Better Backcountry

(Photo credit: Martin Lortz)

Test your flatlander skills at a secret boondocking location in Ontario

You live, breathe, and eat snowmobiling. You ride a cross-over, a mountain or a freeride sled with a deep lug. You prefer to stand than sit, leveraging an 8-inch bar riser. You wear good technical gear, maybe even a onesie, and a helmet with goggles. You just spent two grand mod’ing your brand-new sled. You belong to several forums and social media groups to talk shop and seek out new riding areas.

You are frustrated.

Frustrated because you don’t have places to ride. You can’t ride outside the local club trail stakes, and there is little or no public land around you. Every time you pass by that old gravel pit on a sanctioned trail, you fight the urge hard not to drop in. Some of you can’t fight it any longer and huck it off freshie drifts along the farmer's fence line. You know you shouldn’t, but it just feels so right.

russ jones wawa boondocking
(Photo credit: Russ Jones)

You are not alone. There are literally thousands just like you riding the "squall" of the largest growth segment in the industry—the boondocker. You are very newsy right now, as organized snowmobiling is struggling with how to deal with you. Why? Because you are on an eternal quest for challenging terrain and deep snow, and sometimes you ride outside those sacred orange stakes. And why wouldn’t you? After all that’s what your sled is made for… right?

Well, not really. No snowmobile manufacturer’s commercial or Instagram post has ever shown a rider shredding a fence line or flatland farmer’s wheat field. But the reality is, this is what’s closest to you, and riding between the orange stakes just isn’t cutting it.

Your sled deserves so much more, and your ability does too. You want to push yourself right to the limit… and that ain’t happening in farm country. So instead of causing headaches for your fellow trail crews by riding outside the stakes, buck up and load up, and ride where it’s legit and legal. See if your flatlander skills are up to par, in real backcountry, real Northern Ontario backcountry.

The place is dubbed The Top Secret Boondocking Location. You’ve heard of it, and no, it’s not a secret anymore, and yes, it’s in Wawa, Ontario. Wawa? But that’s hours of burning fuel in your truck to get there. Yes, it’s far—we don’t apologize for that. The distance ensures that only the highest calibre of people roll into town, with the right gear and the right attitude to conquer what mutha nature can throw at them.

In the three years since the secret has been leaking out, riders from Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, and Wisconsin have been dropping their ramps and dominating the backcountry all… day… long.

Take Team Fasho from Grand Rapids, Michigan for instance. This group of best riding buds have made several treks to Wawa and can’t get enough.


Jeff McGirr a well-known Ontario rider and Yamaha Motor Canada rep pushed his brand-new Sidewinder hard last year and wrote a killer story, Wawa’s Backcountry is Legit.

(Photo credit: Jeff McGirr)

Muskoka Freerider a group of 705’rs on an eternal quest for climbs, drops, and pow rolled into town in 2016.

Jess Kline and Steph Santeford have been here. Steph, a west coast rider, came to teach some backcountry skills to Jess and see what all the Ontario buzz was about. Check it: A Mountain Rider Experiences Ontario’s Top Secret Boondocking Location.


Snowtrax TV broke the secret, and AJ Lester ripped it and learned real quick that the right sled is a must. Watch the full story here.

So. Are you convinced that this place is worthy of you and your sled’s ability? Next time you feel the urge to go outside the stakes and poach some pow along a fence line, or a wheat field, think about Wawa. Think long and hard about getting your crew together to ride Ontario’s best (legit) backcountry.

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