ONTARIO’S NEAR NORTH: Closer Than You Think

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By: John Arkwright

Ontario’s Near North region was one of the many areas that experienced less than stellar snow conditions last year. When nature finally co-operated, the 12 clubs of the Near North Trails Association worked overtime to get its 3400 kms (2000 miles) of trails in fantastic shape.

The Near North has a well-developed network of interconnecting trails that allow you to ride a different loop each day with the option of putting on either high or low mileage.

The RAN (Ride Around Nipissing) Tour is a two-day self-guided ride taking a circuitous 300 mile route around Lake Nipissing. This is a big lake and its surrounding geography is breathtakingly beautiful in the winter with plenty of rolling hills, big rocks and impressive lookouts.

Located in the heart of this region is the City of North Bay; one of the most snowmobile friendly cities in North America. The city officials have shown real leadership in allowing easy access for touring snowmobilers, similar to what you’ll find in the Province of Quebec, and winter tourism is booming because of it.

Within the city limits there’s an abundance of first class accommodations and great restaurants. Parking facilities for trucks and trailers are excellent and several of the motels have security compounds available for your sleds.

This region extends from the town of Novar to the south, Temagami to the north, Warren to the west and scenic Mattawa to the east. You’ll find a wide variety of comfortable accommodations and many a warm smile to greet you upon your arrival.

Ontario’s Near North is dubbed the “Gateway to the North” and is located within a six-hour drive (three Tim Horton’s coffee stops) from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

Very seldomly you’ll see a groomer during daylight hours in this region, as the NNTA Clubs prefer to groom during nighttime and weekends making for awesome riding seven days a week.

For more information on this region visit ontariotravel.net/goride and call 1-800-ONTARIO.

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