If you’re looking to get your adventure started in Ontario, Canada, we’ve got just the thing for you. Here we’ve compiled a list of staging areas where you can comfortably leave your truck and trailer while you voyage out into the wilderness. These are the preferred spots locals use, and they’ve all been cleared with local townships and businesses so you can feel confident using them.
Ontario has hundreds of hotels, motels, resorts, inns and B&B’s that stay open all winter specifically for snowmobilers. And some places have staging areas they make available for guests. Essentially, a staging area is a spot where you can park a truck and snowmobile trailer with lots of room, that allows users to leave their vehicles there for a weekend or week long ride.
To ensure that riders can always find suitable lodgings, OFSC trails are laid out through 16 districts to provide direct access to many of them, and many of the best can be found as advertisers on district trail guides. But by virtue of their exact whereabouts, some accommodations make easier and more convenient staging locations than others.
We’ve created this list specifically for sledders from Michigan and Minnesota who are taking their first big trip into Canada for snowmobiling. Each of these recommended staging areas and accommodations are directly accessible by trail, provide ample truck and trailer parking, and have clean, comfortable rooms and a restaurant either on site or next door. They’ve also got the best touring options, with several choices for big tour loops starting right at their doorsteps.
Ramada Pinewood Park - North Bay, Ontario
7 Hours from Detroit Border
An on-site restaurant with truly great food, year-round outdoor heated pool, whirlpool, sauna & health spa, and a secure sled compound make the Ramada Pinewood Park a favourite with sledders. It features big rooms with lots of space for gear, a really neat miniature display in the main lobby, and wifi for checking trail status. Jump on the Ride Around Algonquin Park (RAP) or Ride Around Nipissing(RAN) tours. You can access the hotel from trails SSR 710 from TOP D or SSR 703 from the Lake Nipissing stake line. Fuel and a big convenience store (with a Tim Horton’s) are across the road.
Best Western Inn on the Bay - Owen Sound, Ontario
4.5 Hours from Detroit Border
This full-service hotel with restaurant/bar and two hot tubs is located just north of downtown Owen Sound with an amazing view of the bay. Just off the main drag, the Best Western Inn on the Bay is quiet but close to everything. Owen Sound is a beautiful town in winter if you want to go for a stroll, but the hotel has everything you need if you’re tired out from a day on the trails.
Best Western Couchiching Inn - Orillia, Ontario
4.5 Hours from Detroit Border
Who doesn’t love a free breakfast? This hotel has an on-site restaurant with gas right next door. The Best Western Couchiching Inn sports a hot tub and sauna, fireplaces and kitchenettes in each room, and ample parking out back. Located near the narrows where lakes Simcoe and Couchiching meet in Ontario's Lake Country, you can do day rides starting by either land or lake trails. Perfectly suited for weekend jaunts where you want to make your own trip.
With a full-size indoor/outdoor pool, guest laundry and free hot breakfast, the Microtel Inn and Suites is the perfect staging spot in the Soo. Rooms are recently renewed and look great, with lots of space if you and your friends want to hang out there. Plenty of options for local tours, just check out Algoma Country’s snowmobile page.
Fairfield Inn and Suites - Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
10 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie Border
Saltwater pool and hot tub, complimentary breakfast and lots of local parking, the Fairfield Inn and Suites is comparable to the Microtel and a good option for points North.
Perch Lake Lodge - Atikokan, Ontario
1.5 hours from Fort Frances Border
Known all over the region as the place to stay, Perch Lake Lodge is the perfect launching point for your snowmobile tour of the region—they even have snowmobile tours listed on their website, including the Quetico Circle Snowmobile Tour. Spacious cabins allow groups to stay together, and despite its remote location there’s good cell service and high-speed internet. There’s a small convenience store, restaurant and gas on site. We’re told the wings there are the best in Ontario, but judge for yourself!
Pinestone Resort - Haliburton, Ontario
6 hours from Detroit Border
Indoor saltwater pool, rustic decor, and “The Highlanders Bar”—the Pinestone Resort has incredible food, beautiful rooms, and embodies everything a resort experience should be. There’s a full-service spa and wellness/fitness centre with indoor saltwater pool to help soothe your aching bones after a long trip. For and groups, Pinestone offers a variety of villa and chalet options. Includes secure overnight sled parking in a fenced and locked compound, plus direct trail access via Club Trail 7. Best of all, you can just right on the RAP Tour or do day rides throughout the Haliburton Highlands, the Northern Kawarthas, or the Eastern Part of Muskoka.
Moonlight Inn & Suites - Sudbury, Ontario
7 Hours from Detroit Border
This cozy and convenient roadside property is the ideal staging motel for snowmobilers who want to stay in town while riding Sudbury's three great loop tours—the Chiniguchi Wolf, Cartier Moose and Rainbow Elk loop. Located right beside the TOP Trail C109D at Highway 17, the Moonlight Inn & Suites offers continental breakfast, free wi-fi, fridges & microwaves, plus a restaurant next door and Royal Distributing parts and accessories store nearby.
Quality Inn - Temiskaming Shores, Ontario
8.5 Hours from Detroit Border
Located on Highway 11 in Temiskaming Shores, the Quality Inn is a popular staging hotel and full-service facility with all the amenities for snowmobilers: on-site restaurant/bar, indoor pool, sauna and great hot tub, games room, sled parking in front of rooms, and fuel/convenience store next door. Direct trail access via A107Q. Hop on the Gold Rush Tour or head out to other Northeastern Ontario destinations.
Thriftlodge Cochrane South - Cochrane, Ontario
11 Hours from Detroit Border
Open late in the season if you’re riding in March (or sometimes into April), Thriftlodge Cochrane South has a hot tub and sauna, sled parking in front of rooms, and on-site restaurant/bar is a great spot to jump on the Northern Corridor Adventure Tour, Lumberjack Loop, Missinaibi Expedition Loop and Bobcat Loop or for day rides on the Abitibi Canyon Loop, Gateway to North Loop. Fuel is right across the street.
Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa - Timmins, Ontario
10.5 hours from Detroit Border
Quebec-style inn with well-appointed rooms, and chalets, on-site restaurant & bar, plus secure sled parking. Don’t miss the fantastic new luxury spa facility with steam room, sauna and outdoor hot pool. Be sure to leave time to visit the on-site wildlife park! The Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa has direct trail access off TOP C just north of intersection with TOP A111C. Fuel south on TOP C about 3 km. Take the Gold Rush Tour, Northern Corridor Adventure Tour, Lumberjack Loop, Missinaibi Expedition Loop, and Bobcat Loop, or for day rides on the Abitibi Canyon Loop, Gateway to North Loop.