Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Canoe Cart on the Swanson River Trail???

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Canoe Cart on the Swanson River Trail???

    I am 61 yrs old as is my wife and we want to do the Swanson River Trail. We have a 16' Grumman canoe which weighs in at 80#. We are very fit but were thinking we may need some help with some of the longer portages plus we like to protect our backs whenever we can.

    I really like the large wheel cart which appears to have motorcycle wheels. My thinking is it may not bottom out in soft tundra like the smaller wheeled carts. What is your opinion on using such a cart on the Swan and Swanson River Trails???

    http://www.adventuresports.com/produ.../boatcarts.php

  2. #2
    Member Trail Boss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Willow AK.
    Posts
    605

    Default

    Just extra pounds. I have a old Colemen that I have just drag with all my gear 100's of times. Hardy any rock or gravel.
    Great trip!
    Trail Boss
    Willow Trail Committe
    ALASKA'S Winter Park Cabins
    To boldly make trail where no man has gone before!!!

  3. #3
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    The difference is that plastic canoes drag well, but aluminum canoes... not so much. Weight of the cart would be a factor, however.

  4. #4
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    I'm pretty sure that you can't have anything with wheels in the canoe system. Max, Alaskacanoe on this forum would be the guy to ask.

    All The portages are well defined trails.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that you can't have anything with wheels in the canoe system. Max, Alaskacanoe on this forum would be the guy to ask.

    All The portages are well defined trails.
    You are right. From the visitor's guide:
    "Keep in mind that the canoe system is wilderness. No mechanized or wheeled devices such as canoe carts are allowed.".

  6. #6
    Member power drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Down wind of 2 Glaciers
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    I wasn't sure about using wheels there, but I have the ones with big wheels that fold and they are very nice for where you can use them.
    I scored mine on Craigslist.

  7. #7
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    I really don't know why there isn't an exemption for canoe carts. I've heard of many cases where somebody just dragged their canoe over the portage, like Trail Boss . Which do you think does more damage to a trail?
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    I really don't know why there isn't an exemption for canoe carts. I've heard of many cases where somebody just dragged their canoe over the portage, like Trail Boss . Which do you think does more damage to a trail?
    They both aren't good due to creating ruts in soft surfaces, which then becomes a channel for water to drain down leading to erosion of the trail. The difference is that it is a lot easier to restrict a type of equipment (wheeled apparatus) than it is to restrict an activity (dragging).

  9. #9
    Member oldmil007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    maine
    Posts
    213

    Default

    I think this might be a link to the visitors guide that Sayak mentioned. Helpful stuff.

    http://kenai.fws.gov/VisitorsEducato...e/canoeing.htm

    We've (six of us) got a three day trip planned during the first week of August and I'm already wishing it was for longer. Looks like a beautiful area. Max has been a big help so far in getting our gear and plans together. Dan Quick's book, "THE KENAI CANOE TRAILS" has a ton of good info too. http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=160

    Good luck with your trip Jim5047.


    - Jay

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default

    The cart idea is a good one, but the canoe trails does not allow it.
    I have had one exception to this rule over the years, and that is handicap folks.
    we had a group that had one fellow in a wheel chair, also a blind fellow and some other special needs.
    it was a huge undertaking, but pulled it off. We got special permission from the Kenai wildlife refuge to do it.
    we were able to at least access a couple of lakes.
    like I said I have only seen it approved once in 20 years.
    It would be a something challenged in court if they were to attempt to stop someone that was disabled from using the resource.
    I imagine no one has done that yet.
    I have seen folks take the carts into the system unaproved before... at least I have seen the tire tracks in the trail mud of someone ahead of me using a cart..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  11. #11
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    I have seen folks take the carts into the system unaproved before... at least I have seen the tire tracks in the trail mud of someone ahead of me using a cart..
    Max
    Probably a "ranger". They seem to be the exception to the rule re: use of wheels and motors in the refuge.
    As for erosion, that would only really matter on inclines, rather than flat spongy areas anyway. I would think two ruts on any slope would help better drain it, making it last longer. But what do I know as former trail maintenance for USFS?

