City to cross the Snake River.

Out of Hinckley, you take 48 out to St. Croix State Forest. It is still closed. We pulled into the first parking lot at Grace’s Lake so Deb could see the same devastation that turned Paul Streeter and me back on 7/4. There was a bit of the state trail cleared, but they really haven’t done much. There were commercial crews clearing huge fields of downed ‘money trees’, but no sign of the DNR folks clearing trail.

We got back on the highway and picked up the Gandy Dancer at Markville. 50 yards down the trail, we had to get back on the access road, as there were way too many trees down on the GDT. We kept an eye out for clear trail so we could get back on, but ended up on the access road (Belden)all the way to it’s end. We were still about 6.5 miles short of the turn into Nemadji. We pushed on, crossing over and under blowdowns, and managed to get within a mile of the turn before there was just no going over, under, or around. We had to turn back and ride 8 miles to get back to Rash Lake Rd. We could have taken the Moose Junction road to 35 in WI and gone up to Foxboro, but the trail was well under water, and I didn’t have cheese land maps loaded.

We ended up taking Rash Lake Rd out to Trails End, then into Kerrick for a nice 1.5 hour detour. The fast forest road was fun, and there were paths for forest trucks cleared through the few blowdowns we saw.

We stopped in Duquette for Ice Cream. After being there so many times on the dirt bike, it was strange to have ridden there from home instead Gafvert camp ground. We picked up the TMAT just out of Nickerson and continued north.

It was pretty much all farm field dirt roads to 210. Then we went into Carlton and Thomson. Wow! The Outpost (U of M Paddling Center) at Thomson Reservoir was incredible. We stopped for a good 45 minuted and crawled around under the bridge over the rapids. Jay Cooke State Park is beautiful and the paved twisties were a real treat. We popped out on 23(the quick way to Duluth from Nemadji,) and rode by the turnoff to Superior, and through New Duluth. A left on Becks Rd took us to West Skyline Parkway and up we climbed. The ‘Road Closed’ sign stopped me for… Actually, it didn’t stop me at all. I motored right through. Automobile traffic signs don’t apply to Dual Sports.

The view from Skyline was incredible. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We were staying out by the Airport, so we got off the trail and went to our hotel.

The next day we had a Scenic Boat Tour to take. It started raining. The tour was informational, but had I known what it was going to be, I would have opted to ride out earlier and beat the storm. We got back on the bikes in the rain, and rode to Aerostich. Not even the downpour could pry the cost of a Roadcrafter suit out of my wallet, even with a $200 discount. Deb forbid me to get the “Wherever there is sin, that’s where I must go” shirt, so I’ll have to mail order one. I did get the ‘Unsupported motorcycle travel for Terminal Cases’ book free for stopping in, though.

We decided to forego the TMAT on the way to Two Harbors. The WR was still shod with OEM ‘DeathWings’and we had no idea if we would find mud. We took the shoreline drive and arrived safe and soggy in Two Harbors.

One of the people we were staying with went over the route we were going to take from Two Harbors, and indicated that it was all paved, though Hay fields. It was probably better to have taken the shoreline anyway, since we didn’t need to jog over to the west to stay on the trail going further north.

We took 61,23,123 home with a stretch back on the TMAT from Hinckley to Pine City. By that time, we both understood why Corbin saddles cost so much, so we hopped on 61 for the speedy ride back and off the saddles. All in all, a very successful trip and we’re looking forward to the next one. Does anyone have a Corbin they want to sell for a KLR?”


TMAT Central route updated

July 8, 2011

Just an FYI,

Back on the 4th of this month the TMAT Central was updated due to feedback from “Get Bent” that there was a bit too much pavement on the section west of the metro. So jump over to the TMAT page and download the latest GPX file to stay current.

We are still looking for riders to verify the northern most section of the proposed TMAT Central and also looking for feedback on the proposed Gunflint Loop.  So hopefully that gives some riders a reason to get out and explore this month!


St. Croix and Chengwatana trails damaged by storms

July 7, 2011

Here is a recent ride report from “Michael R” over on the Twin Cities DS yahoo group:

I took my wife and 2 granddaughters to Chengwatana on Sunday, July after the storm that came through on 7/1.

Pretty much everything at Chengwatana is marked as closed for repairs, but they didn’t just put the signs up after the storm. The W. Munger section is open, the main trail to the north, and one side trail into the swamp from the main road. That’s it! I guess Carlton County gets the next round of permit money. The Munger section was impassable due to blowdowns from the storm. We were able to ride the main trail north all the way to the end where it is marked for snowmobiles only. There were a few blockages that had been ridden around through the adjoining fields, but it was pretty much passable the whole way.

Paul Streeter picked me up on Monday, and we went to St. Croix SF. What a mess. We didn’t get more than 100 yards down any trail before coming upon something we just couldn’t get around, over, under, or through. We finally decided to ride to Rock Lake to see the damage, but once again we couldn’t make it. Tamarack Forest Road is open to the ‘T’ that splits to Rock Lake and the horse camp. The road to the horse camp is blocked, and once again, down the road to Rock Lake we came upon about 50 solid yards of 6-8″ birch blowdowns. Time to get a chainsaw rack for the WR.

The government didn’t close the trails, but the storm sure did

Sounds bad Please plan ahead if you are heading to that area.
Anyone for organizing a trail clean up crew?


DNR moves forward with Matthew Lourey State Trail for OHMs

June 27, 2011

Last month I posted about an open comment period the DNR had on proposed access to the Matthew Lourey State Trail for OHMs.  The DNR has finished their study on whether or not an Environmental Impact Statement needed to be done first.  They found that it is not needed.  Hooray!  This speeds up the process and reduces the cost considerably.  This project can proceed to permitting and approvals.  No promises yet on when the trail will open up for OHMs.  But this is good news for those of us who want an easier way to get between Nemadji and St. Croix forests.  A map is here.  It would be even better for the TMAT if they would open up the trail all the way down to the Chengwatana as there is no direct access to that forest from the St. Croix today.

 


Trip reports of Northeastern rides this month

June 23, 2011

A couple of groups of MN riders were up north this month riding and posted their trip reports on ADVrider:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=660162&page=18
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=681492&page=14

The photos look great.  I would love to add on a northeastern loop to the TMAT to hit some of those trails and maybe even loop through Canada.  Feedback from anyone out there on trails to include would be great!


Ride Reports & new Foothills Loop

June 13, 2011

A couple of ride reports have been posted in the forum.  Jump on over and check them out.

One of the reports was from myself from a ride this weekend on the new Foothills Loop and TMAT-B and TMAT-C routes.  It was a great trip so check out the story and photos.

Camping in Paul Bunyan State Forest

Camping in Paul Bunyan State Forest

The Foothills Loop itself was generated from the other rider report from Papamoto.

 

The .gpx files for TMAT-B and TMAT-C have been updated slightly due to this ride, just an FYI.


Cass-Hubbard-Wadena map added

June 1, 2011

Thanks to “Danomsp” from the TC Dual Sport group for supplying a PDF file with combined DOT maps of these three counties.  This is a popular area to ride.

Download the PDF to a cd or memory stick, take it to Kinko’s, and for a few bucks they will print it out on their large document printer for you.

Great resource to have.  It is posted to the Trails page.


New “LeSuer Loop” gps file added

May 27, 2011

It is a goal to add some fun “loop” trails off from the TMAT in various places.  Several folks have sent some in.  I finally posted one of them. Find the “LeSuer Loop” on the Trails page.  Thank you ADVronksi on advrider.com for submitting this!  Hopefully, this is the start of many more.