Been there, done that? Bet you haven’t, because it’s new this season! Want the bragging rights? Check it out…
NWOSTA is the North Western Ontario Snowmobile Trail Association and six of its clubs operate and maintain the Wilderness Loop through the heart of the rugged Canadian Shield. This snow tour takes in 10 very snowmobile-friendly communities, and along the way riders will experience some of the best trail adventures in the province, with terrain that varies from windy bush trails to massive hills and from flat out lake riding to whoop-de-whoop utility corridors that disappear far into the horizon.
While avid snowmobilers can do the Wilderness Loop in three full days, others may want to take the time to visit must-see sights like White Otter Castle near Atikokan, the scenic viewpoint at Sioux Lookout, or the various rapids and waterfalls along the trail near Sioux Narrows. The thrill hills on the pipeline near Kenora are a blast too!
The Wilderness Loop is easily accessible. Its western side is about a two-hour drive from Winnipeg, with loop access just east of Kenora. Thunder Bay is about the same drive time from the loop’s east side with access at Atikokan. If you’re coming by sled, connector trails feed into the Wilderness Loop at Atikokan and Sioux Narrows. Snowmobilers trailering north from Minneapolis can be on the Wilderness Loop in about five hours, entering it at Atikokan, while Fort Frances (International Falls) is the entry point for those from North Dakota.
Once you’re riding the loop, you’ll find sufficient services for fuel, food and lodgings. For example, if you’re staging from Kenora (pop. Approx. 15,000) here’s what towns and services are available doing the Wilderness Loop clockwise…
Snowmobile Club: Dryden Power Toboggan
Snowmobile Club: Ojibway Power Toboggan
Snowmobile Club: Ignace Otters
Snowmobile Club: Atikokan Sno-Ho
Mine Centre (140 km/87 miles from Atikokan)
Fuel and restaurant.
Snowmobile Club: Sunset Trail Riders
From Sioux Narrows, it’s only 72 km/45 miles back to Kenora.