An honest note, call it a love letter, to The Seguin Trail.
Written following an adventure in July 2022.
The Seguin sucks.
There. I said it. It is in the title. Don’t come at me after with, “you didn’t tell me…”
You can quote me, but quote this whole bit.
It sucks in your tires. It sucks the power out of your legs. It sucks the strength out of your back and replaces it with burning fatigue.
It is surrounded by superb gravel road routes. It is shadowed by Hwy 518, a superb road ride. It doesn’t go “anywhere” you can’t get to by other means.
It isn’t the best option.
It opened in 1896, as the Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway, built by J.R. Booth to carry lumber out of the Ottawa Valley to Georgian Bay. Thus, it is ostensibly flat. Around here, the only thing flat is usually the kitchen table, yet this trail manages to sneak from coast to park edge with minimal climbs, which are typically caused by a ravine and lost bridge.
How they scouted that through the woods and wetlands…
I expect it to let me get to where I want to go. I expect passable, accessible and enjoyable.
It. Doesn’t. Care.
The rails were pulled in the 50s. The rock cuts the trains would have lumbered past are worn and broken and now look natural, with wetlands settled in alongside – it is tired and has served its purpose.
It is rough and exposed, and this is how it treats others. It will expose your weaknesses and how the skills and power you used to have have dulled with time.
What works for other routes in the area just doesn’t play well here. It isn’t a route through a mountain pass. It is literally taken right from town. It shouldn’t require specific gear, or technique or purpose, but it does.
Come ready to fight. Come ready to stop. Come ready to change your plans. Come ready to take it all in and have it taken out of you.
It is a chameleon. It changes. What I describe here speaks of the sections around Sprucedale. Others may have, uhmmm, stronger or different personalities.
As I was saying, it sucks, but dang, if it isn’t a beautiful ride.
Photos from the Seguin Trail: