Our picks for best sled-friendly accommodations from a couple of years ago stand the test of time. Each one is still in operation and ready for another epic season this year!
The Ontario snowmobile season is fast approaching and with that comes many evenings in the garage prepping the snowmobiles and trailers for the forthcoming adventures. I know you’ll have your gear and equipment in order; however, I’m not 100% sure that all of you have decided on your top destinations to ride to this winter. Why? Because I know that for many of us snowmobilers, we’re currently absorbed with just going for a ride. We’re patiently waiting for the first trails to become ava
Time spent riding is good for the body, mind and soul; these are the moments that we work hard for all year long, so why wait and be indecisive about your bucket list of destinations? Why not book now and plan it out? You know it’s going to snow, heck everyone from the Farmer’s Almanac to the New York Times is saying brace for a “T-Rex” of a winter and if you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to see this dinosaur of a winter materialise.
Admittedly, I’m no Intrepid Snowmobiler of touring riding personally, I enjoy day trips over saddle bagging from one end of the province to the other. However I’ll let it be known that riding the same routes over and over is great for my body and mind, but it won’t feed my soul with the adventure it yearns for. This is exactly why I like to make a point of visiting a few special destinations each year.
This is my bucket list of what I think are the Top 2015 Riding Destinations, listed in no particular order because they are all fantastic:
Relais Magpie Relay, Dubreuilville, ON
New on the snowmobile scene for 2014-2015 is the Magpie Relay. Located in Dubreuilville, home of Luc the Groomer Guy, it’s been newly renovated with snowmobilers in mind. Although I have never personally been to this establishment, I have heard a lot about it from fellow riders as well as the Groomer Guy himself who I will one day visit and ride with. What sets the Magpie apart is that the staff and ownership are riders too and have assembled an experience that caters to us snowmobilers. You will find fine dining, spa, and massage facilities and indoor heated storage with tool bench for the sleds!
Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa Timmins, ON
Located right on the C trail in the City with a Heart of Gold, this resort style facility boasts extra uniqueness. The 175-acre property includes 49 rooms and five chalets as well as spa with Nordic Baths. The rooms are warm, spacious and comfortable, the food is simply stunning in a mouthwatering way, and the riding from this location is fantastic in all directions.
Cedar Gables Lodge, Bonfield, ON
Located on BF201 just outside of the City of North Bay, Cedar Gables Lodge offers a new level of hospitality to snowmobiles. This cater-to-riders lodge can solely be rented by your group, or if it’s just you and a pal, you can grab a room for a night or two. The lodge has four rooms including two suites, indoor parking for the sleds and a common area that lends itself well to conversation, drinks, and evening sled movies on the big screen. My days always start with a big northern breakfast, and Cedar Gables Lodge delivers meals that will make memories.
Wawa Motor Inn, Wawa, ON
With over 800 km of groomed trails in the area, the tiny municipality of Wawa is a huge attraction to snowmobilers in Algoma Country, across Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. The perfect stop for anyone making their way from Searchmont up to Dubreuilville. Explore wooded valleys and mountains and ride across frozen lakes before heading back to the Inn for dinner at the Fireside Lounge. With two 27-foot fireplaces in the dining room, you’ll be warmed up in no time!
Holiday Inn Express, New Liskeard, ON
The newest snowmobile-friendly destination in New Liskeard is not one to be missed. Located on TOP Trail A107Q, the Holiday Inn Express is the ideal place to call home base while exploring Northeastern Ontario. A perfect launching pad for day trips north to Kirkland Lake or west to Gowganda. Many riders include this destination when planning rides to Cochrane and the Northern Corridor or to Timmins.
Spectacle Lake Lodge, Barry’s Bay, ON
Spectacle Lake Lodge is known amongst snowmobilers as one of the top destinations to ride and stay in Ontario’s Highlands, not just because of its proximity to the RAP tour but also because of the experience and hospitality delivered by Sharon Mahussier and team. Simply put, Spectacle Lake Lodge caters to snowmobilers—gas is available on site and has been for over 25 years, the rooms and cottages are comfortable, and the food is hearty!
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka, Minett, ON
Set in the heart of Explorer’s Edge in Muskoka, the JW Marriott is all about class, service and luxurious surroundings. The resort offers full spa services, fine dining and an outdoor hot tub that overlooks Lake Rosseau plus much more. Muskoka Sports & Recreation even offers sled rentals from the resort. If you’re debating taking the family south to the islands check out the JW first and consider a winter vacation that offers the relaxation, class, and comfort that is magnificent in every way.
Sportsman’s Lodge Wilderness Resort, Sudbury, ON
Located on Kukagami Lake, this resort is located at the junction of Top Trails C105 and C206D. Your host George Robbins is all about sportsman hospitality, and this atmosphere is reflected in each visitor’s experience. The food is homemade, healthy and plentiful which is a must for those long days on the trails. Winter guests can choose from a selection of 25 rooms in the main lodge or tower. This resort has a fantastic location and is an easy ride-to (Parry Sound, North Bay) or ride-from destination – the options are endless.
Post 392, Timmins South, ON
This place holds a special place in my riding soul, as I grew up riding to see Marie and the team at Post 392 and have continued to visit by snowmobile in the winter and boat in the summer. Post 392 is a remote lodge located on Lake Kenogamissi off of the TOP C trail between Gogama and Timmins. The stay here is like no other experience on earth. The food (steaks, chicken wings, soups, salads, pies, butter tarts… this list goes on and on) is all prepared fresh daily, including homemade breads. You will find all this and more on your lunch table and it’s all absolutely, positively delicious! I’ll be heading to Post 392 again this winter to cover this experience in more detail, perhaps I will see you there!
Presidents’ Suites, Haileybury, ON
The historical properties operated by Nicole and Jocelyn offer high-end accommodations with apartment based suites. The concept and experience is elegant and distinctly unique. The properties are located on Millionaires row on the shores of Lake Timiskaming and were built by Arthur Ferland after making his fortune in the Silver Mines of Cobalt in 1906. The Presidents’ Suites offers itineraries for all four seasons that tie in the rich heritage and culture of this region. The food prepared is amongst some of the best I have ever had, with many of the ingredients sourced from local producers. Presidents Suites offers a truly exclusive experience unlike no other.
The Settlers Loft, Markdale, ON
This charming log home is located on 80 acres of reforested farm land with mature maples and easy access to the trails. The loft sleeps seven people and includes a separate entrance for guests. This property caught my eye as it is located in the heart of the lake effect snow bands which annually produces some of the best riding only a few minutes away from the cities. I think this would be a great location to stay with a group of friends and enjoy an exclusive experience without interruption.
A Fellow Snowmobiler’s Place, All Over, ON
I always enjoy visiting snowmobile friends and riding on their home turf, consider either riding to or trailering to a friend’s community and riding for a few days. You know your backyard and the trails that are in it better than anyone else and your snowmobile friends are much the same. Each year I have friends visit my area, and it is always a pleasure to show them my secret spots, favourite trails, and best trailside meals.
Again, we know winter is coming, everyone is telling us it’s going to redefine epic. So let’s not wait to plan our destinations for this winter! See you on the Trails!
Jeff McGirr I’m a motorsports enthusiast who loves the outdoors and Northern Ontario. I share my adrenaline-filled activities with the world via my YouTube Channel! Sleds, bikes, boats and more I’m in pursuit of the best adventures and love sharing them with you!