The Best Snowmobile-Friendly Lodges
Just as our late, great Canadian singer-songwriter Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip wrote, we’re all “looking for a place to happen and making stops along the way.” Snowmobile enthusiasts live this credo each winter by touring trails of the Northeast, and making stops at some of the best lodges our province has to offer along the way.
I have fond memories of touring the mountain on a snowmobile with my parents, stopping at many restaurants and pourvoiries (lodges) for hot chocolate and a bite to eat or stay overnight. This glorious winter tradition is alive and well in Ontario’s northeast, where lodges welcome snowmobile enthusiasts warmly.
Here is a sampling of the best snowmobile-friendly lodges in the great Northeastern region of Ontario—just a few hours north of Toronto. Each one offers snowmobile enthusiasts a warm bed, friendly service, a hot meal, and a safe place to stop along the way. Gord would be proud.
Remember to visit OFSC for your snowmobile permit before heading out.
Nestled in the quiet serenity of Northern Ontario, Cedar Meadows is a lodge giving snowmobilers a wonderful place to visit, with a luxurious flare. Situated on 175 acres, this 49-suite and 5-chalet resort & spa is just what the doctor ordered in the way of a full-service snowmobile stopover. Located just outside Shania Twain’s hometown of Timmins, Cedar Meadows boasts luxurious suites equipped with Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces, full kitchens, a washer and dryer, and a bedroom loft. Le Voyageur Dining Room offers a quiet and romantic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner after a long day on the trails. For the ultimate in relaxation, visit Le Spa Grande Nature found onsite at Cedar Meadows, for a complete rejuvenating experience of Nordic Baths. There are moose, bison and elk to see onsite during the daily Wildlife Tour, through the lodge’s 100-acre wildlife park.
The District 14 Recreational OFSC Prescribed Trail TOP A110 connects snowmobilers to the scenic Cheminis Lodge, a family-style spot that offers riders fully-equipped rooms and apartments as well as common areas for socializing. The lodge is located on the shoreline of Larder Lake, Kearns, 40 minutes east of the famous mining town of Kirkland Lake. Cheminis Lodge is part of the Timiskaming Abitibi Trail Association and is described as part B&B and part hotel. The all-inclusive snowmobiling packages include fully-equipped accommodations and three home-cooked meals. The snowmobile trails around the lodge lead riders through old mining sites, snow-covered peaks, and dense forests.
Auld Reekie Lodge, located along the Gold Rush Tour trail between Elk Lake and Shining Tree, is another great lodge with special winter vacation packages just for snowmobile enthusiasts. Recreational OFSC Prescribed Trail TOP A107C is one of the Northeast’s main snowmobile networks, connecting to thousands of miles of groomed snowmobile runs. Auld Reekie Lodge boasts their popular Sledders End of the Trail package which includes a 3-course dinner, lodge accommodations, full hot breakfast, use of the hot tub, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi. Hosts Diane and Urs Brunner look forward to seeing you at Auld Reekie.
With 148 acres of resort land to explore, Mattawa River Resort is one the most popular destinations for winter snowmobilers, nestled in the heart of Mattawa Voyageur Country, and the fabled home of “Big” Joseph Montferrand. This winter sledding headquarters offers adventures for friends and family and caters to groups of all sizes. Lodging at Mattawa River Resort includes a variety of 4-season cottages that can sleep up to 12 people. Each cottage includes a full kitchen, BBQ, wood-burning fireplace, and plenty of space. The onsite chef prepares menu options from scratch and the spacious dining room accommodates large groups of hungry riders. All-inclusive packages come with three meals a day, with the option for a specially packed lunch to bring out on the trails. The resort has private groomed trails, along with easy access to Recreational OFSC Prescribed Trail TOP A112A.
Check out the Mattawa Trail Map here!
Hendrika and Evert Krygsman are your hosts at Lowell Lake Lodge, another great northeast destination and crucial “stop along the way” to wherever you’re riding. At this waterfront lodge, guests choose from two or three-bedroom cottages overlooking Lowell Lake, complete with kitchen and bathroom facilities. There are also public washrooms and showers available for use. Located in District 11 covering Temagami and North Bay, Lowell Lake Lodge is the perfect stopover in Ontario’s “near north.” With more than 165km of groomed trails to explore, this spot is the perfect place to stage a weekend of riding. The lodge is located one mile off Highway 11, just 50 minutes north of North Bay, and only 10 minutes south of Temagami.
For information and advice on riding the Temagami snowmobile trails, call Snowmobile Trails—Temagami Trails Inc. at 705-569-2554 or 1-888-668-4444, or visit the OFSC website.
Regardless of where you ride in Ontario’s wily northeast this winter, be sure to stop along the way at one (or more) of these lodges in the region. Take time to grab a bite, a hot chocolate, and relax after a long ride—that's the stuff that memories are made of.
Happy sledding, and stay safe!