Northern Ontario, Canada

NORTHERN ONTARIO is CANADA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

With hundreds of thousands of lakes, vast tracts of boreal forest and a rugged Canadian Shield landscape, Northern Ontario was made for outdoor travel. From fishing to ATVing, hunting to motorcycle touring, snowmobiling to boating, on this website you'll find a broad selection of stories, travel tips, and insights into the rich outdoor adventure culture that makes Northern Ontario what it is. Stories brought to you both by passionate experts who call this region home and world renowned travel writers, some of whom are visiting Northern Ontario for the very first time.

OFSC Q & A: Early Snow and Permit Sales Bode Well for Season Ahead!
Editor's Note: Craig Nicholson is a seasoned snowmobiler, writer and communications consultant, who among other things is the OFSC's Director of Communications. Below, we caught up with him on the eve of this year's snowmobile season.   How are things looking for snowmobile season? The season has received an unprecedented kick-start by setting a new trail permit sales record, just as snow has already started to fall in many parts of Ontario. This year for the first time, we launched a pre-November 1st permit promotion, offering snowmobilers an opportunity to save money by buying a trail permit online. Tens of thousands of Ontarians responded enthusiastically, racking up pre-season sales numbers of over 41,000 seasonal and classic trail permits. This is…
Snowmobiling to the Giants Tomb Island Ice Formations
This Is Winter! According to NASA, ice cover on the Great Lakes reached 88% during mid-February this year, which hasn’t been seen since 1994. This year has been amazing for snowfall and winter conditions, so it's no surprise that the Great Lakes are more than half frozen over. With that being said, the ice on these massive inland bodies of water can create magnificent works of art—in particular, on Georgian Bay.   In southern Georgian Bay, just east of Christian, Hope and Beckwith Islands, there is an island called Giants Tomb Island, which is just north of Midland. Giants Tomb is an ever-popular destination for boaters in the summer time. The shallow, clear waters (you can walk for 10 minutes…
Hot Off The Press! The 2014 Ontario Outdoor Adventure Calendar is Now Available!
Get Inspired! Get inspired for adventure year round with the FREE Ontario Outdoor Adventure Calendar. In addition to stunning photography from across the province, each month you’ll find lots of great ideas for your next adventure.   Pick it up now from one of the locations on the map below or order it online here.  Get Going! Go to ontariotravel.net/outdoor to read about “The Best of Ontario Outdoor Adventures” and easily find the right adventure for you.  See what’s hot and get special offers in our e-newsletter.      Get Social! Discover and share all that Ontario has to offer – top adventure spots, awesome photography, compelling video and the latest tweets.      Follow special guest bloggers, Dave and Deb of The…
flycasting into the waters of Southern Ontario’s Grand River
As my fly line curls out over the water of the Grand River to settle gently on the surface and float enticingly through a pool edged by limestone cliffs, it’s easy to forget that I’m fishing a stone’s throw from thriving farms and culturally rich communities like Fergus and Elora.  The trout waters of the Grand River are a ribbon of natural beauty in an equally wonderful rural and small town landscape.  My contemplation of this fortunate intermingling of nature and culture is cut short by the sight of a brown trout arching  back into the water where my fly use to be.  Hyper-focused now, I lift my rod quickly and set the hook.  I’m immediately rewarded by an answering…
 Jim Saric with a monster musky caught casting Lake St. Clair.
Lake St. Clair is a musky angler's paradise. It has one of the largest populations of muskies anywhere across the musky range. With 2/3 of Lake St. Clair in Ontario there are a lot of incredible areas to fish. Whether you stay in Windsor or any of the towns along the south shore such as Belle River or to the North near the St. Clair river such as by Wallaceburg you are in a position to quickly hit the water and contact muskies. For years, Lake St. Clair has always been considered a troller's paradise, since the muskies frequently roam large areas. Further, when trolling it's possible to contact giant schools or packs of muskies and catch a bunch of…
Camping without a Car!!
Take the Ontario Parkbus!! ‎ A non-profit group is making camping without a car possible with a regular bus service between Toronto and key national and provincial parks in Ontario. Starting June 29, the Ontario Parkbus Initiative will be running buses between Toronto and popular campgrounds, canoe access points and backpacking trailheads in Algonquin, Killarney and Grundy Lake Provincial Parks as well as Bruce Peninsula National Park. Started as a grassroots initiative by two York University graduates and outdoor enthusiasts, the program runs in cooperation with Ontario Parks and Parks Canada. Financial backing is provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, along with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Parkbus is bringing social, environmental and economic benefits to our province"…
Ontario PWC Riding Between Mattawa and Temiskaming Shores
For centuries, Ontario’'s Ottawa River Waterway has been the gateway to Northern Ontario. PWC enthusiasts looking for the ultimate adventure can do the four-day, 700-kilometre expedition from Pembroke (pop. 14,360) to Temiskaming Shores (pop. 10,400) as we did. But if time is short, there are two overnight rides: Pembroke/Mattawa (330 kilometres/200 miles, return) or the 338 km/210 mi round trip between Mattawa (pop. 2,033) and Temiskaming Shores. I started this Mattawa - Temiskaming Shores Sea-Doo ride from the riverside Valois Motel & Restaurant on Highway 17. The Valois offers waterfront housekeeping rooms, tasty home-cooked meals (fabulous desserts!), and also has its own boat launch and ample parking. Alternatively and just north under the railway bridge that spans the Ottawa, you can fuel up, dock…
Southern Ontario Snowmobiling: Durham & Northumberland
