witless bay line loop


The Witless Bay Line (WBL) loop is a 50 km ride that follows a snowmobile route out to WBL and then follows a different snowmobile route on the way back in.  You can begin the ride from many places in The Goulds; I have shown it here starting at Power’s Pond Road.


As you can see the first 5 km or so is gaining elevation, then you are on a plateau for awhile before being rewarded with some fun, gradual descent to WBL.  Once you hit the pavement you have two choices; go left (east) and ride WBL itself (which we did) or go right (west) for 1 km to pick up a country road that parallels WBL.

There is one thing that you need to be aware of if attempting this ride; there is a significant water crossing at kilometer 37.  A trestle that used to serve as the crossing point is now gone.  Snowmobilers now wait for the stream to freeze and cross it to the west of the missing trestle.  If we have expereinced a significant thaw or rain (as we often do here) this ice bridge may be compromised or missing altogether.  This leaves the rider to either: a) wade across, or; b) ride back to Bay Bulls and follow the Southern Shore HIghway back to The Goulds.  Thankfully the ice bridge was in place when we got there but it had clearly seen some compromise from the thaw/rain we experienced one week earlier.

WBL 001

The leg out had firm, fast conditions thanks to the colder temperature and low snowmobile traffic.

WBL 011

The route out to Witless Bay Line is an established snowmobile trail with some signage to mark the way.

WBL 012



It was great to see blue sky and sunshine the whole day.



The barrens do strange things to trees.

WBL 018


“Look, Ma, no hands!” The author in his happy place.
(Darren McD photo)

WBL 022

Looking east toward Bay Bulls.


The way back is an informal snowmobile route and has its own signage.


There were lots of people out enjoying the day including these two rabbit hunters.

WBL 042

Conditions got a little soft and squirrley later in the day as the temperature rose and the snowmobile traffic increased. Seen here, Tim gets punished for not staying on the established track.


We dropped our tire pressure to get through some of the soft stuff. Darren adds air back into his tires once we were back on firmer snow.


Sections of the return leg are like a highway – a busy highway.


My fellow riders were sporting new gear; Darren’s bike is now set up with the studded Dillinger’s 120 TPSI.


Darren shows off his new studded tires.

WBL 002

Tim’s Beargrease now sports lots of new bling.

WBL 008

Cobrafist pogies.

WBL 005

Frame bag.

WBL 006

Seat bag

WBL 056

The rising moon indicates it is getting late in the day and that our ride is almost complete. Cold beer and salty snacks await us.

WBL 060

Almost home.


The sun sets and another epic ride is over.


5 thoughts on “witless bay line loop

  1. Hi There, great stories and dito pics. I have a beargrease 2015 model and in doubt wether to buy that Salsa framebag. I’m afraid the velcro straps are gonna damage the carbon frame tubing. What are you experiences with these bags and carbon frame?


    • Hi Sven,

      I have two bikes: a steel framed Surly Pugsley and a carbon fibre Pivot Les Fat. I have used both with frame bags. The Pivot gets used in the winter and the Pugs the rest of the time. The Pivot has no scratches due to bags but the Pugs is badly scratched. The difference isn’t due to the frame material but the fact that the Pugs sees a lot of dirt and the Pivot none.

      The scratching to your frame will come from dirt getting between the bag and the frame, not from the bag itself.

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