The Primary Gateway To Northern Ontario Snowmobiling

For many southern riders, North Bay is a primary gateway to northern Ontario snowmobiling in Ontario’s Wilderness Frontier. As the local North Bay Snowmobilers Club advertises: You Can Go Anywhere From Here!

Located in Ontario’s Near North at the junction of Highways 11 and 17, this city of about 52,000 sits at the eastern end of Lake Nipissing near TOP Trail D in OFSC District 11. North Bay has all the events, activities, nightlife and attractions of a big city, and some decent shopping too.  And if ice fishing’s on your winter bucket list, the area immediately offshore of North Bay is an angler’s paradise. Even if it’s not, riding your sled out to gape at the mini-city that springs up on the ice each winter is a must — just watch out for the moving vehicles and truck roads!

While TOP D passes east of the city, Club Trail NB309 leads from it to the hotel strip on Lakeshore Drive, accessed from the stake line on Lake Nipissing. The trails in this part of the city are groomed by the South Shore Restoule Snowmobile Club. One of the most snowmobile-friendly properties on their system is the Clarion Resort Pinewood Park. It can be accessed from either Club Trail NB309 or Club Trail SSR703 off of the lake. It is located south of both the river mouth where NB309 meets the stake line and of the large blue water tower visible from the lake. Besides offering OFSC members a room discount, the Pinewood Park is a full service hotel with a wellness centre, spa, indoor pool and hot tub, plus restaurant and bar. There’s ample parking for tow rigs and a secure compound for sleds. Fuel is available immediately across the road.

The Pinewood Park is a good staging hotel for day trips.  Eastward, you can ride a 275-kilometre loop to Mattawa for lunch at the Valois Motel and back. Outbound, take the land trail from back of hotel to TOP Dn to NB301e to MA150to the Valois. Inbound, ride MA101s to TOP Aw to TOP A101Dw to TOP Dw to TOP D102Cn to TOP Dn to Land trail to hotel.

You can also ride a southwestern loop for lunch at Jake’s Place Restaurant in Port Loring. Follow the Lake Trail from back of hotel to SSR703s to SSR 702 to TOP D102Csw to TOP C105De to Jake’s Place. Your return route is TOP C105De to NN440n to TOP Dn to SSR710n to SSR703 to Lake Trail to hotel. There are also several shorter day loops for less ambitious riders.

For saddle baggers, North Bay is one of the primary destinations on the R.A.P. (Round Algonquin Park) Tour and also the R.A.N. (Ride Around Nipissing) and the Do the Loop Northern Tours.  And as mentioned at the outset, it’s a primary gateway to many Northeastern Ontario Tours such as the Gold Rush and Northern Corridor Tours.

Yes, North Bay is one of Ontario’s great destinations and you can always count on Old Man Winter for plenty of snow!

Snowmobiling Tourism Contacts:

Go Tour Ontario



Ontario Trails 

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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