Larose Loop (57 km)
Route Author: Bill Bourne
Location: Larose Forest, United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Ontario
Distance: 57.3km (35.6 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 32mm or more
Amenities: There are several resupply options available along the route. There is a depanneur in the village of Cheney, approximately 13km from the start. Meanwhile, the nearby hamlet of Hammond includes a rest stop/privy, as well as a depanneur. Finally, the small town of Bourget provides access to a grocer and pizzeria.
Estimated Gravel Time: 75%
Parking: The official start of the loop is the Henri Latreille Shelter on Indian Creek Rd. and includes a privy. Otherwise, parking can also be found just west of the village of Hammond, along the Prescott-Russell Trail, as well as in the village itself at the community centre park ‘n ride.
This figure-eight loop, submitted by Bill Bourne, is part of the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s recent series of “Introduction to Gravel” no-drop group rides, and provides beginner-friendly access to the scenic unmaintained roads that crisscross Larose Forest. Please use common sense when riding in Larose Forest during hunting season, and be sure to stay off the mountain bike trails unless your tires are a minimum of 2.0 inches wide. Finally, given the amount of unmaintained in the area, this route is best ridden after mud season in early spring.
Starting from the Henri Latreille Shelter, head north along Indian Creek Rd. for just over a kilometre, before making a right and continuing on unmaintained single-lane dirt for approximately 4km to Goyer Rd.
After a quick right-left, remain on hard-packed dirt for a couple of kilometres, eventually making a left and returning to unmaintained as the route continues north to Saint Felix Rd. At this point, the route stays on easy to navigate gravel all the way to Drouin Rd.
From here, proceed north on pavement for 4km, passing through the village of Cheney before eventually reaching the Prescott-Russell Trail. Continue east on the trail for 7.4km to the town of Bourget, the route’s last resupply option.
From Bourget, head south and exit the town via Champlain Rd., crossing Bear Brook and making a right, returning to firm gravel via Saint Felix Rd. Soon thereafter, the route transitions back to single-lane unmaintained and meanders south through Larose Forest for 13km, before finally exiting onto gravel by way of Bertrand Street. While the roads here are well looked after, and consist mostly of smooth and hard-packed doubletrack, there can be the occasional pothole, loose gravel, or branches. So be sure to stay alert.
Proceed south on Bertrand Street to Calypso Street, and a long stretch of quiet country pavement. After just over 9km, leave the asphalt behind and switch back to gravel via Racette Rd. Soon thereafter, the route returns to Larose Forest and continues on Grant Rd., a gorgeous stretch of single-lane gravel, all the way back to start.