19 Amazing Restaurants for Michigan and Minnesota Sledders

These are the best of the best—trailside restaurants that Ontario sledders swear by.

Riding into Canada is a bucket-list ride for most US sledders. Long, perfectly-groomed trails leading deep into the Canadian wilderness makes owning a snowmobile worth it. And having the bragging rights of crossing the border into Ontario’s famed sledding wonderland is sometimes worth the trip alone.

But if you need a bit more convincing, we’ve assembled this killer list of restaurants worth heading north for. You won’t find any big chains here—just places with real atmosphere, friendly owners, and hard-earned reputations for making the kind of food that sledders love. While there are hundreds of places to eat along the trails in Ontario, these come personally recommended by snowmobilers who live here.

1. Auld Reekie Lodge in Gowganda is right on the A107C trail, and part of the legendary Gold Rush Tour. Situated in Northeastern Ontario, this route is well-suited to sledders coming in from Michigan. You can sleep and eat here, doubling your pleasure!

2. Halfway Haven Lodge in Wawa is the only place to stay, fuel, and eat at on the Top D trail headed North, on one of Algoma’s three snow tours. We recommend the All The Way There tour, which will keep you on the trail for five days.

From January to April, you'll find the dining room at Halfway Haven packed with sledders

3. JR Bar-B-Q Ranch in Cochrane serves some of the best ribs in Northern Ontario—and that’s a feat, considering how many BBQ joints we have. Far into the Northeastern Ontario region, this is accessible using a local trail off the TOP A. This place is also on the Gold Rush Tour, so you can double up on great eats!

4. Jake’s Place in Port Loring is a snowmobile institution. It’s been in business for decades and the place is packed with atmosphere. The pine panelling on the walls, the old school booths and counter with seats all contribute to the feeling of being in a full-service clubhouse. This is on the D102C/C105D trails, and we recommend the RAN (Ride Around Nipissing) Tour.

5. Perch Lake Lodge in Sunset Country is renowned for the best wings west of Thunder Bay. If you’re coming into Ontario from Michigan or Minnesota, this is a must stop for points west—and worth planning an overnight here. It’s on the A113A trail 20 km (12.5 miles) west of Atikokan.

Everything a traveling sledders needs at the Rock Pine

6. Rock Pine Restaurant in Martin River takes advantage of a winter delicacy in Ontario—pickerel caught through the ice. There’s nothing like a freshly-caught, battered and fried fish caught right in front of the restaurant. Off the A104D trail in Northeastern Ontario.

7. Quetico North is to the east of Atikokan and features a local favourite—wild rice soup. This was a staple food for the local indigenous population, and is still harvested throughout the region. Don’t miss it. 30 km (18.5 miles) east of Atikokan, any of the NWOSTA Loops are good, but we love the White Otter loop for taking sledders to the world’s only log castle.7 - Red Dog Grill in Whitefish Falls holds a special place in our hearts. Long before we were sledders, we had some fun nights here after a day fishing in Northeastern Ontario. That’s why we recommend the fish here as well—super fresh, tasty, and hyper local. In most cases it was caught right down the road! Take the D110 trail to get here.

8. Hiawatha’s Restaurant and Marina just outside of Sudbury has, we’re told, the best poutine accessible by snowmobile. That’s a pretty tall claim for a place as poutine-obsessed as Ontario, but we think it’s earned the right. At the junction of club trails 71 and 64, you can add this to the Chiniguchi Wolf Loop.

Sled racing on Lake Wahnapitae just out front of Hiawatha's

9. 49th Parallel in Cochrane is right on the Gateway to the North, and we love burgers. It’s the perfect food, and maybe the perfect snowmobiling food. Lots of salt to help you stay hydrated, lots of fat and protein for energy when in cold weather, and lots of flavour to tell all your friends about. Get a burger here. 

10. The Portage on Trout Lake just outside North Bay has amazing homemade soups & stews—which makes all the difference when you arrive for lunch or dinner after a long day on the trails. You’ll feel just like you were at home. Find this place at the junction of the A & D trails in North Bay, and combine it with either the RAN Tour or Explorers Snow Tour for an epic trip.

11. Windy Lake Restaurant in Onaping is just off C111D on the Cartier Moose Loop. We highly recommend the pierogies or a slice of homemade pie before heading back on the trail.

Sleds parked outside Edgewater Park Lodge in Kearney

12.  Edgewater Park Lodge is just a fabulous place for sledders—the town of Kearney is a powersports haven, and might be the most powersports-friendly town in Ontario. Add in a truly delectable grilled cheese and you’ve got the recipe for a great place to eat, and sleep. Did we mention they have gas? Take trail 303 on the RAP Tour.

13. Bass Lake Roadhouse in the heart of Muskoka, brings Ontario’s cottage country charm to the forefront with super cozy decor. If you’re riding with a group of couples, this is the place to impress with healthy fare, as well as the pub standards. In the Explorers’ Edge region, take trail C102D to get here.

14. Mill Pond Restaurant is one of those places you never want to leave. Delicious burgers washed down with a slice of homemade lemon meringue pie that’s so tall it might fall over. Stop in Ontario’s Highlands off club trail 8.

15. Swiss Bear Restaurant & Bakery is known for its delicious Swiss fare, like an incredibly hearty schnitzel or Monte Cristo sandwich. Take the TOP E107 while riding the new Hav-A-Ball Tour to get here.

The Swiss Bear is a cozy stop to fill up while touring in North Kawartha

16. Giffen’s Country Market blows our minds regularly with a homemade chilli that keeps us warm, mile after mile—and it’s close to all you Michiganders who don’t want to travel too far from home. Just off the B111 trail. 

17. Harley's Pub & Perk serves the Canadian special, aka homemade butter tarts in  Mildmay, ON. Take the club trail 400 from the Saugeen River Tour or Queen’s Bush Tour.

18. Mylar & Loreta’s Restaurant makes a brilliant French onion soup with tons of sticky melted cheese. Just off the trail on the Blue Mountain Snow Drifters TOP B111 trail in the Bruce Grey Simcoe region. 

19. The Mad Musher Restaurant makes great homemade burgers and is on the super fun RAP Tour. Check them out in Whitney, off the B trail.

About Mike Jacobs

Mike is an avid Northern traveller, having spent years traversing its backroads, and visiting its remote lodges and fun cities by car, RV, motorcycle, and boat. There's always something new to discover in the North and Mike never shies away from the next great adventure. Mike is the chairman of the board for the Tourism Technology Company.

Recommended Articles

Search Snowmobiling