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.
The leg out had firm, fast conditions thanks to the colder temperature and low snowmobile traffic.
The route out to Witless Bay Line is an established snowmobile trail with some signage to mark the way.
It was great to see blue sky and sunshine the whole day.
The barrens do strange things to trees.
“Look, Ma, no hands!” The author in his happy place.
(Darren McD photo)
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.
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.
Tim’s Beargrease now sports lots of new bling.
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.
The sun sets and another epic ride is over.