Where to Ride When There's Nowhere to Ride

Each spring ATVers descend on this small town in Ontario's Highlands to raise a lot of money for the community and have a good time doing it!

The last Saturday in April means the end of the Spring Thaw is almost upon us. Arguably the best time of year for ATVing Ontario. For those who've been waiting all winter and are dying to get out you can always count on the Spring ATV Run in Ompah to whet your appetite until the rest of the trails open up.

The Spring Ompah Ride generally has a super-huge attendance, however, due to the crackdown on side-by-side and 2-up ATV enforcement, attendance was down a bit. Even with some ORV being excluded this year, 545 ATVers rolled into the small village of Ompah ready to blow the dust off of their ATVs and get out on the trails before their busy Summer schedules tie them up. 

Click here to learn about recent changes to laws around SxS, UTV and 2-up ATVing in Ontario, including a list of where you can and cannot ride on Ontario roads.

lunch 04 smaller

There is no better early spring ride than this one to get you out there and helping out the community. This ride supports the Ompah Volunteer Fire Department, the Ompah Community Volunteer Initiatives, the Ride for Dad, and the Relay for Life Canadian Cancer Society!

The village goes out of its way to accommodate ATVers for this big event. The gravel pits are opened up to allow for parking of large vehicles with trailers. Rental cottages are opened up for those wishing to make a weekend of it. The Double S Marina has ATV parts and accessories on hand for last minute items forgotten or misplaced!

13353 900405576695584 2110512035934816883 n

Volunteers start directing traffic as soon as you hit the village limit sign, directly across from the Community Centre/Fire Hall. Vehicles are directed based on their size and unloading requirements.

Once unloaded and squared away, pre-registered participants gather at the Double S Marina to check in, and to register for those who made it a last minute decision! Jim Summers from the Ride for Dad organization was on hand selling Ride for Dad memorabilia and merchandise. Ompah Volunteer Firefighters were selling raffle tickets on a Honda 500 cc Pioneer Side-by-Side! The draw for the side-by-side is this September.

side by side
  
rfd jim summers smaller

Once registered up and geared up, participants hit the trails. Days are spent clearly marking the trails but once 100 or more ATVs head out before you, it's hard to miss where the rally is going!  

trail05 smaller

trail06 smaller
  
trail02 samller

The ride travelled the standard fire-roads and easy trails by Granite Lake for a scenic rest, and through the Mountain Chute for lunch put on by the volunteers for the Relay for Life Canadian Cancer Society.

Hungry ATVers had a full menu of options including grilled sausages on a bun, burgers, chili and more! It was easy to tell the food was good based on the number of people in the line to purchase a second round! After lunch, if there were any ATVers who hungered for more of a challenge, they had many wet and more intermediate level trails to choose from.  

lunch 03 smaller
  

Further along the trail, the easier routes lined up with the harder routes once more for a moist trip through the Quackenbush loop. No ATV made it back clean, but luckily there was a charity bike wash waiting for them most of the way back to the Marina.

It was another fantastic ride put on by the Ompah Volunteer Association with assistance from the Ottawa Valley ATV Club and other charitable groups in the area.

$15,000 was raised for the Community of Ompah, and the Ride for Dad Charity. There were a few wet belts, torn cv boots, and a few axle issues, but otherwise, it was smooth event. Be sure to mark your calendar for next year. It is an event you don’t want to miss!

Check out the Ompah Firefighter ATV Wilderness Rides for your next chance to get out on the trails! 

And for where to stay when visiting the area:

Canada Stays - Ompah Cottage Rentals

Kring's Cottages on Sand Lake

Young's Cottages

West Palmerston Cottages

Pleasant View Lodge

Fernleigh Lodge

 

About Dave Baker

An avid outdoors enthusiast, Dave is active in hunting, fishing, trapping and ATVing. He has been involved with the Nation Valley ATV Club since its inception, and is a past president of the Ontario Federations of ATV Clubs.

Recommended Articles

Vintage ATVs: A Guide to Your Favourite Rides

From Honda's FourTrax to today's bush-bashing UTVs, here's a brief history of the ATV (and why you should care).

ATV Riding the Ottawa Valley: A 2-Day Itinerary

On-site trail access, loads of lookouts, and friendly spots to stop and dine!

Ontario ATV Events

Poker Runs, Mud Bogs, Charity Rides, Rallies and more!

Everyone is welcome!

Law Change Allows All Off-Road Vehicles Access to Public Roads

Where to Stay in Ontario

10 Amazingly ATV-Friendly Lodges and Resorts

ATV Clubs of Ontario

The Complete List

Getting Started on ATVing in Ontario

Everything you need to know.

Will you ride the new electric wave?

Quieter, cooler, made in Canada, and better for the environment—these lean green ATVs have it all.

Which Permit Do I Need for this Trail?

How to Navigate Ontario's ATV Trails

One of Ontario's best-kept secrets

World-class riding in Bancroft

Ride On

How to legally ride ATVs and Side by Sides

What To Pack For An ATV Ride

16 essential items from tool kits to apps and safety gear

Hatfield-McCoy vs Ontario's ATV Trails

Which one is better?

Central Ontario ATV Club

From Wasaga Beach to Barrie and beyond

4 places to camp and ride in Ontario

Hop aboard for some ATV adventure camping!

Mud, Smoke and Spurs in Powassan

Kick the season off this Labour Day weekend

Guided ATV Tours

Are You Ready to Hit the Trails?

Extreme mud, extreme fun

An ATV adventure in Haliburton

Riding Into the 2023/2024 ATV Season

New, improved, and more to choose from — check out what's standing out in this season's lineups.

5 Reasons to ATV in Northern Ontario

Explore Trails, Lookouts and Epic Nature