After seven long years, dedicated Northern Ontario sledders are bringing back to life a 200-km section of trail from Hearst to Longlac and Geraldton (Greenstone Township). In 2010, this section of trail was shut down after District 16 folded and ultimately cut Greenstone Township off from the rest of the provincial trail network.
Many Hands Make Light(er) Work
Club Voyageur, Greenstone Snowmobile Club, and the Northern Corridor du Nord Snowmobile Association have teamed up to remove the brush that has grown on the trail since it closed, and to help maintain the trail system in the future. Depending on snow conditions and the amount of brushing work that needs to take place, they plan to have the trail open for riding later on this winter 2017.
The 200-km trail will connect Geraldton and Longlac (Greenstone Township) with Hearst. This will once again allow the community, and tourists, to connect to the OFSC’s provincial trail network. The refurbished trail will showcase the typical Northern Corridor’s renowned brand with perfectly maintained trails and pristine wilderness, according to the District President Michel Garon.
Gas Up Before You Go
It’s important to note that the trail system does not have any conveniences, gas stations or towns along the way, so it is vital that snowmobilers fill their machines up before beginning the trip or carry gas cans with them. The trail does come in and out along Highway 11 at a number of locations that can serve as meeting spots in case of breakdowns, or if someone forgets to fill up their gas!
Services in Greenstone, on
Greenstone Township offers a number of restaurants, including TNT Family Restaurant, Longlac Pizzeria, Queen’s Chinese Food, and a number of chain food restaurants like Subway and Popeye’s. The community also boasts several resorts, hotels and motels between Longlac and Geraldton, including the Four Winds Motor Motel, Woodlands Inn Motor Hotel, Le Chateau Bed & Breakfast, and many more. There are also a number of gas stations and automotive and powersports stores like Wild Country Sports and Napa Autopro that can provide assistance and parts to get you on your way.
Services in Hearst, on
Hearst has been a long-time prime destination for snowmobiling in Northern Ontario, and has everything a sledder needs to launch a successful trip. There are over a dozen restaurants to choose from, including John’s Restaurant, Bourdages Pizza Place, Bowling Billiards Bar & Grill and many more. Hearst also has multiple auto repair shops and powersports dealerships, like Hearst Central Garage Co. LTD., Lebel Chainsaw & Auto Repair, P&L Sales, and B&B Auto Sports and Marine Inc. The area also has over a half dozen snowmobile-friendly motels and hotels, including the Queen’s Motel, Villa Inn & Suites and Travel Inn Hearst.
Re-opening the trail offers a new place for adventurous sledders to travel to, and will help stimulate the local economy with a great source of tourism dollars. The devoted volunteers up there keep impeccable trails. While this remote part of the province will once again be connected to the larger network, you can be sure it’ll be low-traffic—besides the occasional local lynx or moose.
It’s truly a special stretch of Ontario snowmobile trails, and we’re lucky that it’s back!