A Taste of Winter—Riding the RAP Tour



This winter I had the opportunity to try out a section of the Round Algonquin Park (RAP) Tour. This tour has built a reputation as being one of the most beautiful and diverse loop tours available in Ontario. I must admit that, from what little I did manage to see, this reputation is well-founded. 

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The RAP Tour is one of the most scenic and diverse snowmobile tours because it skirts the fringes of the beautiful Algonquin Park. It is also Ontario’s very first signature loop. With an average ride time of three to four days, this is a serious snowmobile trip. Unfortunately, with only a short time for my own trip, I only got a small taste of what this tour has to offer. 

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With a home base at the cozy home-style Cedar Gables Lodge, my comrades and I set out to enjoy the most northern section of the tour near North Bay, Ontario. Even in the short distance that we traveled, the diversity was immediately apparent. Thick forests of coniferous would open up to flowing fields with scenic views and then quickly shift to the spacious forests of maple, birch and oak. 

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Being from Parry Sound (which is in the Explorers' Edge region), which is about an hour south of North Bay, I was used to forests with a consistent mix of both deciduous and coniferous trees. The constantly changing scenery was nice for a change. The landscape was further enhanced by beautiful outcroppings and “mountains” formed in part by the Canadian Shield. I just never knew what would be around the next corner. The thrill of change and expectation added a great deal of excitement to this trip. 

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You would think a landscape dotted with rocks, hills and dense forests would be difficult to travel, but you would be wrong. The immaculately-maintained trails were never less than two and a half sleds wide, had nice sweeping corners, and for the most part hardly more then a hiccup of bumps on the trail. I know trail conditions can change day-to-day, but from what I hear, the smooth and wide trails that I got to ride are typical for the area.

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With a good sense of what to expect on a full trip, I am definitely adding the RAP Tour to my list of future “To Do’s”. In the meantime, I can only sit here and dream of the sights and trails I will experience when I get the chance to turn my taste test in to a three course meal.

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