I Can Save Your Winter

Looking for Snow? This is the Place.

We get it—you've spent the season searching for snow and have been shut down by mother nature time and time again. The truck is prepped, the trailer has been locked and loaded since the first snowfall at Christmas.

But there's not enough snow and even though it's wickedly cold, the trails are red: closed. Rain, wild swings in temperature and a base that rapidly deteriorates have changed conditions overnight

However, there is a place that almost always has snow. When you're booking a week-long trip months in advance and you need certainty. If you need to get on the trails late in the season: this is the place.

For the past 10 years, the trails of Northeastern Ontario have been open first, closed last, and have more continuous “green” days than any other region in Ontario, Canada. You can save your 2018 riding season: just go north to go green.

Northeastern Ontario

Northeastern Ontario has hundreds of miles of connected trails, with some designated loops within those trails. The six main communities to watch this season are Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Kapuskasing, Temiskaming Shores, Timmins and Kirkland Lake. Sudbury and North Bay are often great options too, but conditions are less than ideal right now.

Northeastern Ontario often bills itself as the #1 snowmobile destination in the world. Truth be told it almost always has snow throughout the season. Check out the video below to see just how epic the towns and trails of Northeastern Ontario are:

Below, we'll give you a taste of each loop, tell you where to stay (and get sled service) in each town, and some tips on how to get started.


This tour is a great weekend getaway. You a long-distance rider? Riders who love to squeeze in extra mileage can easily add the incredible Abitibi Canyon Tour (see below) to their trip. Just stage out of Cochrane or Smooth Rock Falls and you can still fit it all into two days.

A legendary Northeastern loop, the Abitibi Canyon takes riders to some spectacular scenic vistas, but gas is necessary. Thanks to the base camp at the top of the loop, riders are in good hands. Be prepared to pay a premium for the privilege—but it's worth it for the bragging rights. Ride out of Smooth Rock Falls for this loop.

This neck of the woods survives on the backbreaking work of the Canadian lumberjack—so it's no surprise that the Lumberjack Loop uses old logging roads to navigate the heavily treed backcountry. You'll love this loop for its highly visible connection to that history, and how it's playing out in the present.

The Gold Rush Tour was created in the 1990’s by snowmobile club pacesetter Mike Farr and fellow volunteers. Wide open agriculture expanses of Temiskaming Shores lead to deep and rugged forests, and along vast hydro corridors and historic gold mines Timmins and Kirkland Lake. 



Home to Miss Claybelt and the most arable land north of North Bay, Temiskaming Shores is one of two main towns on the Gold Rush loop, and with dozens of rooms available throughout the winter, it's the closest jumping off point for snowmobilers in Northeastern Ontario.

Where to Stay
The Holiday Inn Express and Suites has a big parking lot for your trailers, but the Waterfront Inn looks out directly over Lake Temiskaming and makes for an easy trip down to Devils Rock. The Holiday Inn also offers a free breakfast (and has a automatic pancake making machine!)

Where to Eat
Gillies Truck Stop is a huge sledder favorite in town and easily has the coolest decor of a restaurant anywhere in Temiskaming Shores! Roosters in the Waterfront Inn overlooks the lake and has tasty pub fare. 

Where to Gas Up
Husky at the top of the hill has premium gas and a big snack shop, and there's also a Mr. Gas in town. 

Where to Stage/Park Trailers
All hotels in town have huge parking lots so just call ahead for instructions on the best place to park your rig.


This champion snowmobile destination is run by the Golden Corridor Snowdrifters and we know you'll love following them on Facebook and seeing the terrain and trails before you hit the trails. Try the Comfort Inn, Microtel, or Super 8 in town for accommodations. There are four staging areas in town - so reach out to the club on Facebook for information on where to go! Peter Bodick Trucking offers free parking for sledders.


A quarter of all of the gold in the world has come out of Timmins, and it's still coming! At the heart of the Gold Rush tour, Timmins is home to both historical and active gold mines, as well as plenty of places to stay, eat and gear up on the Gold Rush Tour

Where to Stay
Ceadar Meadows Resort and Spa is likely the only accommodations in Ontario where you can also meet moose and an albino elk. The Spa is a true Swedish spa, complete with Registered Massage Therapists and sauna's, so if you need to rejuvinate your body after a long day on the trails, this is the spot. A complete list of places to stay can be found on the Tourism Timmins website.

Where to Eat
In town we love Montana's for some hearty grub, but you'll also find the McIntyre Coffee Shop just by the mine headframe with some diner style food right on the trail system, as well as Wacky Wings.

Where to Stage/Park Trailers
Hotels in town have lots of parking, and most are trail accessible. Call ahead for complete details.


