The Best Snowmobile Trails in Ontario

Come winter, Ontario’s 30,000kms of interconnected and brilliantly maintained snowmobile trails make it the most expansive on the planet. This also makes Ontario the perfect province to fire up your sled and lose yourself in a sprawling and snowy slice of heaven.

Of course, tens of thousands of miles comes with thousands of possibilities, so if you can’t ditch your responsibilities and just take off for the entire winter, deciding where to spend your precious leisure time can seem overwhelming.

Take a deep breath. I’ve saved you the hassle. Here’s a list of the best snowmobile trails in Ontario.

Round Algonquin Park

Duration: 3-4 days

Kms: 708

Access to Services: Excellent

Known as the ‘RAP’ to avid sledders, this trail guides you through Haliburton, Pembroke, Mattawa, North Bay and Dorset. Taking you around the unblemished beauty of Algonquin in the winter, riding the RAP has hills, valleys, and rivers, giving the discerning rider a taste of it all.

You’ll have no problem finding natural attractions to break up the ride, including the famous ice ridge, as well as a host of spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. From rabbits to moose to lynx, deer, and even Timber wolves, you’re likely to catch a glimpse of at least a few of the area’s year-round inhabitants. This loop goes through many communities with snowmobile friendly  restaurants and accommodations to help rest and replenish the wary traveller.

District 8

Duration: 2-3 days

Kms: 345

Access to Services: Good

A mere couple of hours from Toronto, district 8 is the home of the lake-effect snow belt. This means piles of powdery goodness for you, even later in the season. In addition to natural attractions, this route loops by Orillia, Midland, Wasaga Beach and Horseshoe Valley, so you’ve also got incredible opportunities to immerse yourself in culture if you so choose.

While the Simcoe county area doesn’t offer up the same consistent cultural or accommodation opportunities, the communities do welcome snowmobiles with open arms and are home to many fueling stations and restaurants. A word of caution: since you’ll be touring through open fields as well as ancient pine forests, it’s important to curb the urge to go off-road. Stick to the trail and keep farmers and nature happy. This goes for any trail, really.

The French Connection

Duration: 2 days

Kms: 298

Access to Services: Excellent

Southeastern Ontario’s French Connection serves up a warm welcome in the coldest of seasons. Here you’ll find not only stellar snow for your sledding adventure but superior accommodations and restaurants that make catering to snowmobilers their business.

As you ride this through Morrisburd, Alexandria, Hammond and Winchester, you’ll feast your eyes on spectacular vistas ranging from deserted rail lines, beautiful woodlots, and serene open fields.

The Chiniguchi Loop

Duration: 2 days

Kms: 223

Access to Services: Good

Want to take your sledding to new heights? Then you’ve got to try this tour, which will lead you to the famous Wolf Mountain Lookout – the highest point in Ontario, coming in at almost 700 metres.

Running into Sudbury and through inactive as well as active mining camps, this route is especially ideal if you’re looking to ride earlier in the season since the loop tends to get snow early on. You’ll also want to prime your peepers to take in the native wildlife, like moose, lynx, and wolves, as well as some of the oldest trees in the province, including towering red pines.

The Gold Rush Tour
Duration: 3-4 days
Kms: 710
Access to Services: Excellent

Head north – way north – to get a taste of Ontario’s untamed majesty. While the trails are maintained, your surroundings are an enchanting lottery of sights, ranging from active gold mines to agricultural expanses to untamed time-honoured forests to crystalline lakes. You can expect to travel through some of the province’s most charming towns, including

Temiskaming Shores, Elk Lake, Gowganda, Shining Tree, Mattagami, Gogama, Timmins, Val Gagne, Matheson, Ramore, Kirkland Lake, Engelhart and Earlton.

Accommodations in the form of hotels, motels and resorts are plentiful as are fueling stations, which help make this ride even more enjoyable.

But before you head out…

Snowmobile clubs, as well as the OFSC, have worked hard to maintain these trails and keep them safe, so be sure to do your part and get your Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permit. It’s also a good idea to get your Motorized Snow Vehicle Operator’s License, though you do not need one if you have your driver’s licence (G1, G2 or M1 or M2).  Regardless, you do have to be over 16 to operate a sled on trails or legally permitted highways.

Need help planning your Ontario snowmobile vacation? Then use the OFSC interactive trail guide, which also doubles as a handy tool to see if a route is available.

Hollay Ghadery

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