Northern Ontario, Canada


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.

Archie Hoogsteen holds a fine Northwestern Ontario Lac Des Milles Lacs walleye in front of one of his rental ice shacks.
Ice fishing northwestern Ontario's Lac Des Milles Lacs is unlike any northern Ontario fishing we've done. Used to fishing small inland brook trout lakes accessed by snowmobile or snowshoe, my father Gordon Smedley and I drive an hour west of Thunder Bay along Hwy 17 to a plowed ice road leading out onto the expanse of Lac's Sawmill Bay. "Just follow me," says Archie Hoogsteen as he jumps into his truck and heads down toward the Lake. Archie runs Sugar Shack Rentals and will be guiding us to our destination and keeping us company for the next few days. "Kind of nice not to have to repack everything into a sled," I say as we follow Hoogsteen along the ice…
Northern Ontario Snowmobiling: Cochrane
More often than not when it comes to Ontario, the name on snowmobiler’s lips in early or late winter is Cochrane in OFSC District 15. Located on Highway 11 and TOP Trail A in Ontario’s Wilderness Region, this thriving community of about 5,000 offers many hotels, restaurants, fast food places and gas stations that are open in the winter and trail accessible. The Polar Bear Riders, the local snowmobile club, do a stellar job of grooming their trails, which connect directly to Quebec via TOP Trail A105Q. For many years, the North Adventure Inn has been one of Cochrane’s most popular snowmobiling hotels. Its unique features include 2-story rooms, four “igloos”, a secure sled garage, lots of parking space and an…
Back in the Snow Saddle Again—First Ride of The Season in Parry Sound!
Editor's Note: As we saw recently, the Parry Sound region is an incredible place for motorsports, a place where Ontario trails and attractions abound. Of course, as any sledder will tell you, there's just something about that first ride of the season… the fresh snow, getting together with friends, and thoughts of the season ahead…   Another fun and sunshine-filled summer has come and gone. This saddens most people as they winterize and some put their boats away, along with other summer toys in preparation for the cold weather to come. However, for some of us—we couldn’t be happier to say “Good Hibernation” to our summer toys and say “Good Morning” to our winter toys!     The first snowfall…
Abandoned Locomotive Search
Call it a myth, folk lore, or an urban legend, everyone I have spoken to about this has the same response: “Yeah, I heard about an old steam locomotive wreck up there.” Executive Director of the Park to Park Trail Association, Peter Searle, had heard of these stories for years, when he decided this fall to take action. Calling on club members, friends, and local residents he has cross-referenced all the information and nailed the area down to a few square miles north of the Sequin Trail, only accessible now by ATV. In an attempt to locate and document the wreck before winter sets in, a group of seasoned ATVers are heading in to the unknown to solve the mystery,…
Leave the Traffic Behind! Top 10 Reasons to Commute to the Cottage by Sled
Blizzards that bring GTA traffic to a halt, frost quakes that crack and shake your home at night, freezing rain and now, a weather pattern called the polar vortex. All over Ontario, from Ottawa to Sarnia, Port Perry to Port Loring, winter has just slammed us this year. A nightmare for some, but for the many Ontarians that call themselves snowmobile enthusiasts, this year might be the best that they've seen in many, many years. Have you ever driven by the high school in Haliburton or Gravenhurst, or any rural area for that matter, and noticed the line-up of sleds outside? Those are some lucky kids!! Likely you even know of a few adults who are fortunate enough to be…
Rashid Lucas with a March Break walleye that he caught on a long underwater point in Northwestern Ontario's, Lake of the Woods
This week marks March break in Ontario when students get a much needed week-long pardon from school and studies. Although, I suspect whoever originally lobbied for the holiday was an ice angler, as "March Break" typically symbols the peak of the ice fishing season in Northern Ontario. Indeed, I always tell my American friends, if they've never ice fished before, this is the time to plan their inaugural winter vacation to Northern Ontario. And I remind my Canadian brothers and sisters that instead of setting their sights on some distant southern clime, there is no better time than March Break to head north for some of the finest late winter / early spring fishing they will ever experience. Here's a…
SnowTrax Television to Hit the Trails of Bruce Grey Simcoe This Week
This weekend North America's most watched snowmobile show, SnowTrax Television, will descend on Bruce Grey Simcoe to experience the attractions of the area and ride some of the best trails in the province. Starting on Tuesday, January 28th 2014 the SnowTrax crew will arrive and settle in to the Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound to take advantage of the special rate for snowmobilers.  Wednesday will see them touring the local trails with a loop taking them to Bruce's Caves and up to Skinners Bluff. Stopping for lunch at The Greeen Door in Wiarton. Dinner will be at Ted's Range Road Diner in Meaford.  On Thursday they'll spend the day taking in the natural attractions on the trails eventually heading east to…
New Mattawa Bridges Improve Snowmobiling
All too often, Ontario snowmobilers searching for that perfect weekend ride with great snowmobile conditions overlook a gem of an area located between North Bay and Mattawa. But with their new TOP Trail A112A designation in place for this winter, the Mattawa-Bonfield sector is fast positioning itself as one of Ontario’s must-visit snowmobiling destinations. Just to show how seriously the Mattawa & Area Snowmobile Club is taking their commitment to providing top notch trails, they’ve just completed two new snowmobile bridges. One is located on A112A just north of Mattawa, a few kilometres before you get to the popular ‘Birds Eye View Lookout’. The other is farther along the same trail. With a span of 38’ and 10-ton capacity, the…
