Less Talk, More Doo
It’s no secret that a great snowmobile trip takes some planning. There’s coordinating your friends and family, scheduling, picking a starting point, the travel itself, and so on. Is it worth it for an amazing day, or few days, out on the trails? Absolutely. And here’s the better news: we’re about to spare you some of that research and planning time—at least in terms of figuring out your best options in terms of loops. You’ll still have to pack your own car snacks and figure out those playlists.
We are a lucky bunch here in Ontario—thanks to the efforts of many many clubs and their volunteers, the 30,000 kilometres of trails at our disposal are mapped and signed for our convenience, and to make thing even easier, preplanned loops abound. Planning your next ride is as easy as picking up a map, selecting a loop, and following the signs. Many of these can be found on the Go Tour Ontario Interactive Trip Planner but to get you started, here are a few of my favourite loops.
RAN Tour (Ride Around Nipissing) - 400 km
From the tight forest trails on the south side of Lake Nipissing, to the long open stretches of trail on the north, this circumnavigation of the fourth largest lake in Ontario is a very pleasant two-day ride. Staging areas are plentiful. We started at the Moonlight Inn & Suites, just south of Sudbury and overnighted at the Ramada Pinewood Park Resort & Conference Centre in North Bay. The snowmobiling bridges over the French and Pickerel Rivers were a definite highlight of the trip.
Click here for more on the RAN Tour.
Bon Echo Loop - 235 km
Ontario's Highlands are well known for their rugged forested terrain. Combine that with spectacular trail grooming and you’ll understand why this day ride left us grinning from ear to ear. We staged and stayed at the Bancroft Inn & Suites and enjoyed a post ride meal at The Granite, which I recommend as a snowmobile accessible restaurant.
Click here for more on the Bon Echo Loop.
Saugeen River Tour - 240km
We watched the snow fall all night from the comfort of our rooms at the Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound. In the morning, with 20 centimetres of fresh snow on the ground, we hit the trails along the open fields of south-central Ontario's Grey County for what turned out to be one of the best powder days ever.
Click here for more on the Saugeen River Tour.
North Shore Loop - 503 km
Travel from the shores of the North Channels to deep into the Algoma forest. The area’s lake effect snow machine was on full dispense during the ride, making our three-day spring adventure a bit epic. We staged at the Lake Lauzon Resort in Algoma Mills, and at Dunlop Lake Lodge and Black Creek Outfitters along the way.
Click here for more on the North Shore Loop.
The RAP Tour (Ride Around Algonquin) - 708 km
If there is one tour in Ontario worthy of bucket list status the RAP is it. We spent an amazing few days on the trail with overnight stays at the Holiday Inn Express in Pembroke and Spring Lake Resort. No need to rush this one, we did it in three days, but four would have been even better.
Click here for more on the RAP Tour.
The Big Loop (Muskoka) - 586 km
When the snow is good, this is one of the best rides in the province and only a couple hours from the GTA. We staged at the beautiful Residence Inn Marriott Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst. At the top end of the loop around Port Loring, you can rent a cottage at Pine Grove Cottage Resort for a night in the forest. Be sure to stop in at Roxie’s or Jake’s Place for some superb eats.
Click here for more on the Big Loop.
Explorers Snow Tour - 234 km
With the Algonquin Highlands and Laurentian Mountain Range at their disposal, the trails that make up this tour are worth a visit for their quality alone. But there's more to the Explorers Snow Tour than meets the eye—and actually it’s what doesn’t meet the eye that makes it special. With ten points of interest along its length, this is perhaps the first interactive snowmobile tour in the province. Mattawa is the destination point on the map with the Valois’ Motel & Restaurant, Mattawa Adventure Camp, Le Voyageur Inn (Mattawa), Cedar Gables Lodge (Bonfield) and the Dinner Bell Motel (Bonfield)—all awesome places to stay, stage and explore.
Click here for more on the Explorers Snow Tour.
There you have it, some of Northern Ontario’s best snowmobile loops. Because your time is better spent doing, not planning. So, when you're ready for your next Ontario snowmobile adventure pick up a map, select a loop, and go ride—no time wasted.