Larry Berrio's Ontario

Even as the 2015-2016 sledding season draws to a close, Larrio Berrio is already planning for next year’s adventures.

On the agenda? Tackling the Abitibi Canyon Loop, a trail that is "one of the wildest, most remote and furthest north-reaching groomed snowmobile trails in all of Ontario."

The Abitibi Canyon Loop is a 300-km journey that boasts of highlights including superb trail riding, off-trail "boondocking," and an amazing view from the Abitibi River dam.  It begins in Cochrane via the TOP A trail west to the A103 to the Abitibi Canyon and back down to Smooth Rock Falls to the TOP A east back to Cochrane.

Spring Forward, March Back

You know that old saying: "You can’t really know where you’re headed until you know where you’ve been?" Well, Larry Berrio spent much of March in some of the finest snowmobiling country around, and it all started with the Eclipse Financial Snowcross Pro Challenge in Timmins, Ontario the weekend of March 12 and 13

With Saturday’s warm temperatures and sunshine resulting in record crowds, the event exceeded spectator expectations. Timmins knows how to host a snowmobile event! Sunday’s cooler, windier weather and changes in the track conditions didn’t disappoint either. For event highlights and results, click here.

"I was invited to sing live at the Timmins Eclipse Financial Snowcross Race by my good friend and racer, Angela Vacchino (who also happens to be one of the organisers of the event).” 

Larry took part in Saturday’s "Half Time Show" and was also honoured to have the privilege of singing the National Anthem with Lindsay Warrington. 

“I also have to thank Ken Avann—race director of the Canadian Snowcross Racing Association (CSRA)—for keeping the sport of snowmobile racing a top priority here in Ontario,” shares Larry. “Hats, and helmets, off to the whole organization.”

As for his first time riding the trails of Timmins, Larry couldn’t have been happier. “After a Facebook message that I sent out asking for someone to take me out on the trails in Timmins, Matthew Corbeil answered me back.”

Photo of Matt by Adam J. McKay

I met up with Matthew at the new Microtel in Timmins and we rode right out from there. Matthew was such a great guy and we hit it off right away like we were old time friends. Matt came second in the North America's Top Snowmobiler contest.

People sure knew who he was as we rode around Timmins: the OPP at our spot check along the trails; waitresses at Wacky Wings; and even at the races. He is a celebrity in and around Timmins, their hometown boy and an avid snowmobiler.

"It's not too often you actually get to ride ‘downtown’ and cross a major road on your sled on your way to have lunch!"
Matthew decided to show off by pulling wheelies in some soft powder that day

“The trails in Timmins were incredible,” says Larry. “It was really nice to spend some time talking with the local OPP up there about their trails. The officers we spoke to said that this winter was incredible for Tourism, and that they stopped an average of 300 sleds a day (per weekend) for regular checks.”  Noting that he spent over three years as an Auxiliary Constable with the OPP in Sudbury in the mid-1990s, Larry further explained that he has the utmost respect for police officers after witnessing first-hand everything they do to keep people safe.

Last Ride of the Year

Larry’s last ride of the season took him to Westree, Ontario, a town about two hours north of Sudbury. “I stayed at a beautiful cottage owned by Denis Shank. The trails were incredible as we headed north on our voyage,” says Larry. “We rode from pole lines to fully-groomed logging roads‎; the full loop was about 340 km. We enjoyed a really nice lunch in Timmins, and then headed back to Westree.”

After a long day of riding, Denis and Larry enjoyed a few games of pool and relaxed in his hot tub outside
“The following day, we got to enjoy a little bit of ice fishing after a cold evening froze all the slush on the lakes. It was the perfect end to a great adventure!”

For many whose 2015-2016 sledding season didn’t begin in earnest until just after Christmas, this year’s window for riding opportunities was short, albeit sweet. Larry’s already eyeing the upcoming ATV season, and next year’s snowmobiling season after that. Funny how things that come full circle sometimes travel in a straight line…

About KimberleeAnna "KAT" Taplay

KimberleeAnna Taplay (more widely known as "KAT") is an empty-nester and newly-minted class M rider who has a game plan, a "BikeIt" list, and a VStar with a full tank of gas. KAT is happiest when she and her ride —Ruby— are exploring country roads and wandering from event to event and destinations throughout Ontario. Whether travelling alone, alongside her mentor, or joining small groups along the way, KAT will be chronicling her travels and sharing both her adventures on the road and her moments of quiet reflection about everything it means to be a part of the motorcycling world.

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