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Stage 677 – Espanola to Beaver Lakes

The trajectory of stage 677 looks remarkably like 676: it’s a relentless east/north east journey between water features north of Lake Huron. This one is lumpy from start to finish and the elevation profile confirms that it’s also a climber, with much of the work reserved for the final few miles. There are lakes north and south and there are water crossings aplenty: 677 is an adventure through the wilderness of southern Ontario in eastern Canada.

The rollout is up/down for three miles to a shorter, sharper climb around a right hander that skirts around a hill on the right hand side (south) of the road. Off the descent of that, Highway 17 passes the junction with Ontario Provincial Highway 6 that heads south to Espanola, and a mile further along the road is McKerrow ahead of a gentle four mile climb that crosses a few streams and passes a few bunches of unnamed water before arriving at the Spanish River at ten miles. The river flows south from Agnew Lake into Lake Huron and it has been a companion of the Around The World for the past few stages, albeit flowing against the direction of travel. This time the river crosses under the road flowing north east to south west before the two share a common path for a few miles ahead of the road and the river going their separate ways with six miles to go.]

From the crossing at ten miles, Highway 17 climbs gently but lumpily to fourteen miles where a couple of miles of respite are on offer. But then through the community of Nairn Centre at sixteen miles, the road climbs steeply again before dropping away down to Bell Lake and Moon Lake around a sweeping left hand bend.

From the lowpoint at the centre of the bend, the road climbs relentlessly for the next three miles to the twin Beaver Lakes which are connected by a stream north of the highway. Blake Creek flows from the second of the lakes and Highway 17 crosses over it at eighteen miles. Beyond Beaver Lakes, the road is straight and undulating in down/up fashion, running parallel with Salo Road just a couple of hundred metres to the north, and as it does so, it tracks its way to the finish in the middle of nowhere.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 495 feet / 151 metres

RGT Magic Road: qlfTd9f5mYJt

Total distance: 20.95 mi
Max elevation: 774 ft
Min elevation: 650 ft
Total climbing: 496 ft
Total descent: -397 ft

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