Introducing Ontario's Newest Sledding Adventure—The Epic "Wilderness Loop"

intrepid snowmobiler

Been there, done that? Bet you haven’t, because it’s new this season! Want the bragging rights? Check it out…

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs is promoting 25 Snow Tours across Ontario this winter and the longest one is the NWOSTA Wilderness Loop at 906 kilomtres (563 miles). That’s no surprise because big distance is a fact in this larger-than-life part of Ontario.


NWOSTA is the North Western Ontario Snowmobile Trail Association and six of its clubs operate and maintain the Wilderness Loop through the heart of the rugged Canadian Shield. This snow tour takes in 10 very snowmobile-friendly communities, and along the way riders will experience some of the best trail adventures in the province, with terrain that varies from windy bush trails to massive hills and from flat out lake riding to whoop-de-whoop utility corridors that disappear far into the horizon.

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While avid snowmobilers can do the Wilderness Loop in three full days, others may want to take the time to visit must-see sights like White Otter Castle near Atikokan, the scenic viewpoint at Sioux Lookout, or the various rapids and waterfalls along the trail near Sioux Narrows. The thrill hills on the pipeline near Kenora are a blast too!

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The Wilderness Loop is easily accessible. Its western side is about a two-hour drive from Winnipeg, with loop access just east of Kenora. Thunder Bay is about the same drive time from the loop’s east side with access at Atikokan. If you’re coming by sled, connector trails feed into the Wilderness Loop at Atikokan and Sioux Narrows. Snowmobilers trailering north from Minneapolis can be on the Wilderness Loop in about five hours, entering it at Atikokan, while Fort Frances (International Falls) is the entry point for those from North Dakota. 


Once you’re riding the loop, you’ll find sufficient services for fuel, food and lodgings. For example, if you’re staging from Kenora (pop. Approx. 15,000) here’s what towns and services are available doing the Wilderness Loop clockwise…

Vermillion Bay (105 km/65 miles from Kenora)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Northside Motel)

Dryden (80 km/50 miles from Vermillion Bay)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Timberland MotelTown & Country Motel, Best Western Plus, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Trans Canada Motel, Hide Away Inn)

Snowmobile Club: Dryden Power Toboggan

Sioux Lookout (101 km/63 miles from Dryden)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Lamplighter Motel, Forest Inn, Wellington Centre, Best Western, Days Inn)

Snowmobile Club: Ojibway Power Toboggan

Ignace (111 km/69 miles from Sioux Lookout)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Northwoods Motor Inn, Trading Post Motel)

Snowmobile Club: Ignace Otters 

Atikokan (105 km/65 miles from Ignace)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (White Otter Inn, Radisson Motel, Atikokan Hotel)

Snowmobile Club: Atikokan Sno-Ho 

Mine Centre (140 km/87 miles from Atikokan)

Fuel and restaurant.

Fort Frances (68 km/42 miles from Mine Centre)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Super 8, Copper River Inn, La Place Rendez-Vous)

Snowmobile Club: Borderland

Emo (45 km/28 miles from Fort Frances)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Emo Inn)

Snowmobile Club: Borderland

Nestor Falls (76 km/47 miles from Emo)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging Muskie Bay Resort)

Snowmobile Club: Borderland

Sioux Narrows (55 km/34 miles from Nestor Falls)

Fuel, restaurant and lodging (Crystal Habour Resort)

Snowmobile Club: Sunset Trail Riders

From Sioux Narrows, it’s only 72 km/45 miles back to Kenora.


As you can see, you’re in hospitable hands while riding the NWOSTA Wilderness Loop. So what are you waiting for – go to the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide and start planning your Northwestern Ontario snow tour today!

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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