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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through September 18, 2013 * Should the Centre Falls footbridge be re-built? < Previous Next >

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curly
Member

Post Number: 425
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hap Wilson has posted this question on his webpage and Facebook. Wondering what you think?

http://hapwilson.com/footbridge-on-the-centre-fall s-trail/
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 286
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

my vote would be no, do not replace it- even though i have fond memories of it- i once saw a fox run across it ahead of me while i was looking for firewood!
i just think it's true that its a "slippery slope" (pun intended)- do you put in a set of steps at bridal veil or fat man's portage? let's face it, a lot of portages in temagami are unsafe!!
plus i can understand the government's point of view in this case... if you trip on a loose board and break your neck, it's on them because it is their bridge. if you trip on a rock and break your neck, it's your own damn fault!
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1543
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 4:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is a sort of paradox. We go out as an escape and want a "wild" experience. A bridge on a portage doesn't fit that goal (of course, portage signs are also paradoxical). It is also not the only tough portage around. Yet, the bridge had become historic since it was there since at least 1947. I think I do not contradict my own leave-it-wild view by supporting the historic exception to the wild rule that it be put back.
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street
Member

Post Number: 17
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I vote yes, concur with Brian regarding the historical exception, and admittedly do so in large part simply because I grew up with it (the bridge was there in 1973 when I first experienced the majesty of Centre). I offer a second reason: since the bridge was removed, there appears to be an increase in the number of people who do not cross the portage, but go halfway and camp there, often for more than one day, which is problematic at such a popular site. Perhaps there is no correlation at all, but I think that the bridge provided subtle encouragement for folks to move on. Of course, if the bridge is re-built and overuse at Divide becomes a problem ....
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1544
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 9:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Street is probably right: there will be an impact on travel beyond Centre. But should that govern bridge replacement? And should the issue, real or not, of liability to the park system? Don't both of these press the "wild" button?
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 290
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

one thing i've noticed about all the difficult portages in temagami (and one non-portage, the trail to ishpatina) is that they are all, sometimes improbably, do-able. on occasion it has taken me quite a bit of time to figure out exactly how or why they are do-able, but there always turns out to be a way; and i would stress that this is not obvious or a no-brainer... "do-ability" is not a general feature of the temagami landscape as you will find out if you try cutting cross-country on a compass line.
i always find there is something a little magical about this fact, but i put it down to thousands of years of animals and humans needing to find a way through in order to travel.
here and there stones have been placed or removed in order to provide a step up or down, who knows how long ago or by whom?
anyway i think that's a pretty special and amazing aspect of the nastawgan and i tend to think of every "step" as a historical artifact; often so subtle you hardly know it's there, but the product of thousands of years of USE.
if folks want to rebuild the footbridge for nostalgic reasons i sympathize, but it may mean that the REAL path might need a bit of maintenance a few hundred years down the road...
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doug_2
Member

Post Number: 180
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 6:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

lots of paradox's on this subject.. It was a fantastic bridge while it lasted...I was actually on the interior parks maintenance crew with orders to tear it down . Why? The Ontario Parks engineer took a look at is and determined rot and other degradation had set in over time and that it was a hazard. Since it was built by MNR, they wanted no part of a lawsuit if somebody fell through or whatever...I sort of get it...Hap Wilson and his crew built it and that did a super good job....for both function and aesthetics...But time takes it toll on wood bridges...I have mixed feelings about this but I think Ontario Parks budgets can be better spent on protection than on new bridges...
also now that Lady Ev Smootwater is a wilderness class park there really aren'r supposed to be man made improvements ...or at least they are minimized,,,That could be a good thing depending how you look at it. I can see more important issues that the bridge at Center fall to be rebuilt. I take nothing away from the original builders though. It was a great job and a bridge I will never forget

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