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On Your Next Vacation, Look North Not South

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On Your Next Vacation, Look North Not South

• Credit: Ron James

There's a winter paradise north of Hwy 17 in Elliot Lake, Ontario that provides the perfect getaway for the outdoor enthusiast.

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When most people take a vacation in the wintertime they tend to look south, but my wife Kim and I are not most people. Kim is a winter outdoor lover who enjoys ice fishing, snowmobiling, and just being outside in the wintertime, so we decided to take our vacation up North in beautiful Elliot Lake, Ontario.

First off, I love this area as it has over 3,500 lakes within a couple of hours of Elliot Lake, and it is also near and dear to my heart, as my Mom moved there about five years ago and just loves it. With my traveling schedule, it isn’t too often that I get to see her, so it was a wise choice for our vacation.

We arrived to over 100 cm of snow that had been falling off and on all winter, and it’s a dream paradise for snowmobilers, that’s for sure, with miles of trails and restaurants. We stayed right on Popeye Lake, just about 20 km outside of town. When we first arrived, I met a couple of locals who were a huge help, and the thing about Northern Ontario people is that they would give you the shirt of their backs to help you.

So I was talking with Charlie and Denis, two guys that have been there for five generations, and they gave me the best advice that I could have ever received. If you are planning on going for a snowmobile ride, make sure you talk to the locals! With all the snow that had fallen, it had caused a blanket on the ice and under the blanket was slush… lots and lots of slush—so it was a good thing that we talked to the guys instead of just riding out on any lake with our snowmobiles.

After talking with these gentlemen, we decided to go ice fishing first and snowmobiling later. They suggested a lake called Quirke Lake, known for its Lake Trout, so we headed out there ,and it offered packed trails to the fishing spot that these guys had made themselves.

The next morning, we got up and were out fishing by 8 am. By 3 pm we had seven Lake Trout landed, and it was a great way to start our vacation. From there, we decided to hit the snowmobile trails the next day and go for a great ride. As the week went on, we bounced from ice fishing and snowmobiling, and of course curling up to a cozy fire at night. So when looking for a vacation, look towards Algoma Country and the Elliot Lake area and enjoy what winter in Ontario has to offer.

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