Finishing the Season In Style in Northeastern Ontario

Where to go when "no snow" isn't an option.



The snowmobile season always seems too short. 2015/16 in particular was a challenge, delivering wild weather patterns that made it very difficult to plan our adventures with any certainty. Those who live in Northern Ontario will tell you that winter is always a guaranteed season, and although some seasons are better than others, snowmobiling always happens here.  

When we first put pen to paper planning one of the most epic snowmobile adventures of the season, we immediately looked north in search of reliability. This trip involved friends from all over the province as well as the Klim Team from Idaho—no snow was not an option, this adventure had to happen. 

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After two seasons of superb conditions, expectations were high. Not only were we looking to find some of the best riding opportunities, we were also looking to reach a few of the north’s most epic destinations. 

Where To Begin

Located only 3.5 hours north of Toronto is the Clarion Pinewood Park Resort in North Bay which became the staging point for our adventure. The weather network had reported that this year’s strong El Nino had shifted the lake effect snow bands slightly north and the on-the-ground reports from the Clarion Staff confirmed to us that “it’s winter here, we have snow.” 

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The Clarion is North Bay’s only resort hotel and is famous for their delicious prime rib. The resort includes spacious rooms with the option to have a fireplace in your room—which is perfect for evening conservation after a swim in the outdoor heated pool. The trail connects directly to the Clarion and gas is available directly across the road, making this destination the perfect spot to host a group of eager riders. 

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Devil's Rock

On our first day we headed North to Temiskaming Shores, the ride was as smooth as glass. Upon arriving in the town of Haileybury on the shores of Lake Temiskaming, we headed due south on the frozen lake towards the towering cliffs of Devil's Rock.

Devils Rock

This several-hundred-foot high rock face abruptly rises from the frozen lake ice and offers spectacular scenery from both the bottom and from the top. It’s a must-visit destination at any time of the year but was especially mesmerizing on this day. Check out Backroads Bill’s article on Devil’s Rock

Atop Devils Rock 2 copyAtop Devils Rock copy

After visiting Devil’s Rock, we rode north on Lake Temiskaming to the Waterfront Inn and Rooster’s Bar and Grill for a hearty lunch in the lakeside dining room. The parking lot at this hotel and restaurant was full of sleds and trailers—we weren’t the only ones who had found this snowmobile-friendly place. After a quick bite, we rode up A107Q on the Wabi River. The River is wide and flat and serves as a superhighway connecting you to all amenities in Temiskaming Shores. We fueled up and then stopped by Miss Claybelt the cow for a group photo.

cow visit

Other great options for accommodations in Temiskaming Shores include the newly built Holiday Inn Express & Suites which is equipped with an indoor pool and hot tub or the Quality Inn New Liskeard

No Guts, No Glory

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The second day of our adventure took us to one of the world’s mining capitals, the City of Sudbury. Our destinations included visiting Science North and the Big Nickel at Dynamic Earth. These two monuments strongly represent this area and its mining and architectural heritage. The trails in Sudbury were in fantastic shape and the snow was plentiful. We were honoured to be joined by Larry Berrio, check out his song “No Guts No Glory.”  

Antoine Mountain

Riding up Antoine Mountain

On the third day we headed east to Mattawa. This region always has an abundance of snow, but this year, in particular, it was blessed with above-average snow accumulation, resulting in arguably the most snow to be found anywhere in Ontario. We were headed by trail to a new riding destination, Antoine Mountain.

chalet at antoine mountainThe Chalet has a great ambiance and the stone oven-cooked pizza is a must-have!

Back to the trails after a great lunch, we visited the statue of Big Joe Mufferaw on Explorers Point.

Big Joe Pufferlaw

Destination: Ice Caves

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Ice Caves portraitThe final day of our epic adventure we rode south to Edgewater Park Lodge, our scenic trailside destination was the Ice Caves located on trail AL301. Overnight, a large portion of central and northern Ontario experienced another blast of winter and at breakfast that morning we joked that we had been waiting 364 days for today! With over 30 cm of fresh new snow, the ride was magical, winding through the dense mixed forests. Turning off the TOP D trail towards the Ice Caves our group got the experience making first tracks in the fresh powder, it doesn’t get any better than this!  

approaching ice cavesIce Caves landscape229A2327

After exploring the ice caves, we headed back to the Edgewater Park Lodge and enjoyed a great meal. The Edgewater has 14 cabins and five motel rooms, a 50-seat dining room and easy access to the trails as the two main trails in the area pass right through the lodge grounds. It’s a fantastic plan to ride to or stage from. 

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There’s nothing quite like northern hospitality, and this trip has delivered it around every corner. If you’re feeling uncertain about planning a trip, look north, book it, and go! Northern Ontario is the place where winter and snowmobiling are guaranteed, but it's a limited time offer! 

See you on the snow! 

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