Snowtrails and Open Roads in New Liskeard

Last week I got an email from Sean Mackey in New Liskeard, Ontario asking if I was free this weekend to come up to New Liskeard to shoot a truly unique scene...

Sean, owner of the Holiday Inn and Suites, had been driving his motorcycle to work this past week as the roads were dry and clear, and looked up one day to spot a snowmobiler riding the perfectly groomed trails right beside him. As there were several spots where the trails and roads run parallel, there was a perfect opportunity to capture the kind of picture that could only happen in Canada...This is my story of the  adventure north for this "Meanwhile in Canada" picture.

looking out at the snow

BEEP BEEP. BEEP BEEP. Everyone dreads the sound of their morning alarm and at this particular moment I wanted nothing to do with it. But as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and slowly pulled myself away from dreams filled of snowmobiles and a winter wonderland I remembered it was Saturday. Not only did I remember that it was Saturday, but I also remembered that today was the day my Dad and I were to pack our bags and head off on the hunt for that last little piece of untouched winter snow. Wide-awake now and as excited as a kitten with a ball of yarn I was up, dressed and on the road with Dad as the sun began to rise.

Having only just finished our regular snowcross season last weekend, we were already missing that white powdery gold. Rumour had it we would find what we sought only a few hours north of home in New Liskeard, Ontario. Sure enough, the farther north we went the more snow we saw! Now, heading north and finding more snow is considered normal in Ontario but in mid-April finding snow almost anywhere other then the far northern reaches of the province is surprising.

Look we found snow

As we headed north we met up with Sean and a local tourism representative, and followed them up to New Liskeard. Along the way dad and I were eyeing snow covered fields - back home the only snow left were those ugly patches of brown dirty ice hiding under decks and along the edges of the roads. This transition from early spring to the heart of winter had us both smiling ear-to-ear. As we finally reached our destination we stopped off at the New Liskeard Holiday Inn for a quick stretch before heading out to the trails.

Holiday Inn New Liskeard

Expecting to find optimum snowmobile conditions we instead found ourselves in some mixed up riding seasons. Snowmobile and Motorcycle looked like they were duking it out over which riding season it really was.

The warm weather that had melted the snow in the rest of the province only made for an incredible riding opportunity in New Liskeard. Not only were the snowmobile trails still open and groomed but the roads were clear and dry enough for people to be out riding their motorcycles! Although the temperatures weren’t quite the same as mid-summer, for dedicated riders it was more than warm enough to pull their motorcycles out of the garage and on to the roadways.


While in town we thought it would be a great opportunity to grab some photos of these mixed up riding seasons. We felt as though we’d stepped in to an episode of the Twilight Zone! To recreate the scene Sean had witnessed on his way into town, we got Bill Terentiuk to ride the snowtrails with his Ski-Doo, and Sean to ride his Honda on the road right beside him .We soon headed out to a trail that followed one of the local roads where Bill fired up his sled, Sean warmed up his motorcycle and I started snapping pictures!

This perfect mixing of snowmobile and motorcycle seasons symbolizes the town perfectly as New Liskeard is known for its superb winter riding conditions and also its dedication and hospitality to motorcycle riders. The New Liskeard Bikers Reunion attracts thousands of riders every summer, not to mention being situated on the Temiskaming Loop Tour and the trails of the Temiskaming Abitibi Trail Associaition are always one of the last to see the snow melt. Where else can you go this time of year and expect to be out snowmobiling and find yourself riding along beside someone on a motorcycle?

After the shoot was over we grabbed a bite Gilli’s Truck Stop. This restaurant is well-known by transport drivers, but has a solid reputation for hearty homemade food. With truck parts, garage door and truck lights filling the walls and the bed of a transport truck transformed in to a counter I think it is about the coolest dinner I’ve ever eaten at.


New Liskeard is a place where the riding conditions not only prove to be top-notch no matter the season but the town makes great efforts to make all motorsports enthusiasts feel right at home, no matter what the season. 


About Shelby Mahon

Growing up snowmobiling in Northern Ontario has been a defining aspect of Shelby's life. She is now the owner of Backcountry Motorsports Media and travels across North America photographing and documenting motorsports events and tourism destinations. Check out her Facebook, Instagram and website for more info.

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