Snowmobilers’ Picks – Top 5 Snow Tours in the Region

By Craig Nicholson December 9, 2015

Note: In 2015, we asked you to tell us about your Top 5 Favourites across the region.


Many snowmobilers would agree that Northeastern Ontario delivers this province’s best trail riding overall. Certainly in terms of consistent quality, longest season, and BIG trails, it’s hard to argue. Now factor in their 11 outstanding Snow Tours and it’s a sure bet.

In fact, the introduction of Snow Tours in Northeastern Ontario is a game-changer for many riders. These turnkey, self-guided loops take most of the guesswork out of trail riding in this vast region and provide riders of every experience level with a new kind of snowmobiling confidence and adventure.

We asked snowmobilers about their favourite rides in Northeastern Ontario and here are your top five—each a superb example of what Northeastern Ontario Snow Tours have to offer.

1. Gateway to the North Loop

gatewayPositioned south of Cochrane (population: 17,500) and Smooth Rock Falls (population: 1,300), the 215-km Gateway to the North Loop is a great option. It includes a scenic ride through Greenwater Provincial Park and some of the widest and most exhilarating trails in Ontario on TOP A and C. The only food, fuel and lodgings are in Smooth Rock Falls or Cochrane, and that’s all you need! #gatewayloop

Polar Bear Riders L103 trail at Zeverly Rapids (3)

2. Rainbow Elk Loop

RainbowElkLoopThe snowmobiling fun is BIG in the Greater Sudbury area (population: 160,000) where the 325-km Rainbow Elk Loop and the 225-km Cartier Moose Loop are popular choices in OFSC District 12.

Coniston, located on the east side of Greater Sudbury, with lodging, food and fuel, is the best staging location for the Rainbow Elk Loop. The loop is positioned southwest, between there and the La Cloche Mountains, making a scenic day ride for long distance sledders or a comfortable two-day ride for more leisurely explorers. Espanola (population: 5,000), located at the far western side of this loop, offers food, fuel and lodgings, there are also sufficient services available en route. #rainbowelkloop

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3. Cartier Moose Loop

CartierLoopThe Cartier Moose Loop is positioned northwest of Sudbury and accessed just north of town from TOP Trail D. If you’re accessing it from local lodging like the snowmobile-friendly Moonlight Inn & Suites, add another 30 klicks of riding between motel and loop. The Cartier Loop is an awesome ride using primarily TOP Trails on old logging roads through the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Shield. While about two thirds of this ride is relatively remote, there are sufficient services available on the southeast part in places like Chemlsford, Azilda and Capreol to see you through no problem. Be sure to stop for lunch and fuel at the Windy Lake Motel & Restaurant on the west side, which is also good staging accommodation if you only want to ride this loop’s 225 km. #ridecartier

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4. Abitibi Canyon Tour

abitibiFarther north in OFSC District 15, the renowned snowmobiling towns of Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, and Kapuskasing (population: 8,000) anchor three other top notch Snow Tours that are part of the Northern Corridor Adventure. The Abitibi Canyon Tour is a 303-km loop that runs north from Cochrane and Smooth Rock Falls, following TOP Trail A103. It’s mostly on old logging roads and utility corridors and takes in the massive dam at Fraserdale and powder fun at the canyon itself. Top up your fuel and tummy at Cochrane or Smooth Rock and be sure to stop at the Extreme Tours Base Camp near the dam for a unique lunch experience with fuel. My favourite overnight stay in Cochrane for staging this loop is the Travelodge, but the Best Western Swan Castle is also a good choice among several others. #SledAbitibiCanyon

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5. Lumberjack Loop

lumberjackTo the west, the 145-km Lumberjack Loop circles Kapuskasing from Moonbeam to Opasatika, offering an outstanding route alternative to Top Trail A for snowmobilers looking for something new and different. There are no services on the south side of this loop, but you’re never very far south of the Highway 11 corridor where there’s food, fuel and lodging a plenty in Kapuskasing, Moonbeam, Opasatika and Val Rita. #lumberloop

Top A west of Cochrane

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your snowmobiling getaway to Northeastern Ontario today. And once you’ve snowmobiled your brains out of the five primo Snow Tours I’ve described, remember that there are many more Snow Tours just waiting to welcome your skis!

#neontario #ontariosnowtrails #gosnowmbilingontario #BIGtrails

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