The Swisha Loop is a beautiful run that covers 800+ km of trails across Southwestern Quebec. A common destination for short getaways or shakedown runs for overland travelers. This is also a great remote route for people travelling overland across Canada who want to see a little piece of each province along the way.
This section provides resources for overland trip planning in Canada. To contact overland enthusiasts in the area you are travelling to for tips and information, see our OVERLAND RESOURCES page. This page also has information on overland recovery and local suppliers to find out who to contact in the area should you need a helping hand.
I have often asked myself, what really differentiates a classic Canadian “road trip” from overland adventure? Does the distance have a threshold, say 5,000 kilometres? Okay, maybe 7,000? Or, is it the road conditions, pavement, versus gravel, or a mix of both? Is it the distinctiveness of the geographic area covered, the Canadian Prairies, or the Ontario Shield or the villages littering lake-abundant countryside of Quebec?
Follow Canadian Overlanders Mathew Irvine and Kim Scott as they set out to explore some of the West Coast’s vast wilderness and parks. Trekking 2700 kilometers from Vancouver’s lower mainland thru the pristine British Columbia interior to Alberta’s stunning parks before taking the Whipsaw trail home.
In late summer of 2016, a team of 5 vehicles set out to prove a proposed trans provincial overland route that East Coast Overland put together in New Brunswick and dubbed “NB Expedition”. The team was made up of Virgil’s Jeep JKU with trailer in tow, Jonathan’s Toyota FJ Cruiser, Lew’s Toyota Tacoma, who came up from Vermont to join this adventure, Nick’s Jeep JKU and RJ’s Jeep JK. This is our story.
Saturday February 4th dawned with a light cloud and no flurries, a perfect day to explore some back roads and participate in the first Rally of Abandoned Ontario. Winter in Canada is usually long, grey, cold and conducive to moping around the house dreaming of fine weather exploration and camping. Steve Rock, originator and organizer of Rally of Abandoned Ontario, had decided that enough was enough. It was time to get a few friends and acquaintances together for a fun couple of days of back road driving. What Steve had thought would be a get together of 6 to 12 people with a final prize of a case of beer quickly took on a life of its own.
I have been trying to travel on the Christmas Tree Pass the past few times that I was in Arizona visiting my father, but there is always something that prevents this from happening. This time it was my short stay; I was only there for four days in November, and my Dad has no interest in bumping around on a “bad road”. He has a point, back roads in a desert climate can quickly become impassible if it has rained (which it had). I decided to rent an economy car and hike to the petroglyphs in Grapevine canyon instead, which is something else high on my list of things to do. Turns out, there was not enough time for that either, but I did get a few nice pics.
My father spends almost 300 days a year exploring the US. I'm quite envious really. These pictures are from day trip my brother, sister and I took with my Dad into the Cerbat Mountains on the Chloride Mines Trail.
The 'Forgotten Lands' is an area in central Ontario Canada that is bordered by Haliburton, Peterborough and Minden. This was once land that was given to early settlers to Canada. Upon arriving from Europe the settlers painfully discovered their promised rich farm land was actually dense trees and granite from the Canadian Shield. Virtually unfarmable the area was abandoned and left for logging. The remains of early homesteads can still be found in lonely rocky areas here.
In 2014 I flew down to visit my father in Chloride Arizona. I quickly rented a Jeep and decided to pack in as much as I could in the few days I had. I managed to see parts of Mojave National Preserve, Joshua Tree Highway, Route 66, Death Valley, Christmas Tree Pass and a bit of the Chloride Mines trail.