Author Gord Pyzer with a typical Northern Ontario walleye that devoured a heavy jig and soft plastic swimbait
I've been spending the past few weeks with my nose to the grindstone, hard at work, catching giant Northern Ontario walleyes and preparing for an upcoming feature in the 2014 In-Fisherman Walleye Guide.  Okay, so it's a stretch calling it "work", but the size of the fish is no exaggeration.  I am talking about walleyes in the seven, eight, nine and ten pound plus class.  And not just one or two big fish either. It is all part of an amazing pattern that a couple of friends and I have been refining over the past year and the results have been simply stunning.  Of course, having Northern Ontario as your playground doesn't hurt matters any, as there are unquestionably more…
Snowmobilers Welcome—The Complete List of Snowmobiling Destinations in Ontario
Snowmobiling comes naturally to Ontarians. For about half of the year we're covered in snow. We don't hide away from the cold, we embrace it. It's become a part of who we are. We've been at this business of winter recreation for so long now that we have over 30,000km of trails and over 200 OFSC snowmobile clubs. With more events taking place in all regions each year, Ontario is becoming an increasingly popular destination to visit in the winter as well as summer. After a long day riding the loops or trails you want to be sure you're going to get a solid rest with hosts who know what you need. Below we list the top snowmobile friendly resorts and destinations…
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  • Take The Long Way—The EatSleepRIDE® Motorcycles App
    Take The Long Way—The EatSleepRIDE® Motorcycles App
    Editor's Note: We've all been there. A long awaited ride with friends, filled with hope and excitment of finding monumental stretches of twisties, delicious burgers and ideal places to rest nearby. But what happens when we can't find the monumental roads, when riders get separated, when crashes happen? The good…
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  • Ecotourism Vacations in Ontario
    Ecotourism Vacations in Ontario
    Where Every Day is Earth Day!  Are you looking for a "green" vacation?  The Ontario Ecotourism Society (tOES) can help you find the perfect fit through one of its members.       The members of tOES practice ecologically sustainable and socially responsible nature and culture based tourism.  They are committed to…
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  • The French Connection Loop - Ontario Snowmobile Tour Loops
    The French Connection Loop - Ontario Snowmobile Tour Loops
    BACK TO Ontario TOUR LOOPS - Main  OFSC District 1Destinations: Morrisburg, Alexandria, Hammond, WinchesterHashtag: #ridefrenchconnection Before you head out, please check to make sure that the trails are available, using the OFSC's Interactive Trail Guide. Ride into an atmosphere of proud French hospitality, warmth and friendliness, as you complete two days…
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  • Top 10 Parks Canada Water Adventures
    Canoe, Kayak, Dive, Swim ... a Lifetime of Water Adventures With summer vacation about to kick into hight gear, we asked the folks at Parks Canada to share their top 10 water adventures that can be had at Ontario's National Parks. Tour Flowerpot Island Absorb the beauty and tranquility of…
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  • Living in Harmony with Nature at Northern Edge Algonquin
    Living in Harmony with Nature at Northern Edge Algonquin
    " If someone at the Edge is stoked about doing something, they are encouraged to do it" says Greg Waters (steward, gardener, kitchen guru, designer, builder at the Northern Edge Algonquin).   This has resulted in an unique, an award-winning Algonquin Park solar-powered nature retreat that nurtures guests with organic and…
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  • Ice Fishing on Lake Wanapitei
    Ice Fishing on Lake Wanapitei
    Lake Wanapitei located on the north eastern end of Sudbury and offers for various species; including Pickerel, Lake Trout and Pike. Once the ice is thick enough, Rocky’s offers Heated Portable Ice Huts for the ice fishing enthusiast. They will set you up with a drilled hole, where you can reel…
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  • World Class Sledding in Sudbury, Northern Ontario—Video
    World Class Sledding in Sudbury, Northern Ontario—Video
    Ontario, Canada is home to the world’s largest interconnected snowmobile trail system. Recently I had the opportunity to explore some of the best trails on the system in the Greater Sudbury area. It’s only my second season riding, but my riding companions were all die-hard sledders and assured me that…
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  • Sailing Adventures on Georgian Bay
    Sailing Adventures on Georgian Bay
    My wife and I own a Mirage 29 sail boat and have been sailing on Lake Ontario for 20 years. It was time for a change of cruising ground and we were looking for a spot on Georgian Bay that would get us to the North Channel within a day…
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  • Ontario Snowmobile Trails
    As of November 4th, the Complete List of Ontario's snowmobile trails and loops is a work in progress. As we develop this resource, we encourage users to let us know of any trails or loops that we haven't added yet via the comments option at the bottom of the page. 
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  • Dogsledding is Great Exercise!
    Dogsledding is Great Exercise!
      "Dog-sledding was very fun, exciting and surprisingly physical! While speeding along forest trails and even across frozen lakes, I loved how I was able to take in all of the unique and natural beauty of Ontario’s winter landscapes. It’s great exercise and definitely a one-of-a-kind activity."    Hilary Chan,…
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