I was itching for some fatbike adventure and boy, did that itch get scratched with a circumnavigation of Mobile Big Pond recently. I had bikepacked the south shore of this pond during my solo trek through the Hawk Hills last year and had remained curious about what the north shore of the pond was like.
Mobile Big Pond is about a 30 minute drive south of St. John’s. You will pass through Bay Bulls, Witless Bay and then Mobile. Look for a convenience store on your left hand side; 1.3 km past that, on your right hand side, is the dirt road to Mobile Big Pond.
Mobile Big Pond, like other ponds in the area (Cape Pond, Mount Carmel Pond) have been dammed to power small hydroelectric stations. Unlike other ponds the water levels vary in these bodies of water and I’ve found that in the summer and autumn the levels are low and there is a lot of beach to ride.
We parked shortly after turning off the main highway (X marks the spot) and rode into the pond itself (appx. 10 km) but you could easily drive all the way to the pond if you wanted to.
We decided to ride the pond clockwise and early in the ride came across some big rocks to play on.
Getting around the pond involves a little bit of everything; beach riding, river crossings and the occasional diversion into the pond itself!
It took us 6 hours to get around the pond itself, which I measured out to be about 22 km traveled, which gives an average speed of 3.5 km per hour. That is good to know for future treks that involve a mix of riding and hike-a-bike. Below is a rough guide to what we encountered: yellow = hike-a-bike, purple = sweet beach riding and brown = a mixture of the two.
I can’t say enough about how much I love the western end of this pond; it seems to have it all: beaches, crystal clear water, rivers, hills, wildlife (we saw geese and loons on this trip) and above all, silence. It is spectacularly quiet in here.
We’re planning to return here, in the late winter or early spring, when ice on the pond will make this a completely different ride altogether.