  12. #12

    Default

    Getting older, too, I may eventually need to move into a new kevlar canoe, even though what I have (Penobscot 16.5) is considerably lighter than the Grumman. Of course that type of solution cost $$$ and depends on usage. (Wish I had a Grumman, too.)
    Just thought I'd mention it, as it has not been brought up so far in the thread.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Probably a "ranger". They seem to be the exception to the rule re: use of wheels and motors in the refuge.
    As for erosion, that would only really matter on inclines, rather than flat spongy areas anyway. I would think two ruts on any slope would help better drain it, making it last longer. But what do I know as former trail maintenance for USFS?
    Ruts going across might help drainage, ruts running lengthwise (as they would from a cart) would just channel the water down the trail, not off. This is a basic concept with bike trail design and one of the big reasons for damage in the wet seasons.

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Wink

    The refuge according to its own website is to strictly adhere to the same rules as the public.
    that means like any of us,, no carts, no motors, no chainsaws, no airplanes that land on the lakes in the canoe trails, as it is against the law for the public to land a plane in the refuge..
    If you see a plane land on a lake, it should only be there for rescue of someone in medical condition that warrants a plane or helicopter to land, other than that,, if you see a plane land on the lakes for checking fishing license, checking on hunting camps etc. it is not legal for them to do that,, any more than it is for you and I..
    But of course many of us know they do land on the lakes....
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  15. #15
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Ruts going across might help drainage, ruts running lengthwise (as they would from a cart) would just channel the water down the trail, not off. This is a basic concept with bike trail design and one of the big reasons for damage in the wet seasons.
    You are comparing the parallel tracks made by two wheels of a slowly trundled cart with the tandom tracks made by a peddled bike with a rider on board? Sorry, but I don't see much of a comparison.

  16. #16
    Member AKFishinGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    The refuge according to its own website is to strictly adhere to the same rules as the public.
    that means like any of us,, no carts, no motors, no chainsaws, no airplanes that land on the lakes in the canoe trails, as it is against the law for the public to land a plane in the refuge..
    If you see a plane land on a lake, it should only be there for rescue of someone in medical condition that warrants a plane or helicopter to land, other than that,, if you see a plane land on the lakes for checking fishing license, checking on hunting camps etc. it is not legal for them to do that,, any more than it is for you and I..
    But of course many of us know they do land on the lakes....
    In 2009, my husband and I spent 3 days out at Swan Lake on the Swan Lake Canoe Trails. On our last day out there, we were just around one of the corners of the lake on our Kayaks near shore...we could hear a plane approaching and it was obviously getting closer and closer but we couldn't see it yet. As we rounded the corner, a float plane was about 30-50 ft. above the water about to land...UNTIL they saw us. That plane pulled up and zoomed off as fast as they could. My guess was that it was because the name of a popular "flying service" business was emblazoned on the side of the plane.
    Two thoughts occurred to my husband and I: 1) hahahaha....BUSTED! We scared them away. and 2) Dang, that isn't fair....all the rigor we went through to hike to that location and they pay someone to illegally drop them off....pretty lame!!!!
    So, yeah, I'm convinced people do land in there even tho they aren't supposed to. And as far as the carts, I would love to be able to use them, too, but then more and more people would use them and I don't feel like it would remain as serene as it is now.

    Swan Lake Trails is absolutely, without a doubt, one of my VERY most favorite places in all of Alaska. My very first hike in and my first view of Swan Lake took my breath away. Soooo many treasures to see. I fell in love with that whole lake system.
    ~ Kristie~
    The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    You are comparing the parallel tracks made by two wheels of a slowly trundled cart with the tandom tracks made by a peddled bike with a rider on board? Sorry, but I don't see much of a comparison.
    You should open your eyes then. Yes, I am comparing them. Speed is not a factor. Weight is a factor, and it isn't just a cart, it is cart with an 80+ pound canoe on it. They won't be the same depth, but they will act the same. I would think someone with trail maintenance experience would understand that. A rut, no matter the depth, will collect water and channel it wherever the rut goes. The channeled water will cause erosion to whatever surface it is running on. One of the main causes of trail erosion is water. One of the main focuses of trail construction is sustainability, which focuses mostly on keeping the water off of the trail. Let it drain away rather than collect it on the trail in puddles or ruts.

