Friday, January 08, 2021


 Unfortunately the lockdown restrictions have been extended so our club executive must cancel all sanctioned hikes until at least Jan 26.   We know many members are still getting out to hike as they see fit but as a club we cannot gather.  For those who go out on their own and take good pictures please keep them and we can put together a collage of suitable ones once we return to club hikes.  

Billy the blogger 

Thursday, January 07, 2021


 Hey, we got a new hiker...  Donna and Chris Bellingham welcomed a new girl into the family last night... apparently first class...

cheers Chris and Donna and Grampa and Gran...Jim and Dianne

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


 Fellow hikers and trail users,

The Voyageur Trail Association(VTA), the organization that maintains and promotes the Voyageur Trail and supports the Coureurs de Bois hiking club in Elliot Lake is looking for a few good volunteers. If you enjoy hiking on local trails that are maintained by volunteers consider helping them out. Most work and meetings with the VTA can be done remotely and/or via conference call. With Covid restrictions curtailing our activities somewhat, here's another way you can stay engaged with like-minded folks.

The VTA is looking for:
** Recording Secretary
** Publicity Director
** Trails Master
** Volunteer Coordinator

Descriptions for these positions can be found at you be interested in helping out in any of these positions please contact Carole Blaquiere at or

Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Marty Turner has agreed to be our representative on the VTA and will occupy the position of Vice President East...  congratulations Marty and our deep thanks.... 


Sunday, December 27, 2020


Back in the early days of the hiking club, back in the 90's,  Alan Day, President of the CdeB,  learned of an old trappers trail that was accessible from an disused road in the bush just north of the existing Stanrock Road and east of Gander Lake.  He and another member, Gord Bruce, went looking and eventually found the trail where it went in by following the slash marks on trees left by the trappers. They even found signs that the mines had been exploring in the area near the Denison Mine site as there was an old drill rig left in the bush. However, there was no evidence of any mine activity beyond that.  A few years later, in conversation, he mentioned their find to me, it sparked interest and Jean-Guy and my late wife Liz and I went searching for the lost trail. We had just about given up when we found what looked like a trail heading in off the old road and sure enough we were able to follow the marks up to the ridge above the Denison dam.  About this time a new couple arrived in Elliot Lake from "down south". Franz and Helen Ohler had retired from the St. Catherine area and had taken up residence on Talon Lake at Bonfield near North Bay. Only problem was, they could not access the site safely when the lake ice was forming or at break-up. They solved this by renting an apartment for the winter in Elliot Lake.  Franz was a superb wood carver and Helen loved hiking. She became friends with Liz, and they decided to clear and mark the trail, including the extension from the ridge down to an extension trail leading to the east end of Cinder Lake. It seemed almost a daily occurrence that Helen would phone Liz asking if they were going to hike that day. They worked on the trail steadily, sometimes with others, until it was cleared and marked. Franz & Helen enjoyed several years of winters in Elliot Lake until, tragically, Helen became ill and died quite suddenly while they were at their summer home.

The CdeB decided to name the old trappers trail "Helens Trail" in her memory.

Franz moved to Ottawa soon after her death and I talked to him recently. He is near family and still enjoying good health.

The trail head for Helen's Trail is on the north side of Stanrock Road about 3 km in from Hwy 108.

Saturday, December 26, 2020


 We received the following update which should save a few bucks ..

"On another note, I looked into the issue of ordering the guidebook online. On the VTA website, after logging into your account, you choose from the Store the item 'Trail Guidebook - Member'. This shows as is in stock @ $30.

I suspect your members had chosen 'VTA Trail Guide', which is for non-members ($40) and shows as Out of Stock.

Thought your club should know for the future."

from Steve at the VTA..

Friday, December 25, 2020


 MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone.  Hope you are all coping well with the strange times these days.  Take care one and all . 

Thursday, December 24, 2020


People have enquired about purchasing the last remaining copies of the VTA guide books. I have requested 4 copies for us..  Tim and Heber have had their request in..  Donna will be picking them up in the Sault in January,,  anyone else wanting one of the other two let me know... the club will pay for them up front and those purchasing them can reimburse when they arrive...



COOKOUT 2020 12 24

 A huge shout out goes to Jim B and his crew for putting  together the cookout at Horne Lake campsite.  He and his helpers lugged all the apparatus to make the cookout happen with all the covid precautions in place.  The group was somewhat small (15) but a great time was had with lots of hotdogs and cookies around the fire.  There was also some brief singing of Christmas carols. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020


 As we all know, the covid rules are changing on Boxing Day for all of Ontario.   In light of the restrictions, ALL OF OUR SCHEDULED HIKES FROM DEC 26 TO JANUARY 11 MUST BE CANCELLED

The cookout scheduled for Dec 24th is still on.

Follow the blog to see when we will be back on track.