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Canoe Cart on the Swanson River Trail???

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  • 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
    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!!!

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    • #3
      The difference is that plastic canoes drag well, but aluminum canoes... not so much. Weight of the cart would be a factor, however.

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      • #4
        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!

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        • #5
          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.".

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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!

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              • #8
                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).

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                • #9
                  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

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                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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?

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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....:whistle:
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

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