History of King's Highway 129:
King's Highway 129 is a minor collector highway connecting Thessalon and Chapleau in Northeastern Ontario. The highway traverses some of the most remote and rugged terrain in Ontario. There are no communities of any significant size along Highway 129's 220 km route, other than Thessalon and Chapleau, located at the southern and northern end of the highway, respectively. The highway was first established in the 1920s as a crude forest access road along the Mississagi River. During the 1930s and 1940s, the highway was improved and extended north to Chapleau. In 1956, the section of the Thessalon-Chapleau Highway from Aubrey Falls to Chapleau was designated as King's Highway 129. The following year, the Highway 129 designation was applied to the balance of the route from Aubrey Falls to Thessalon, replacing the former Highway 559 designation that had previously been assigned to this road. In 1961, Highway 129 was designated as a branch of the Trans Canada Highway, known as the Chapleau Route. The Chapleau Route designation was fairly short-lived and was removed from Highway 129 in the mid-1970s. Highway 129 carries an incredibly low volume of traffic for a King's Highway. Consequently, there were sections of the highway that remained gravel-surfaced until 1983. Highway 129 was the very last King's Highway in Ontario to be paved from end-to-end.
Highway 129 is one of Ontario's most beautiful highways, with many scenic vistas over the Mississagi River. In conjunction with Highway 101, the highway is a decent (and slightly shorter) alternate route to the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 17) between Thessalon and Wawa. Generally speaking, Highway 129 is a good quality two-lane road for much of its length between Thessalon and Chapleau. However, one section of Highway 129 between Highway 554 and Highway 556 is narrow and winding, with very poor geometry. The highway has narrow lane widths and many sharp curves with restricted visibility. While the posted speed limit on Highway 129 is generally 80 km/h (50 mph), it is strongly advisable to reduce your speed along this part of the highway. Traffic volumes on this highway are very light, but many of the vehicles which do utilize the road are large logging trucks which sometimes need to encroach into the opposing lane while negotiating some of the tighter curves along the highway. Motorists should be mindful of this, and slow down when approaching sharp curves where visibility is restricted. Services are very scarce along Highway 129. While gasoline is available at both ends of the highway in Thessalon and Chapleau, there are considerable distances between the two other gas stations along the highway. There is a gas station located about 110 km north of Thessalon at Aubrey Falls and another gas station located just north of the Highway 554 Junction. However, neither of these stations are full-time operations. Drivers should be prudent and fill up before setting out on Highway 129. Moose are quite common along Highway 129, particularly near Chapleau. These enormous animals can often be seen crossing the highway corridor. This represents a serious collision hazard, because these animals are difficult for motorists to see at night. Slow down and be prepared for moose if you plan to use Highway 129 at night. Please visit the Highway 129 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 129.
Additional Information About King's Highway 129:
Learn More About King's Highway 129 (My Upcoming Publications)
King's Highway 129 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)
King's Highway 129 - A Virtual Tour (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)