It’s Been Here Forever!
By: Mark Lester
If you know anything about lake effect snow, then you’re not gonna be surprised when we tell you the Grey Bruce Region, located just a couple hours from Toronto and directly in the lee of Lake Huron, had the best snow of any area in Ontario last winter.
The Bruce provides riding-from-your-backyard opportunities for tens of thousands of dedicated sledders in the London and Kitchener areas of Ontario. However, these snowmobilers have been incredibly selfish by keeping wraps on this treasure.
The area from north of Kitchener all the way to Lake Huron and as far east as Barrie and west all the way to the US border is laced with spectacular trails, deep snow and every service snowmobilers want right on trail.
We toured this region last winter and discovered, while the highly publicized and promoted northern and central areas of Ontario were in a snow drought, the legendary Bruce was buried in snow.
We followed groomers cutting trails leaving 5-foot banks on either side. The snow was so deep, venturing off-trail was a complete no-no.
You’re smack dab in the middle of populated territory here so the availability of accommodation, food and fuel is never an issue. We began our 2-day saddlebag tour at the Homestead Resort near Durham.
Our goal was Wiarton via the city of Owen Sound for lunch. Owen Sound access is amazing, given this is a decent sized city. We enjoyed groomed trails right up to mall parking! Trails in and out of Owen Sound are wide and smooth.
Wiarton arrived too quickly. Grooming and signage was excellent right to the famous Skinner’s Bluff outlook. This is a must-do and is only accessible by snowmobile in the winter.
Bring your camera as this is both breathtaking and unnerving as you stand on the edge of a 250-foot cliff overlooking Georgian Bay, Griffith, White Cloud and Hay Islands.
Our destination, the Waterview Resort in Wiarton, was on-trail, offered Jacuzzi suites and superb dining while providing safe parking for our sleds.
Here’s how we sized up a great ride: Fabulous groomed trails within easy reach of the city; impressive signage pointing to great on-trail services. That’s the Grey Bruce.
Oh yeah, one more thing: Take big saddlebags along…you may stay longer than you planned.
Waterview Resort in Wiarton (519)-534-0921
Homestead in Durham (519) 369-3771