7 Epic Snowmobile Trails You Have To Ride In Ontario

FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERTS

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Ontario has the largest network of connected snowmobile trails with over 30,000 km of maintained track. It also features some of the most diverse riding from rolling hills and valleys to dense forests to smooth stretches of ice and land that seem to go on forever. And, of course, there are plenty of accommodations and services along the way. 

But with so much to choose from, it can be hard to figure out where to start. 

If you’re looking for a must-ride snowmobile adventure in Ontario, these trails should be on the top of your bucket list: 

1. French Connection Loop

Distance: 298 km
Time To Ride: 1 to 2 days 

The French Connection Loop was originally designed to connect Ontario to Quebec. The trail starts in the snowmobile-friendly town of Morrisburg. From there, you’ll ride the north shore of the St Lawrence on your way to Alexandria. Next, you’ll travel through Hammond, Metcalfe and Winchester before heading back to Morrisburg. 

The French Connection is great for new snowmobilers looking for a longer adventure. It stays on OFSC (Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club) designated top trails and you’re never more than 50 km from heated washrooms, restaurants and fuel.

2. Bon Echo Loop 

Distance: 232 km
Time To Ride: 1 to 2 days 

Bon Echo Loop offers stunning trails in the Highlands of Ontario. Because of its location the trail opens early, closes late and offers great conditions all season long. 

To start things off, head to Bancroft. Once there, head in a counterclockwise direction and loop through Cloyne, the Kawarthas, Denbigh and McArthurs Mills. Going this way means your journey will end with a smooth stretch back into Bancroft. While on this loop, you will ride abandoned rail trails, dense lakeside forests, rugged terrain and well maintained access roads. 

This loop also follows the shores of Mazinaw Lake in Bon Echo Provincial Park. Here you can take in picturesque views of Ontario’s second deepest lake at 145 m. While there, you’ll notice a 100 m high rock protruding from the ice of Mazinaw Lake. This cliff face features 100s of First Nation pictographs. 

RELATED: Check out the 9 best winter camping spots in Ontario …

3. Round Algonquin Park (RAP)

Distance: 708 km
Time To Ride: 3+ days 

Algonquin is known for attracting outdoor enthusiasts year round, including snowmobilers in the winter. In fact, many believe Algonquin to have the best snowmobiling in all Ontario.

This 708 km loop passes through places like Haliburton, Pembroke, Mattawa, North Bay, and Dorset. It takes 3 days to do the whole loop but your trip can be extended if you want to make more stops, explore and take various detours 

Most riders depart from Dorset or Pembroke and complete the trail counterclockwise. During your ride, you’ll loop through Algonquin Park where you can take in thick maple forests, hills, and valleys. There are also some stretches through utility corridors and along the Ottawa River.  

There are many resorts, hotels, motels, fuel, food and services along the way. There are also some spectacular sites to stop and enjoy. One particularly stunning view is the ice caves north of Edgewater Resort in Kearney. Chances are you’ll also see lots of wildlife, including deer, lynx, moose, rabbits and even timber wolves.

The RAP Loop was the 1st signature loop to officially launch more than 20 years ago. But the route has been improved in recent years to include better infrastructure and more signage making it easy to navigate. 

4. Chiniguchi Wolf Loop 

Distance: 210 km
Time To Ride: 1 to 2 days 

Sledders flock to Sudbury in the winter for unique scenery, history and abundant snow. The Chiniguchi Wolf Loop is one of two popular trails in the area. (I’ll talk about the other in just a moment). The Chiniguchi Wolf Loop offers consistent riding conditions and often opens early in the season. 

While riding the trail, you’ll travel through Wolf Lake Forest Reserve. Here you’ll see some of Ontario’s oldest forests. One tree is over 310 years old and another, which was cut down in 1988, is proof that some of the trees have survived numerous forest fires 

If you get a chance, you should stop by the Wolf Mountain Lookout. The lookout has breathtaking views of the Ishpatina Ridge, which is the highest point in Ontario at 693 m. You will also ride past active and inactive mines, as well as the Sudbury Basin, which was created by meteor impact before the the dinosaurs and is the second largest impact crater on Earth. 

5. Cartier Moose Loop 

Distance: 225 km
Time To Ride: 1 to 2 days 

The Cartier Moose Loop is another of Subury’s major trails. It also offers lots of history and mystifying views. 

Located in the Laurentian Highlands, you’ll travel through Canadian boreal forests during your ride. You’ll also ride by Sellwood, an abandoned sawmill town built in 1901 with a population of about 100 people. 5 years later, a mine opened and then in 1908 the railroad was brought through. 

By 1916 there were 4 stores, a laundry, bowling alley, 4 pool rooms and 2 restaurants. In the 1920s the mine and sawmill closed. By the 1930s the town was abandoned and in 1947 it was leveled for an iron ore mine that operated until 1978.

While you should always keep your distance, you can also expect to see lots of wildlife. Lynx families often use the trails to travel with cubs. You may also spot a moose or two as you follow along the loop. 

6. Gold Rush Loop 

Distance: 710 km
Time To Ride: 3+ days 

The Gold Rush Loop is located in Northern Ontario.It passes by a number of towns including Mattagami, Timmins, Val Gagne, Matheson, Engelhart and Earlton.

Covering 710 km of trail, the Gold Rush Loop offers diverse scenery and trails including open fields, rugged forests and Elk Lake. You’ll also travel along vast hydro corridors through operating and historic gold mines in Shining Tree, Timmins and Kirkland Lake. 

While on the trail, you can take in breathtaking views as well as some unique attractions. Some of the most popular stops include Hockey Heritage North and Cedar Meadows Resort Wildlife Park Tour where you can get up close and personal with a moose.  

7. Abitibi Canyon Loop

Distance: 303 km
Time To Ride: 2+ days 

Most snowmobilers start the Abitibi Canyon Loop in Cochrane. The town is said to have the world’s best trails and some of the best hospitality. 

While on the trail, you will enjoy open expanses, wide trails, endless snow, and kms of hydro corridors with no road crossings. You’ill also ride by the Abitibi Canyon and Abitibi Canyon Dam, which was built in the 1930s. From here, you can take in stunning views of the Abitibi River. 

During your ride through the Abitibi Canyon Loop, you should also consider stopping by Polar Bear Habitat & Heritage Village. As the only Ontario facility dedicated to caring for Polar Bears, it is an incredibly unique experience. You may also want to check out:  

  • Classic VIntage Rider Snowmobile Museum
  • Tim Horton’s Museum 
  • Greenwater Provincial Park Lookout 
  • Bridge across Frederick House River
  • Zeverly Rapids

If you are looking for some excellent riding this snowmobile season, be sure to check out these Ontario trails. They offer excellent rides, lots of amenities and unforgettable views. 

RELATED: Winter weekend getaways near Barrie …

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