Ontario’s Ride Around the Park Tour
By John Arkwright
RAP is an acronym that stands for Ride Around the Park. The idea of this adventure is to snowmobile around the perimeter of Ontario’s largest provincial park on trails operated under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC).
The loop around the perimeter of the vast Algonquin Provincial Park is a daunting 600 miles long but it can be completed very easily in four days.
The RAP route was laid out in 1994 and snowmobilers began riding it in 1995. In the ensuing years it has become one of Canada’s best rides.
If the 600 mile part seems a bit too much, you can take any number of side trips and make a week or more out of it, traveling at your own pace.
You’ll ride through four unique snowmobiling regions: The Haliburton Highlands, Eastern Ontario, the Near North Travel Region and the Muskoka Snowmobile Region.
Every imaginable type of trail is found on this circuit: Rail and hydro lines, abandoned logging roads and, on the north side of this tour from Pettawawa to Mattawa, you’ll ride on a pipeline that offers an experience you’ll talk about for years.
At Mattawa, you have two choices and both are great rides. By crossing the Mattawa River you can take trail MA-150 and NB-301 into North Bay, or you can take A Trail into the city of North Bay.
It doesn’t matter which direction you choose because both are sweet rides. Trail D from North Bay down through South River to Kearney is absolutely stellar.
Then there’s B Trail from Minden right up to Pembroke! Sorry… getting carried away!
The four major population centers on this tour are Huntsville, Haliburton, Pembroke and North Bay and you’ll find excellent quality accommodations no further than 100 miles apart around the whole loop.
If you’re planning this trip, late January through February will usually guarantee great conditions.
March riding can be excellent, but is sometimes unpredictable. This part of Ontario is appealing because of its excellent snow conditions and moderate winter temperatures – pretty much perfect conditions for long distance riding.
Believe us, there are very few snowmobile adventures that can offer the quality riding experience you’ll get on the RAP Tour!
For more information call 800-ONTARIO or visit ontariotravel.net/goride