For anyone who buys an ATV in Ontario and wants to go further than their own backyard, there comes a time to decide which ATV club to join. Whether you’re completely new to the sport or already involved with your own club, checking out a Club Ride is the best way to “try before you buy.” It’s a great way to see how a club operates, meet new friends, see the trail systems in a guided fashion and go to places one might not otherwise go as many trails can be highly challenging or very remote.
Haliburton ATV Club’s impressive 1,700 kilometres of trails immediately come to mind because many of them can be quite challenging and remote at the same time. Riding unfamiliar trails is a lot safer with a group that already knows the area and is often bringing along extra safety and communication gear as cell service is frequently nonexistent when you get deep into the bush. Larger rides are also generally safer than just a few bikes because there are more bodies that can help winch, fix breakdown type problems, and figure out location issues if they become lost.
Club rides generally cost $15-20, making them a great way to ride further away from home while leaving plenty of cash available to stay at local resorts, motels, etc. that would love to have you stay with them!
The new SxS and UTV laws that came into effect July 1, 2015 have the best benefits for Central, Northern and Eastern Ontario clubs as it allows all types of ATVs to ride the shoulder of most roads—all roads that previously allowed one-passenger ATVs to ride the shoulder now allow other types of equipment to ride the road, along with one or more passengers as per the design capacity of said vehicle—making a great way to connect trailheads, ride to town for food, fuel and accommodations, etc.
However, some towns even in these areas do not permit riding into downtown areas, and unfortunately, much of Southern Ontario still does not permit road riding at all, except for in a few areas. Click here for more information including links to the new laws and exactly where you can and cannot ride. To narrow down the area you may be riding in, check the local club’s website or Facebook page, most have posted new information on this recently.
The club that I am a member of, director and webmaster for, the Algonquin West ATV Club, conducts two club rides a month through the summer beginning in May, and a really fun part about it is that it only costs $15 for non members (free for AWATV and Haliburton ATV club current members.) It includes your day pass and an on-trail BBQ lunch! Awesome! We invite any of you reading this to come out, see, and enjoy our trail system with us!
Most ATV clubs in Ontario conduct some type of club rides for similar pricing as described above, too many to list individually here, see the complete list of ATV Events in Ontario here, then follow the provided links to the local club’s media sites. Practically every club in Ontario also conducts a few larger events annually that can also be a ton of fun. Get out there and ride!
See you on the trails!