(– by yazza #6395 –)
Saturday: Enter Gooderham at north end at about 10:30, Salmon burn to Picard, then stop for the night on the side of Picard at about 6.
Sunday: Finish Picard, fire road to Old Logging road then out – drive Hogs Back on the way home.
It took us about 4 hours to run Gooderham (including a break for lunch). Lots of small obstacles, and water holes. We had not run this trail before, so we carefully scoped out several of the larger water holes before crossing them – one of which would have been a huge problem had we not stopped as our initial assessment proved to be very wrong. We were going to go through to the right, but that proved to be over 2 feet deep with a very slick muddy bottom. Straight through the middle was about 2' deep (see photos below) but the bottom was all rock.
We met some very friendly ATV guys at the hole that sunk a friend's Xterra last week. The ATV guys were in the middle of trying to get one of their ATVs out of the same hole the Xterra sunk in. So we bounced over the rocks and stumps, and avoided the deep part. The ATV guys were impressed.
I really enjoyed Gooderham, and look forward to running it again. The OF4WD rates it at 2+ and I would say that is fair, overall I believe it is more difficult then Minden Hydro Line, as you can never really relax, although Minden does have a few more serious obstacles.
The portion of Salmon burn that connects Gooderham and Picard was very easy. We found Picard Lake to be an easy trail. We had to keep your wits about us, and we could only rarely get up any speed. It was interesting, but not really challenging. Actually a bit of a relief after Gooderham where you had to be constantly on guard and seeking the right line. I would say Picard could be run by a capable stock suv – not a soccer mom suv. I have a friend with a 2009 Rav 4 who wants to run trails – he might be able to get it through Picard but it would probably cost him his exhaust.
I took a brief look at The Weakest Link side trail and determined that it would probably kill me, so we skipped that. We met a group of Americans – all in heavily modified jeeps with 37" tires. They had run Weakest Link and said my xterra was too long and too tall for that trail, they found it challenging.
Sunday we finished Picard, then took the fire access road to Old Logging road. We had considered taking Concession lake trail, but were told that Mike's Dakota would never make it through – especially without skid plates. Old logging was "OK" but not nearly as challenging as we had expected. The top half was good, but the bottom half is a 1 at best. Seems there has been increased logging last winter and they have "improved" that trail.
We also ran Hogs Back on the way home, I would rate it a 1, reminds me more of country roads up north, then a trail. A nice diversion from the pavement though. We also took a road called "rabbits run" just south of Bobcagen, that was nuts! It was so overgrown that we turned back after less than a kilometre.
Gooderham trail head – north end.
Mike goes for a swim
Bad culvert at 4.1 km into Gooderham
Mike going for another swim in Gooderham
Taking the plunge in my xterra in Gooderham
Mike struggles up a tricky bit of rocks – a place where his long wheel base and heavy truck were a problem – also Gooderham
Pausing to enjoy the scenery on Picard lake trail
Our mistake on the way home