    I am familiar with the area in question and I understand that there aren't that many sections that would be impacted by wheels, especially after the trail work done over the years by the volunteer groups. I am just explaining the concept.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKFishinGirl View Post
    In 2009, my husband and I spent 3 days out at Swan Lake on the Swan Lake Canoe Trails. On our last day out there, we were just around one of the corners of the lake on our Kayaks near shore...we could hear a plane approaching and it was obviously getting closer and closer but we couldn't see it yet. As we rounded the corner, a float plane was about 30-50 ft. above the water about to land...UNTIL they saw us. That plane pulled up and zoomed off as fast as they could. My guess was that it was because the name of a popular "flying service" business was emblazoned on the side of the plane.
    Two thoughts occurred to my husband and I: 1) hahahaha....BUSTED! We scared them away. and 2) Dang, that isn't fair....all the rigor we went through to hike to that location and they pay someone to illegally drop them off....pretty lame!!!!
    So, yeah, I'm convinced people do land in there even tho they aren't supposed to. And as far as the carts, I would love to be able to use them, too, but then more and more people would use them and I don't feel like it would remain as serene as it is now.

    Swan Lake Trails is absolutely, without a doubt, one of my VERY most favorite places in all of Alaska. My very first hike in and my first view of Swan Lake took my breath away. Soooo many treasures to see. I fell in love with that whole lake system.
    A long time ago, my dad was responsible for turning in a group of poachers who were flying into one of the lakes in there and taking moose. He caught them flying in and hauling out moose meat. When the pilot knew my dad was around, he would not land. After a good game of cat and mouse, the pilot finally landed thinking my dad was gone. Oops. He was able to get the information from the guys and turned it in to the officials at the parking lot when he was heading out. The case resulted in the biggest penalties with jail time for something like that ever. The record stood for a good while, but I think it has been surpassed since.

    I'm sure it's done a fair amount.

  19. #19
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    You should open your eyes then. Yes, I am comparing them. Speed is not a factor. Weight is a factor, and it isn't just a cart, it is cart with an 80+ pound canoe on it. They won't be the same depth, but they will act the same. I would think someone with trail maintenance experience would understand that. A rut, no matter the depth, will collect water and channel it wherever the rut goes. The channeled water will cause erosion to whatever surface it is running on. One of the main causes of trail erosion is water. One of the main focuses of trail construction is sustainability, which focuses mostly on keeping the water off of the trail. Let it drain away rather than collect it on the trail in puddles or ruts.

    I am familiar with the area in question and I understand that there aren't that many sections that would be impacted by wheels, especially after the trail work done over the years by the volunteer groups. I am just explaining the concept.
    Well, OK man. I guess we see things a bit differently. Personally I doubt any real harm would happen to the portages should people use carts... I don't think that many people would even use them. Also, I doubt that if they were used it would be anything like the erosion caused by mountain bikes which spin out and throw rocks and dirt (try that when pulling a cart!). Still, people view and understand things differently and differences of opinion are healthy.

    I enjoyed your story about your dad and the poachers. That must have been sweet to see them busted. I know there are a handful of lakes in the refuge that can be accessed by plane such as McClain Lake and Trapper Joe, but they are few, and that is good.

  20. #20
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I don't know how much you canoe, but I recommend purchasing or borrowing a lightweight kevlar canoe. Over the years I have portaged my Royalex Old Town Tripper and other plastic boats on these lakes. But now I really look forward to the trips because our tandem kevlar Wenonah weighs 42 pounds and my back loves it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •