By Mike Lester
The city of Elliot Lake, Ontario lies only about five hours from the Greater Toronto Area and a short 2-hour drive from the Michigan border at Sault St. Marie.
The area boasts some of Ontario’s best early season snow coverage and Elliot Lake should never be dismissed as a sleepy one-horse town. This was once a booming mining community and, at one time, carried a population upwards of 30,000 people. At the height of its boom, Elliot Lake was world renowned as the Uranium Capital of the World.
Today, the annual population of the city rests at a healthy 12,500 proud locals. It’s a Northern Ontario city where the snow is great and its infrastructure comfortably caters to visiting snowmobilers. As a community, there are few that do it better than Elliot Lake. There’s even a Tim Horton’s, which for our American friends is like Starbucks north.
Beautifully groomed trails maintained by the Elliot Lake Snowbirds snowmobile club lead in and around the city so access to local areas is made easy. This group of dedicated volunteers does an excellent job of keeping the trail system smooth, well signed and beautiful.
Park your truck and trailer in the spacious and well-lit parking lot of the Algo Inn and ride right from there to hundreds of miles of loop trails that surround the community.
Our ride not only took us on some of Ontario’s best trails but to an incredibly scenic lookout within twenty miles of the city that let us see the country for miles around.
There’s a strong sense of community pride in Elliot Lake that makes you want to visit again and again. Its inhabitants genuinely understand and love snowmobiling. You shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself striking up random conversations at trailside with other sledders you meet on your ride.
You’ll be greeted with a warm and friendly smile at any of the local establishments; it’s amazing how much this community is developed with shopping, hospitals, golf courses and residential areas, but has still been able to maintain its wonderful northern town hospitality.
For a city that continues to grow and develop, Elliot Lake has maintained all the warmth and charm of a small town and should definitely be on your list of visits this season.