The Best ATV Trails in Ontario
Ontario is a wonderful place to live and visit for many reasons, especially for those who love the great outdoors. Here are the best ATV trails in Ontario.
In addition to being home to Canada’s capital city, it’s also the nation’s most populous province. The high population can make it easy to forget that there are so many areas that are remote and unpopulated. We tend to see the buildings, skyscrapers, and asphalt and forget that the forest, fresh air, unlimited views and seemingly endless trails are closer than we think, and this is great news for both visiting and local ATV and UTV owners. If you’re thinking about traveling to Ontario, or perhaps just taking a weekend trip not too far from home, check out some of the best ATV trails in the province:
1. Algoma Country Trail Network
Algoma Country is located in Northern Ontario, bordering Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It’s close to Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan and Ontario) and is one of Ontario’s hidden gems thanks to its small mountains, lush forests, and unlimited outdoor opportunities all year round.
If visiting the area, make sure you check out Elliot Lake. This is an old mining community that has transitioned into a quaint retirement community and ATV destination. It’s surrounded by about 1,300 lakes, which makes this a great place to explore. The area is celebrated as one of the largest insured ATV networks in Ontario, with over 300 km of looped trails that wind past rivers, rock escarpments, and majestic forests. Be sure to check out Horne Lake Trail in this area – it’s a challenging 6 km trail with views of epic proportions! If you prefer to be closer to Sault Ste. Marie, there are a number of staging areas and trails that head towards different destinations, including Echo Bay, Searchmont, Halfway Haven and beyond.
When visiting the area, consider staying at the Quattro Hotel & Conference Centre, An Ascend Hotel Collection Member, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The indoor saltwater pool and sauna and on-site restaurant at this 2019 Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award winning property are sure to satisfy your needs after a long day of riding!
2. Ganaraska Forest
Located just an hour from Toronto, and close to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, is an amazing ATV paradise to check out. Ideal for beginner riders, and offering hundreds of wooded trails, the Ganaraska Forest is a great place to ride and visit on your travels. Both the East and West Forests are open to ATV’s, offering riders about 6,000 acres to explore. Several different parking areas are available, and maps are available online or at the Forest Centre upon arrival.
The Comfort Inn & Suites in Bowmanville is just 25 minutes away, and offers ample parking space for your truck and trailer. Start your morning with a free hot breakfast, and relax in the indoor heated pool after a long day of riding!
3. Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System, Mattawa
Mattawa is a quaint town, located about four hours north of the Ganaraska Forest. It’s a unique area due to its geographic location, nestled between the Algonquin Highlands and the Laurentian Mountains, and also located near the Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers. This system features 300 km of riding trails that connect to a network of over 4,000 km more. It’s also the location of the May ATV/UTV Poker Run, which is a blast to check out. Trails vary in difficulty level, but offer something for everyone, from easy riding for beginners to extreme difficulty for more experienced ATV-ers. Mud, water holes, tricky terrain and more can be found here! Make sure you check out the 666 Mud Trail (advanced level), the Purdy Mica Mine and the Redbridge Lookout, which offers an epic view of the entire area. Visit vmuts.ca for more information.
The Comfort Inn in North Bay is only 40 minutes from the VMUTS trailhead. It offers parking with enough space for trailers, plus a complimentary hot breakfast and pet friendly rooms.
4. Park To Park Trail
Located about two-and-a-half hours from Toronto, the Park to Park Trail is located in Seguin, Ontario, which is one of my favourite areas to visit and ride. The Park to Park Trail Association was created to connect Killbear and Algonquin Provincial Parks for multi-use trails. Currently there are 230 km of trails available, with about 140 kilometers available for ATV use. Last year, a new partnership was introduced connecting the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance and the Park to Park Trail Association, allowing for the use of a “OnePass” permit for both trail systems. Long story short, you get more bang for your buck with access to close to 2,000 km of trails! The Park to Park Trail offers ATV riders some epic views along rocky cliffs, in addition to mud holes, rocky areas and wide open trail over rail beds.
Rest your head after a day of riding at the Comfort Inn in Parry Sound, just 20 minutes from the Park to Park Trail. This hotel provides guests with a refrigerator, microwave, free hot breakfast and more!
5. Haliburton ATV Association Trails
The Haliburton ATV Association offers over 1,700 km of ATV and SXS trails, making it one of the largest trail networks in the province. These trails connect a number of regions in Ontario, including Haliburton, Muskoka, Kawartha, Peterborough, Almaguin and Madawaska. Skill level varies as these trails include forest access roads and rail bed trails (beginner), and gnarly terrain deep in the woods with some solid mud pits (extreme). Bring your winch and hand saw for those areas! For maps and more information visit: haliburtonatv.com
The Comfort Hotel & Suites in Peterborough features an on-site restaurant, ample parking, free hot breakfast, an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and more! Riders can access the Haliburton ATV trail system from Peterborough, or trailer to an area closer to Haliburton. Contact the Haliburton ATV Association or the Peterborough County Trails ATV Club for maps and more information.
More by Jessica Kline