The Best Place to Ride in March & April

What makes Northeastern Ontario so special for late season snowmobiling?

When snow melts and trails close in Southern Ontario and throughout the U.S. border states, snowmobilers have two choices – one, pack it in for the season and start dreaming of next year, or two, find somewhere to keep on riding to make those dreams a reality. Increasingly, they are choosing option two and satisfying their late season craving in Northeastern Ontario

It's Close By, And Our Season is Long

Northeastern Ontario is a huge swath of territory. Located due north of the Greater Toronto Area on good highways all the way, it’s the closest Northern Ontario destination for many snowmobilers. Depending on where the snow line is at the time of your ride, you can be on the trail after 4 to 5-hour trailer drive to stage from either of the gateway cities of Sudbury or North Bay, or after another hour or so to stage out of Temiskaming Shores (New Liskeard). Later in the season, Timmins or Cochrane may be your best choices as the snow line gradually moves north.

Always check the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide to help you decide where to start – and remember to factor in that you have to be able to snowmobile back to your trailer several days later, so stage from a location that’s most likely to hold it’s snow for the duration of your tour.

More Trails Than Any Other Region

Northeastern Ontario has plenty of kilometres of snowmobile trails, including more OFSC-Promoted Snow Tours than any other region. This means more good riding choices over a season that can extend from December well into April.

Being located far enough north to avoid most of the in-season weather variables like the periodic thaws and rains that can degrade trails to the south, Northeastern Ontario snowmobile trails typically benefit from several consecutive and cumulative months of steady cold temperatures and good snow conditions. The result is the deepest and most solid possible snow base on the trails, culminating in superb and long-lasting March and April riding.

Longer Days & Warmer Rides

These various Northeastern Ontario advantages are enhanced by two other significant factors inherent to this time of year. One, there are more hours of daylight in March and April than at any other time of the winter. For snowmobilers, more hours of daytime mean the ability to ride bigger distances without ever riding after dark.

Two, while the temperatures still drop enough below freezing at night to protect the trail base, the mercury stays at a comfortably cool riding temperature during the day, so no issues with being too frigid.

When Everyone Else is in the Red, Our Groomers Are Still on the Trails

The lengthy Northeastern Ontario winter has several other benefits for late season snowmobilers. The entire snowmobile community is used to running long and late, so nothing shuts down. Snowmobile clubs are geared up to keep on grooming until it’s really over, and motels restaurants and gas stations remain open to welcome visiting riders – it may be spring elsewhere, but here in Northeastern Ontario it’s still the heart of winter, but trails aren’t crowded.

For all of these good reasons, Northeastern Ontario is as sure a bet as you’ll find anywhere to extend your snowmobiling season by another ride or two. So why not start talking to your buddies now about heading to Northeastern Ontario for your season wrap-up ride? Instead of mourning over parking your snowmachine way too soon, you’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear all summer because you rode it longer than anyone else!

About Craig Nicholson—The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Popularly known as The Intrepid Snowmobiler, Craig Nicholson is an International Snowmobile Hall of Fame journalist who specializes in recreational snowmobiling activities. Craig has snowmobiled in every region of Canada and many states. His one-of-a-kind tour book, “Canada’s Best Snowmobiling – The Ultimate Ride Guide”, chronicles his adventures, as does his website and Facebook page.

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