I've been riding ATVs in Ontario my whole life. Until recently, I was even the president of the Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs. For years, I'd been told I had to check out West Viginia's famed Hatfield-McCoy trails. After missing a chance in 2015, I finally got down there in the fall of 2019. I had to find out for myself—how do they stack up against Ontario riding?
We planned on hitting four of the six trails that were open—Indian Ridge, Pocahontas, Pinnacle Creek, and Rockhouse. I wanted to see how they compared to ATV trails in Ontario such as:
- Renfrew County ATV Club
- Kawartha Lakes ATV Association
- Haliburton ATV Association
- Mattawa VMUTS
- Park to Park Trail Association
- Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance
After a long day's drive, we arrived at our destination in the night. Waking up the next morning, we found ourselves surrouned by mist rising off the mountains and ATVers from all over North America preparing for a day on the trails—it was quite the sight to behold. We were there to ride, and we hit the trails hard.
The number one biggest question I was asked over and over upon returning was, “What were the trails like?” And the two words that best decribe them are switch backs. Up, switch-back, up, up, switch-back-up, then down, switch-back, down, switch-back, down. The terrain was similar to the terrain of the Canadian Shield in Renfrew County ATV Club and Kawartha Lakes ATV Association, except every trail was on the side of a cliff. There was always a cliff on your left or on your right. The views were spectacular. The elevations and elevation changes were magnificent.
Now, one of the things I wasn’t expecting was how many people I met riding in West Virginia who wanted to know about riding in Ontario. And you know what? My opinion may be biased as I have ridden all over Ontario, but Ontario trails are right up there.
West Virginia and the Hatfield-McCoy trails are great, a must-visit destination. But the diversity and sheer number of trails across Ontario make it a must for ATVers from all over North America. Your bucket list really isn't complete without Ontario on it.
What You'll Find on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails
In the six days of riding at Hatfield-McCoy we saw bore holes from the olden days of coal mining, abandoned mining equipment, and random abandoned vehicles out on the trails. We rode up mountains and down the other side, and then up the next mountain and down the other side.
What You'll Find on Ontario ATV Trails
Ontario has diverse trail systems all over the huge province. You can go for a ride in Ontario and pass dozens upon dozens of scenic lakes in a single day, tackle tough terrain over the Canadian Shield and through vast forests, or get some distance on numerous rail-trails joining trail systems together across the province.
Planning a Trip to HAtfield-McCoy
All of the resorts, ATV-friendly towns, and restaurants were fabulous. There’s a rich history of coal mining towns now embracing ATVers coming to visit and eat at their establishments.
The accommodations on our Hatfield-McCoy trip were great, the trails were well marked, everyone was friendly and helpful, and we pounded out just over 700 km (435 miles) over the span of the week.