Looking for a few days to getaway Ontario snowmobiling to OFSC District 3, located just east of Toronto in Durham and in Northumberland ? Look no further. Complied at the bottom are a few day trips, that could send you out on Ontario snowmobile trails for a week or so. Take a look and be sure to check for the local map at sponsoring areas so you don't get lost ! In both cases there is lodging in Orono (Bon Voyage or Twin Oaks Motel), but you will need to trailer from the motel to get on the trail. Tour description Pontypool to Fenlon Falls, about 8 hours total trip time: Start at 35/115 south parking lot or Long Sault Ridge…
Southern Ontario: Holland Landing to Shelburne
For a small town feel with plenty of snow and Ontario snowmobile trails, OFSC District 4 is where you need to be. With plenty of places to stay and great food most;y known about by locals, you will feel right at home when you venture into small towns of Primrose, Shelburne and Thornton. Where to Start Start at the Holland Landing club house, at 61 Cedar Street in Holland Landing. There is ample parking for cars and trailers at the club house. Take the trail heading up to intersection 707 and then turn right and follow this trail to B103. Turn left on B103 and stay on this trail to intersection 502. This does cross Lake Simcoe, please ensure that the…
Eastern Ontario Snowmobile Paradise
Expereince some of the best Ontario snowmobiling in Eastern Ontario. Here, OFSC District 1 has all the amenities, scenery, snowmobile conditions and adventure any sledder could ask for. 3,900 km of Ontario snowmobilie trails near Quebec, from Ottawa to Kingston, and three border crossings along the edge, provide endless possibilities to riders. What you will see... Picture yourself snowmobiling through seemingly endless trails of white gold. The trail unfolds before you to images of pristine, ever changing countryside. Your snowmobile suit acts as a barrier to the elements, and occasionally a snowflake finds your nose, a reminder that it is in fact cold outside. With 3,900 km of TOP and local club trails, you will find yourself with several opportunities to travel near or…
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  • Grey-Bruce Snowmobiling
    Grey-Bruce Snowmobiling
    It was 1976 and the family had rolled into Owen Sound, Ontario for a hockey tournament in the Bruce Grey Simcoe region. At the time I only had a passing interest in Ontario snowmobiling but, as an unfettered gearhead, I was fascinated by anything with an engine - especially if…
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  • Off-Road Riding in Toronto's Backyard—Hundreds of Miles of Trails Minutes from the Big City
    Off-Road Riding in Toronto's Backyard—Hundreds of Miles of Trails Minutes from the Big City
    I’ve lived in Toronto for nearly 20 years and have been riding off-road throughout Ontario with great regularity for the past five years. How is it I had no idea there were hundreds of miles of motorcycle and ATV trails only an hour from my house? Fortunately, I finally became acquainted…
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  • I Love Getting Outdoors in Ontario, Canada
    I Love Getting Outdoors in Ontario, Canada
    Each year, I travel to Northern Ontario to enjoy the great outdoors.  I love camping at Ontario Parks and exploring the quaint communities along the way.  The air is so clean and water so refreshing.  I can hardly wait for my next adventure.    Catherine Keetch For great Ontario Outdoor Adventures,…
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  • Fall Colours - The Lake Temiskaming Loop Tour
    Fall Colours - The Lake Temiskaming Loop Tour
    Fall Rides The leaves are changing colour and there is no better time to head out onto the open road. We've spent the last week touring all over Ontario, exploring the Lake Temiskaming Loop Tour and finding all the best place to visit, stay, and side routes to take -…
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  • OFSC Video 2 - Get Started in Ontario Snowmobiling
    OFSC Video 2 - Get Started in Ontario Snowmobiling
    Got a question about how snowmobiling in Ontario works? Want to know how to get started? Looking for some behind the scenes info? Now there’s an easy and one-stop way to get all your answers… The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs has released the second of a new suite of…
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  • Rubber Side Down—Adventures of a Touring Girl in Ontario
    Rubber Side Down—Adventures of a Touring Girl in Ontario
    In 2007, I decided that I wanted to ride a motorcycle. I did not have a brother, boyfriend or father who rode—I didn’t even have many friends who rode. I just knew that it was something I wanted to experience for myself. So, in April 2007, with very little education on…
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  • Ontario PWC Riding Between Mattawa and Temiskaming Shores
    Ontario PWC Riding Between Mattawa and Temiskaming Shores
    For centuries, Ontario’'s Ottawa River Waterway has been the gateway to Northern Ontario. PWC enthusiasts looking for the ultimate adventure can do the four-day, 700-kilometre expedition from Pembroke (pop. 14,360) to Temiskaming Shores (pop. 10,400) as we did. But if time is short, there are two overnight rides: Pembroke/Mattawa (330 kilometres/200 miles, return)…
    Read more
  • Ride The Wild Side In Northwest Ontario—Chasing the Sunset
    Ride The Wild Side In Northwest Ontario—Chasing the Sunset
    One gorgeous summer night last July, watching the golden sun sink lower into the deep curves ahead of me on highway 17 just shy of the Manitoba border, it really sunk in just how much space there is out on the wild side of Ontario. It’s just really, really BIG.…
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  • It's Worth the Drive - My Experience in the Backwoods of Northern Ontario
    It's Worth the Drive - My Experience in the Backwoods of Northern Ontario
    Being from Southern Ontario, it’s a bit of a trek to head up north. The gas, the time off work, the packing… Trust me, I get it. But the thing is, it’s worth the drive! My adventure started when a friend invited me to head up to Northern Ontario to…
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  • Northern Ontario Walleye - All Winter Long
    Northern Ontario Walleye - All Winter Long
    The torrid Northern Ontario winter walleye bite has continued unabated since Christmas, maybe even shifting into over drive.  I've talked with several fishing friends in the North Bay, Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay areas and they all tell me the same thing.  Local ice conditions are…
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