Barry's Bay Delivers Early Season Priority (ESP) Trails

Some of Ontario’s most picturesque snowmobile trails wind through the Madawaska Valley and Highlands in OFSC District 6. Anchored by the towns of Whitney, Madawaska, Barry’s Bay and and Pembroke, this area of Ontario's Highlands is blessed with excellent snow conditions on the south side of Algonquin Park.

Many riders are already familiar with this Ontario region’s main thoroughfare, the TOP B Trail, which forms the southern route of the popular Ride Around the Park (RAP) Tour. But there are many other Ontario snowmobile trails in the area to explore, including both TOP and Club Trails – and many are maintained by the Opeongo Snowbirds Snowmobile Club based in Barry’s Bay.


Snowmobilers riding through the club’s area this winter will benefit from many trail improvements thanks to several years worth of infrastructure work funded from the Ontario Tourism Development Fund administered by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. Their objective is to make as many of the snowmobile trails surfaces as flat and smooth as possible before any snow or grooming occurs. Flat ground makes grooming easier, and these trails now require less snow to open earlier in the season as Early Season Priority (ESP) trails and can be closed later. They’ve also made big improvements to drainage, with new culverts and ditches to prevent flooding washouts and erosion to their snowmobile trails.

Opeongo Snowmobile Club

To sample the Opeongo Snowbirds’ newly enhanced trails this season, trailer to one of the popular lodging destinations in or near Barry’s Bay, such as Spectacle Lake LodgeThe Ash Grove Inn, Hush Lodge & Cottages or Pinewood Inn. Located at the junction of Highways 60 and 62, Barry’s Bay is a charming little town of about 1,300 on the shore of Kamaniskeg Lake. From there, you can ride various day loops when all trails are ready or do linear rides on ESP trails to Pembroke in the east, Whitney to the west or Combermere to the south.

Whatever direction you choose to ride from Barry’s Bay, you’ll enjoy the highlands terrain and scenery, as well as the picturesque views along the Madawaska River from TOP B. But most of all, you’ll really appreciate the great job the Opeongo Snowbirds have done to make their trails among the best you’ll ever ride! 

Contributing partners for this Ontario snowmobiling site include: Intrepid Snowmobiler, Murphy Insurance, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Ontario Tourism, Snow Goer Media, Supertrax Media.

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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