Northern Ontario Resource Trail

Northern Ontario Resource Trail

Ontario Highway 808.svg

Northern Ontario Resource Trail
Highway 808 (1966-1983)
Route information
Length: 236.9 km (147.2 mi)
Existed: December 6, 1966 – 1983
Major junctions
North end: Windigo Lake
South end: Highway 599 in Pickle Lake
Counties: Kenora
Major cities: Pickle Lake
Highway system

Roads in Ontario

The Northern Ontario Resource Trail is a mainly gravel road in the Canadian province of Ontario, which travels north from Pickle Lake to the northern shore of Windigo Lake. It links several winter roads and ice roads that serve communities in extreme Northern Ontario to Highway 599.

The first 60 kilometres of the route, from Pickle Lake to the Otoskwin River, also held the tertiary highway designation of Highway 808 within Ontario's provincial highway system from 1966 to 1983, before it was decommissioned.


The Trail first started out as an extension of Highway 599, north of Pickle Lake. It was extended to the Otoskwin River in 1966, and was 60 km long (excluding southern parts of Highway 599).

On December 6, 1966, the northernmost 60 km portion of Highway 599 from Pickle Lake to the Otoskwin River was re-designated as Highway 808. This designation lasted until 1983, when it was decommissioned as an official Provincial Highway. The southernmost three km of the trail is paved, while the remaining length is gravel. The road is maintained year-round, due to its importance as a connection to natural resources sites and to ice/winter roads connecting remote First Nations communities in the Kenora District.

Route description

Although this road is well-maintained year-round, it is extremely lightly travelled, and is in a very remote section of the province. Motorists should stock up on supplies in Pickle Lake, and be prepared for remote bush travel. It is recommended to fill up on gasoline and supplies, and check weather conditions before travelling down this road, since there are no gas stations or any other services on the Northern Ontario Resource Trail north of Pickle Lake. A spare tire is also a good idea, as it may be several hours (at least) for assistance to arrive. Cellular phones are useless in this area, since there are no nearby cell phone relay towers in the wilderness. Caution must be used while driving as well, as there are some steep grades on the route. Although the speed limit is 80 km/h (50 mph), there are many sections where such a speed can not be maintained.

Communities served

The Northern Ontario Resource Trail serves several communities via ice/winter roads that branch from it:

  • Neskantaga (Lansdowne House, Ontario)
  • Eabametoong (Fort Hope)
  • Summer Beaver
  • Webequie
  • Weagamow Lake
  • Keewaywin
  • Koocheching
  • Muskrat Dam
  • Sachigo Lake
  • Bearskin Lake
  • Wunnummin Lake
  • Kingfisher Lake
  • Big Trout Lake
  • Wapekeka
  • Wawakepewin
  • Kasabonika
  • Webequie, Ontario
  • Sandy Lake Ontario
  • Long Dog Lake Ontario
  • Various mining exploration camps

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