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Discover Popular Southern Ontario Snowbelt Destinations…

Snowmobiler celebrating best snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo by Rick Sauer

 


Related: Best Ontario Touring Areas


 

Ontario is a huge place with over 30,000 kilometres of organized snowmobile trails. So how do you discover the best snowmobiling hubs near Golden Horseshoe?

That’s Canada’s most densely populated region, stretching from Niagara Falls around the western end of Lake Ontario to Oshawa. It includes all of the Greater Toronto Area.

There are no snowmobile trails in the Golden Horseshoe. So your choice depends on variables such as how much time you’ve got. Or how far you want to trailer to get there. Even who your companions are. And how many kilometres your group expects to snowmobile each day.

Today, many snowmobiles are opting for two or three day winter weekend getaways. Sometimes this means saddle bagging. This involves leaving staging accommodations and doing a loop while staying overnight at different places.

Other times, the choice is to stay at the same lodgings each night. This way, you can do multiple day loops out and back. In either case, you need a snowmobile-friendly destination and lodgings to start from. But multiple day ride destinations must also provide lots of trail choices within a hundred kilometres or so. And of course, reliable snow. Plus being positioned relatively close to home for easy weekend access.

There are plenty of good options that fit this bill and here are a few of my favourites listed alphabetically…

Snowmobiling Hubs Near Golden Horseshoe: Bancroft

Bancroft is one of the best snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo © by Martin Lortz

The Town of Bancroft (pop. 3,880) is located at the juncture of Highways 28 and 62. It’s less than a two-hour drive north of the eastern Golden Horseshoe. Bancroft is also where the grooming operations of the Old Hastings Snow Riders, Maple Leaf Snow Skimmers and Paudash Trail Blazers converge. So from Bancroft, snowmobilers can choose to ride three different trail systems, each with more than enough trails for a great day’s ride, including snow tours such as the Bon Echo Loop and the Hastings Highland Tour.

  • Snowmobile Tour Planner: Big Time in Bancroft
  • Where to Stay: The Sword Inn, Bancroft Inn & Suites.
  • Park ‘n’ Ride Locations: Bird’s Creek (where TOP B108E crosses Highway 62 just north of Bancroft). Old Hastings clubhouse (at L’Amable on Highway 62 south of Bancroft).
  • Trail Access: TOP B108E.
  • Tourism Region: Ontario’s Highlands

Snowmobiling Hubs Near Golden Horseshoe: Gravenhurst

Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf is the staging hotel for one of the best snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo © by Virgil Knapp

Positioned as the “Gateway to Muskoka”, Gravenhurst (pop. 12,000) is accessible from Highway 11. That’s about two hours trailering north of the Golden Horseshoe. It’s a good starting point for the snow tour named “Muskoka Magic”. Plus from town, Snowcrest Riders Snowmobile Club trails spoke out throughout cottage country. They lead to neighbouring towns like Bracebridge, Port Sydney, Huntsville and Baysville (good starting point for the Lake of Bays Watch Tour).

Snowmobiling Hubs Near Golden Horseshoe: Haliburton

WWII plane is landmark at one of the best snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Tow your sleds about two hours northeast of the Golden Horseshoe. This will bring you to the Village of Haliburton, a good staging point for the RAP Tour. Not only does this vibrant cottage town offer access throughout the Haliburton Highlands on trails maintained by the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association. But it also links to the eastern parts of Muskoka, the northern end of the Kawarthas and northeast into the Madawaska Highlands. Alternatively, you can book a day ride in the nearby Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve, Ontario’s only private trail system.

Snowmobiling Hubs Near Golden Horseshoe: Orillia

Best Western Plus Couchiching Inn is staging hotel for one of the best snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo © by Craig Nicholson

 

Orillia (population: 30,000) is located on Highway 11. That’s less than 90 minutes of trailering north of the Golden Horseshoe. Normally its location benefits from lake effect snow coming off Georgian Bay. What’s more, area trails offer a good mix of open field and forest riding. This includes some at the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. All in all, there are enough options to make your ride as long or short as you wish. In cooperation with the Orillia & District Snowmobile Club, Orillia provides an excellent snowmobile corridor through town via TOP B112B.

Snowmobiling Hubs Near Golden Horseshoe: Owen Sound

Best Western Inn On The Bay Owen Sound is the staging hotel for one of snowmobiling hubs near golden horseshoe

Photo © by Martin Lortz

Stage out of Owen Sound (pop. 22,000), for several day rides. These include the Walter’s Fall Tour, Saugeen River Tour and the Queen’s Bush Tour. Located at the base of the famous Bruce Peninsula, Owen Sound provides snowmobilers with small town hospitality. Then it adds big city amenities little more than two hours from the Golden Horseshoe. One of the pleasures of snowmobiling in the Grey Bruce region is the feeling of being off in the middle of nowhere. But really, you’re very close to everything.

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The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.

 

 

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