So Much Ontario, So Little Time—10 Rides for Next Season

It’s about this time of the year that I start thinking back and reflecting on the past snowmobile season and all that it was. Looking back, I am disappointed. It wasn't Mother Nature or my sled that let me down but myself. I’m disappointed with myself for making excuses rather than riding on those bitterly cold days, unsatisfied knowing that when the powder was deep I didn’t extend my backcountry ride until dusk, and of course I’m distressed that winter's end is in sight. 

Although I’m not overly satisfied with this past winter I have fond memories of many great rides, I’m not going to gauge my season by kilometres but by quality of rides and I will say that this winter’s rides were of excellent quality. 

None the less, being disquiet or unsatisfied won’t bring the snow back. I am however hopeful and enthused for what the winter of 2015-2016 will bring. Now is the time of year to reflect on the great times and also to plan, or at least dream, of the rides for next season. 

I figured that if I made this list now, I’d be more apt to stick to it when the snow flies in eight months, and so my challenge to you is to make a similar list. Here is mine:  

10. Moosonee

This challenge and adventure has been on my ‘life list’ for years now, anyone who has completed the journey with Extreme Tours Cochrane says it’s a must do! The local culture and traditions that exist here are thought provoking. There is something incredibly unique about riding out onto the salty sea ice of James Bay.

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9. Sundridge

I grew up riding in this area. It's where I first started snowmobiling and have many fond memories of the trails, sadly I didn’t make it to the family cottage this winter. Sundridge, South River, Burks Fall & Kearney are all on my list for next year, I’m not going to miss those ice caves again

8. Abitibi Canyon

I’ve traveled to the Abitibi Canyon by sled and by truck and I can say that whether you go by trail or road, both experiences are must-do’s. I didn’t make it this year and although the area still has great rideable snow I’d rather hit this area in it’s prime (late February and March). I will note however, if you’re looking for the best spring riding, April in this area is prime for spring riding. 


7. Sault Ste. Marie

There’s always an open invitation to ride the Sault. Being a fan of all things snowmobile, I’d love to ride and check out the i500 Snowmobile Race. I have always been intrigued by completing a snowmobile border crossing so here’s to hoping they will let me through! To get a real idea of what riding in the area is all about click here to listen to the What A Ride Podcast episode where they ride with the Sault Trailblazers

6. Kawartha Lakes

Throughout this winter my social media feed was filled with epic ride photos from my friends Rick and Marni of riding adventures in this part of Central Ontario. I’ve never really had the opportunity to ride this area but it looks great! This is a ride in any direction area with endless loops. 

5. Post 392

A favourite place by those that visit, Post 392 is truly unique. Set approximately halfway between Gogama and Timmins, on Lake Kenogamissi, this is a must-stop destination. Not only are the trails absolutely stunning but the hospitality served by Marie is second to none. If you LOVE trailside food Post 392 is a must visit! 

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4. Sudbury

I’ve had the invitation to join a good friend at his camp north of Sudbury located nearby the Sportsman's Lodge. Wolf Mountain and the 300+ year old forest is a must-ride for me. This summer is going to be a long one as I hear about the ‘camp’ stories that were made on the weekend that I missed. 

Timmins Snowmobile Club trails
Beautiful Timmins Snowmobile Club Trails

3. Timmins

In the last decade I have snowmobiled in Timmins at least once every year, most years multiple times, but this year I just couldn’t get it together to make the trip. In an earlier published article by Matthew Corbeil – Hit the Trails in Town & Country, Matt said “Timmins is Ontario’s snowmobiling mecca” and he is absolutely correct, there’s so much to ride and to ride to in Timmins—it’s a must-do trip. 

2. Wawa / Dubreuilville

They taunted me all winter with their Top Secret Boondocking Locations, deep endless snow and wide trails. In fact they even hosted the 1st annual Wawa Snow Down event which stitched trail riding and backcountry challenge – this had my name written all over it, but I missed out and will surely feel down for the next eight months. Visiting the Groomer Guy at his Kwiki-Mart in Dubreuilville is on the list as well! 

1. Riding with Friends

Roll Call: who didn’t I get to ride with this winter? Dave M, Brett B, Charlie W, David B, Charles K, Eric F, Ryan T, Jeff M, Matt M, Thomas R, Rick S, Marni S, Paul I, Ryan D, Matt M, Ian L, and Dave B! And of course a few American friends who I haven’t seen in over a decade – Yes you Rodney R and Jeff S – Come Ride the #OntarioSnowTrails in 2015-2016. Next season you’re all on my list of ‘we got to ride’! 


About Jeff McGirr

Jeff McGirr is a powersports & marine enthusiast who loves sharing Northern Ontario experiences with you through his articles and videos.

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