Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Some sleuthing uncovers intriguing details about the old iron mines in the Wilbur/Lavant Station area along the abandoned K&P railway. Here's an excerpt from an Ontario government annual report dated 1884:
"Boyd Caldwell Mine -- The Boyd Caldwell Mine is at Wilbur Station, in the south western part of the township of Lavant, close to the Kingston and Pembroke road, and a siding is laid from the track to the mouth of the shaft. The machinery consists of a twenty horse-power boiler, a steam hoist, and other plant. The shaft has been sunk about 75 feet, and 6,000 tons of ore have been taken out, but the mine had been closed for some time previous to my visit. It is owned by Mr. Boyd Caldwell, of Lanark.
"Wilbur Mine -- This one is near the Boyd Caldwell mine, and is owned by the Wilbur Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company, the stock of which is controlled at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Its machinery consists of an air compressor for driving six drills, a double hoist, a fifty horse-power boiler and other plant. The quantity of ore shipped from it in 1882 was 8,000 tons; in 1883, 17,000 tons; and in 1884, 9,200 tons. the hamlet of Wilbur has a population of about 250 souls, nearly all of whom are miners."
Thursday, July 2, 2009
"Getting there involves riding the cable car to the top station and then a bit of riding / hike-a-bike... but from the point of the photo on there's an absolutely incredible singletrack descent that goes on and on and on. It's super-technical (but all rideable) and with quite a bit of exposure. One of the best trails in the
Alps, for sure."
West of Almonte is the hamlet of Tatlock, where there's massive marble quarry that's really worth a trip on a sunny day. The rock formation is gleaming hill of white crumbly rock that OMYA is gradually stripping away for use as filler in things like paint, plastics, and toothpaste. (See my other post for more information on the geology.)
Update Aug 25, 2014: The quarry has recently been closed to public access. According to the large sign barricading the road, some people didn't respect the fencing around the viewing area and trespassed into the quarry proper.
Update Nov 22, 2015: Closed again when I visited two weekends ago. Not sure if seasonal or permanent.
Many mountain bikers in the Ottawa area are surprised to learn that the Stony Swamp in Bells Corners offers some great trail riding. I only really discovered the area myself a couple of years ago, despite driving by it almost daily. Sure, you can see some trailheads from the road--but from that perspective it really doesn't look inspiring. Why bother bringing out the bike when the Kanata Lakes technical trail system is only a few minutes away?
Update (2014): Stoney Swamp fell victim to an extensive bush fire several years ago, To reach the fire, crews cut a number of roads into the heart of some of the best mountain biking trails in the swamp. The remaining trails are still pretty good--especially for beginners. But the hardest stuff is gone.