Our journey on the Wetum Road started today at 9:25 AM after an overnight to visit Granny Canuck in Cochrane. Loaded up with groceries, a full tank of gas, lunch, and Reese our miniature poodle co-pilot, we start our venture to the tip of James Bay in our 4×4 Nissan Titan.
Built in 2012 by Mocreebec and contract partners; the seasonal winter road connects Moose Factory and Moosonee to Highway 634 and then onto Highway 11. We start the real journey at Smooth Rock Falls and travel along highway 634 to Fraserdale. After Fraserdale, the road continues to Abitibi Canyon and then on the Wetum road. Up to this point, the road can be traveled in the summer as it’s used for maintaining the dams.
KM 0 | 10:35 AM | Town of Smooth Rock Falls
Resetting the odometer to zero at the local Esso gas station for 1.19 a liter, we are now ready to tackle the journey onward to Moosonee.
KM 49.4 | 11:13 AM | ONR Track Crossing
KM 79.8 | 11:45 AM | Abitibi Generating Station Dam Crossing
Providing 349 MW of power to the Ontario Power Generation grid, the dam was put into service in 1933. If you would like to read more about the generating station, please follow the following link to Ontario Power Generation.
KM 126.9 | 12:21 AM | Turning onto the Wetum Road – 170 KM To Go
KM 238 | 2:10 PM | Crossing The French River
KM 241.6 | 2:18 PM | The Muskeg
A large portion of the land in the James Bay Lowlands is muskeg or moss bog. It is very similar to swamp land that is covered in a thick dense moss. While walking on it, it’s very spongy and you can only travel on it during the winter months. Want to learn more on muskeg, here’s the link to Wikipedia.
KM 294.8 | 3:11 PM | Moose Factory
KM 301.4 | 3:32 PM | Moosonee
From Smooth Rock Falls to Moosonee, our adventure was just over 300KM and around 5 hours. We had a great time on the road, a few pit stops to let the dog out and stretch the legs, and two ‘hold on’ moments where the dog and 1/2 the cargo went flying.
I wouldn’t recommend traveling the ice roads if you’ve never driven on them before but if you’re in the area, want an adventure, hit me up!