Rob Farrow: The Roads Less Travelled

March 2019

Rob Farrow is the ultimate adventurer. Enjoying everything from ship wreck diving to speed skiing and dirt bike racing, Farrow has practically done it all. But what gives this 53-year-old the cutting edge on his adventures is his unbounded desire to find the road less travelled.

Farrow has taken his Can-Am Outlander ATV, an Extreme Mud Ready 850, and his dual-sport Kawasaki KLR 650 through many trails across Canada, travelling over 100,000 kms of back roads and finding parts of Canadian history.

“I’ve found everything from old mines to abandoned dams, forgotten railways, fire towers, trappers’ cabins and even old plane wrecks,” he grins. “And what makes it so wonderful is the fact that it’s right here in our backyard, just waiting to be discovered.”

Of the many places Farrow has travelled, he has a few favourites. One of them, an old abandoned dam on the Jackpine River near the Kama Cliffs, boasts not only beautiful trails for riding but also a picturesque scene of a trapper’s cabin nestled near an ambling river. “If this property was ever for sale it would be worth a million dollars,” he says. But thankfully, it isn’t and it’s there for others to see and enjoy.

Another favourite is an old fire tower he found near Beardmore. The steel structure still supported 3 of the 4 walls of the cupola – the small building situated on the top of the tower - and contained a steel compass table for pin pointing the location of fires. The tower offered a massive view of the area. Next to the steel structure were 2 firemen’s cabins, one built around 1910 and the other around 1940. Many of these historical towers, however, have since been “rehabilitated” by the government: taken down and destroyed in the interest of keeping people safe.

A third site that Farrow lists as his favourite is one he has yet to see. For almost three years now, he has been exploring the Black Sturgeon area in the hopes of finding an old B52 Stratofortress, a long-range bomber used by the U.S. Airforce, that crashed in the area in the 1950’s. Because the plane is believed to have dove into a muskeg swamp, the chances of finding any piece of the wreckage is slim. But, Farrow notes, it is a part of history and the chance to be at the site where something significant happened is very compelling to him. In the chance that he’s able to find the site, he would like to leave a plaque of some sort as a gesture to recognize the men who lost their lives there.

Many of the sites Farrow has visited have been the result of hours of research on Google Earth. “If you look carefully at the maps of our area and zoom into places that show something out of the ordinary, you just may discover something.” Farrow also admits that he has a compass in his head, or so it would seem. He only uses a GPS as a fail-safe because he’s always attuned to his surroundings. He can sense when he’s off direction and is very capable of following old trails, no matter how grown-in they may have become. Farrow also has an uncanny eye for seeing what many people overlook. A small piece of metal protruding from the ground can lead to the discovery of an abandoned railway, or a faint shiny object on a Google Earth map can lead to the
finding of something long lost and forgotten.

With almost 90% of Canada’s land being uninhabited, Farrow has lots of places yet to discover. “The adventure opportunities out here in our backyard are endless,” he says. “You just have to go out and find them!”

For more information about Farrow’s travels you can follow him on Facebook at Rob Farrow ATV. Farrow creates spectacular videos on You Tube of his travels and posts them regularly on his Channel “Outdoor Rob”. He often sends out invitations for others to join him on his trips, so if you’re keen, go for it! Life is an adventure just waiting for you to take the first step, or in Farrow’s case, the first gear.

Donna White is an accomplished author and Jubilee Medal winner for her volunteer work with World Vision. Visit her website at

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