Hello Winter: Snowmobiling Algoma Country

plentiful snow and flawlessly groomed trail

Updated: By Martin Lortz

Few things put a smile on a snowmobiler’s face like the words “winter is coming.” Add details such as 3,200 km of groomed trail, 300 cm of snow annually, and the longest snowmobiling season in Ontario and that smile transitions to an ear-to-ear grin that will last for months, often from December to April.

Welcome snowmobilers to Ontario’s Algoma region; now, let’s ride.

Getting here couldn’t be easier: it’s a hop and a skip over the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge for our U.S.A friends. The Trans Canada Hwy 17 can get you here from anywhere in Canada. Of course, there is always the option of arriving by snowmobile by way of the ice bridge from Drummond Island, MI., or along Ontario’s 3,200 km long groomed snowmobile trail network.


Decisions, decisions, what to do? Mix town and country, perhaps?

The Soo Highlands Loop

Enjoy the comforts and amenities of Sault Ste. Marie at your fingertips and let the Soo Highlands Loop provide snowmobiling satisfaction. At 169 kilometres, the Soo Highlands Loop is a perfect day ride. With trail access possible within city limits, follow trail D130 north until you reach the D trail. Along the way, take the optional short detour to the shore of Lake Superior. Stop for lunch at Searchmont Resort, then meander south along SSM 5 and the D trail through a landscape of forest and frozen lakes back to Sault Ste. Marie. Back at the hotel, enjoy a relaxing spa, a delicious meal and perhaps a night on the town.


Go All The Way There

If a grand adventure is what you’re after, pack the bags and fill that tank as the epic All The Way There Tour will surely satisfy you.


On to Wawa, where sleds outnumber cars in the parking lots during the winter season, thanks to groomed trail access and the abundance off-trail riding opportunities in the area. Accommodation, supplies, repairs and gas, can all be found here.


In Dubreuilville, the good folks at Magpie Relay Resort might provide the most snowmobile-friendly accommodations anywhere. Owned and operated by snowmobilers, here you will find a comfortable room for you and a heated garage for your sled. There is even a shuttle that will get you out on the town and back.


From Dubreuilville, point the sled north, bound for Hornepayne and on to Hearst. When you drop your bags in Hearst, you will be 645 kilometres into your adventure, and at the halfway point of your All The Way There experience. If you want more, there is good sledding to be had on local loops in Hearst.


Retracing your ride back to Sault Ste. Marie, mix things up along some local trails in Hornepayne, Dubreuilvill and Wawa. Long days on the trail or short, with many choices of accommodations along the route, you can make time or take your time; it’s all possible. No matter your approach, a good time is ensured.

Yes, winter is coming; fortunately, Algoma’s 3,200 km of groomed trail, 300 cm of snow annually, and the longest snowmobiling season in Ontario will have you grinning.


About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle.

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