Home to the Polar Bear Habitat and Vintage Snowmobile Museum, Cochrane is the gateway to the Northern Corridor. 

Where to Stay
Best Western Swan Castle Inn or the Station Inn. Both are known to cater to sledders. The Best Western has a steam room and party areas in the facility, with a free breakfast including some Indigenous treats. The Station Inn has an attached restaurant that's great too.

Where to Eat
The Ice Hut has probably the healthiest food you'll have on your whole trip. And that doesn't mean it's rabbit food! With great selection and fun decor, JR's BBQ is a local staple with traditional Canadian fare like poutine. Also available: super satisfying ribs!

Where to Gas Up
The Petro-Canada is accessible by sled—the whole town allows snowmobiles to ride on the road in winter—and the owner has been known to go above and beyond for riders, stocking oil and belts when the local dealers are closed. 

Where to Get Repairs
Pap's Shop is dedicated to Ski-Doo, while Bourque's handles Yamaha and Polaris—though either one will help you in a pinch. 

Where to Stage/Park Trailers
The best bet is the massive parking lot beside the train station—just check in with your local hotel before leaving your rig unattended for a week.

Smooth Rock Falls (SRF)

Smooth Rock Falls is the little town that could. It achieved national fame recently when it enticed people to move there by offering 90% off the price of land. The effects of this policy have had an immediate effect on the town: a new supermarket is opening up and the town office is being flooded with calls. As for snowmobiling—well, this just helps to reestablish SRF as a sledding capital, especially considering it's the gateway to the Abitibi Canyon.

Where to Stay
The Moose Motel has new owners and managers and they are taking the rehabilitation of this place very seriously. Indoor snowmobile storage, free laundry, electric vehicle charging stations (if that's your thing), and tons of parking for trailers. If you wanted to stage a longer trip and leave your trailer for a week (or more) this is the place. Keep in mind that The Moose is pretty bare bones, but the price is right!

Where to Eat
Smoothy's Restaurant is as good as it gets in SRF—the breakfast is big, the coffee is strong, they're open late, and you'll meet everyone in town. The taco salad is a great option for the health-conscious and their burgers are also delicious.

Where to Gas Up
If you're doing the Abitibi Canyon Loop, you'll definitely need to fuel up at Base Camp—and bring cash. Their credit card machines are spotty because of the limited connectivity they have. The Esso right outside Smoothy's has premium gas for powersports engines.

Where to Stage/Park Trailers
The Moose Motel holds tons of trailers, but there's also an Airbnb in town run by the guys who own the Base Camp. Smooth Rock Falls allows snowmobiles on city streets, so don't worry about how you're getting to the trails.


On the banks of the Missinaibi River, Kapuskasing has tons of options for chain hotels and restaurants, as well as some local specialties like La Boulangerie, a French-Canadian style bakery.

Where to Stay
The Super 8 is clean and modern, with a decent-sized parking lot and the ability to see your sled from the front or back windows. The Travelodge has a much larger parking lot for buses and trailers, with similar amenities including a free breakfast. 

Where to Eat
Papa Franco's is the local eatery of choice with plenty of options on a diverse menu. O'Brien's Classic Grill is pretty great for dinner, with amazing decor that should appeal to all sledheads. A tip: try their awesome wings. 

Where to Gas Up
Suny's in town is the most popular with local sledders, but you can also find a Shell and an Esso on the main highway and both have premium gas. The Esso is the closest to the trails.

Where to Get Repairs
Easily one of the coolest snowmobile repair shops/dealers, you'll find Cabin Fever, right on the main highway. No sledder should miss going to this shop. They serve mainly Ski-Doo and BRP products, and Gaston's down the road can sort you out if you're riding Yamaha. 


Before heading out, you'll need to know a few things about sledding in Ontario. All snowmobilers riding in Ontario require insurance on their snowmobile and an OFSC permit.

Having paper trail maps is crucial when riding, even with GPS tools. Any of the places listed in this article—gas stations, repair shops, hotels, and so on—will all have the Northern Corridor maps on display for pickup. 

Finally, you'll want to visit the Northeastern Ontario website to find deals on accommodations throughout the region. 


With the unpredictability of winter, sledding season is getting shorter and shorter, and making plans might feel impossible. But there's one place left where you can count on a killer season. That's in the heart of Northeastern Ontario, on the trails of the Northern Corridor. Don't waste another season. Plan your trip today.

About Mike Jacobs

Mike is an avid Northern traveller, having spent years traversing its backroads, and visiting its remote lodges and fun cities by car, RV, motorcycle, and boat. There's always something new to discover in the North and Mike never shies away from the next great adventure. Mike is the chairman of the board for the Tourism Technology Company.

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