Nothing is more exciting than that first snowfall in Ontario. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it opens up a plethora of fun winter activities for everyone to enjoy! Each winter in Ontario, there is a world-class snowmobile trail network to discover that spans more than 30,000 km. These well-maintained snowmobile trails make it one of the most expansive on the planet. With thousands of miles comes thousands of possibilities! So, deciding where to take your snowmobile can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re new to the sport. Luckily for you, isure has everything you need to know when it comes to the best snowmobile trails in Ontario.

What is snowmobiling?

To fully understand snowmobiling, we first need to understand what it is. A snowmobile is an automotive vehicle for travelling on snow. It is steered by skis at the front and propels forward by a belt of track at the back. Québécois mechanic, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, made the first snowmobile in 1935. Today, there are more than 600,000 registered snowmobiles in Canada. They are great for transportation, recreation, hunting and trapping, especially in rural and Northern areas.

If you are new to the world of snowmobiling, also known as “sledding,” here are some interesting statistics about Canada’s love of snowmobiling you may not know:

  • 118,657 snowmobiles were sold worldwide in 2017. Of that number, 44,161 were sold right here in Canada!
  • There are currently over 600,000 registrations for snowmobiles in Canada—close to 17% of the population!

The basics of snowmobiling

New to snowmobiling? The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is offering its popular Driver Training Program for the 2023-2024 season. OFSC is the leading authority in trail riding in the province. They’re a non-profit organization ion which to obtain a permit that grants access to the 30,000 km of interconnected trails that crisscross the province.

OFSC Driver Training has made a significant contribution to snowmobile safety since 1976. This is done by educating students ages 12 and older. Additionally, they provide qualifying graduates with a Motorized Snow Vehicle Operator’s Licence from the Ministry of Transportation.

Snowmobile trails and training: Where to start

Depending on your comfort level and experience, putting together a possible snowmobile route can be challenging. Knowing that you’ve got the basics down along the way will provide necessary peace of mind to truly enjoy your travel experience.

1. Get your Ontario snowmobile trail permit 

Getting your Ontario snowmobile trail permit has never been easier. No matter what part of the province you’re travelling to, you will need to ensure you have the proper permits to operate on OFSC trails before riding. Order your permit online directly from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. You can also learn more information about permits, including current fees for day permits and how to purchase them online.

Even if you don’t quite own your own snowmobile yet, there is no need to fret! With so many types of sleds and amazing places to ride them, renting can be a very practical way to get the most out of the winter season. Snowmobile rentals are available near most major riding areas. If you cannot bring their machine along for the trip or are new to the sport, there are plenty of rental shops to assist you. If you know you want to dive right in and get a ride of your own, you have a lot of choices. And of course, if you are bringing your own sled, you’ll want it to be running in tip top shape.

2. Latest trail availability information 

Make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need before heading out, including the latest trail availability information from the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide or the Go Snowmobiling Ontario Interactive Trail Guide App.

The OFSC Interactive Trail Guide is Ontario’s only province-wide snowmobile trail reference tool. This app provides you with real-time trail conditions, nearby fuel and other points of interest. All of this is conveniently and easily accessible on your smartphone. The app has been updated and is very easy to use; a new drop-down menu “Snow Tours” is one of the upgrade features. When you select a tour, it highlights on the map face for you. In the “Trail Network” view, you will see what trails are in any Snow Tour you click on. And finally, the “Trail Status” view allows you to check the trail’s current availability status. The Interactive Trail Guide is a user-friendly app that helps take the guesswork out of your trip.

The Go Snowboarding Ontario Interactive Trail Guide App offers features, such as preloading the route and having access to it offline. This allows you to locate yourself on the map anytime, anywhere, along the trail. Additionally, it allows you to create, save and share a trip with your friends and check trail availability.

With these apps, integrating technology to help you plan your trip and stay on the course has never been easier!

3. Pick a snow tour and plan your trip

Ontario has over 30 snowmobile tour routes to help riders who aren’t sure where to start or who are looking for something new.

Guided tours

Guided tours are an option for those who don’t feel like going it alone. It is a great way for novice and seasoned snowmobilers to experience the fun and excitement. This is done without any of the duties that come with owning a sled. Trained professionals are available to guide you on your snowmobile adventure.

Typically, there are two options for guided tour packages:

  1. Permitted sled owners
  2. Sled renters in need of all the necessary gear as part of a tour package

Riders can customize their trip from a variety of tour options, including duration, distances and regions to choose from. Some companies also offer day rides, or even hourly outings, for those who are short on time or are just starting out.

Many tours also include your snowmobile rental and riding gear, making this adventure accessible to anyone who is looking for excitement on the trails. For the most complete information about snowmobile touring in Ontario, check out

On your own

Hyped as a unique kind of rider experience, the Ontario Snow Tours integrate existing snowmobile trails into new rides. These loops make it easier for those unfamiliar with an area to get around and have an enjoyable journey.

For those with more experience, these self-guided rides showcase some of this province’s best riding experiences. On top of this, most popular snowmobiling regions. Each Snow Tour is a route carefully laid out by its participating OFSC district on established trails. These are well-mapped, marked, maintained, and have good access to services. You won’t need to worry about anything, which leaves more time for exploring.

Ride local on Ontario’s snowmobile routes that explore dense forest trails and snow-filled valleys. Stop for a hearty lunch at one of the many trail-adjacent eateries and be back on the trail in no time!

For a complete list of Snow Tours in Ontario, click here.

10 of the best snowmobile trails in Ontario

There are many options for you to choose from along the 30,000 km of trails available to explore in Ontario. Here are the top trails that will deliver not only excitement and hours of trail time, but are conveniently close to nearby hotels, gas stations, snowmobile shops and restaurants. What are you waiting for? It’s always a good time to get behind the wheel and check out some of the amazing trails the province has to offer!

1. The Northern Corridor Snowmobile Trails

These trails have been described as some of the best in the world! There are many loops of various distances and also many possibilities for off-trail adventure. Officially, the name for OFSC District 15, the Northern Corridor is also the name of the trail system that connects 1,645 km of trails to the five major communities across the North. Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Kapuskasing, Hearst and Hornepayne⁠ join into one giant loop, along with five smaller loops and a whole bunch of local trails. Snowmobilers in Hearst can ride along the downtown streets and can park their machines right outside their motel room door. An impressive size, these trails have often been likened to highways. Their runs are built on old utility corridors and logging and mining roads, which adds a little history lesson to your trip.

2. Sled Algoma

No traffic, friendly faces, awesome trails and sled-friendly accommodations — the Algoma area snowmobile season lasts longer than other parts of Ontario, usually well into late March. By way of introduction, Algoma Country encompasses almost 52,000 square kilometres of breathtaking wilderness. Lake Huron borders it on the south, with Lake Superior on the west. Towns nearby include the popular retirement community of Elliot Lake to the east and by the City of Sault Ste Marie in the west. Snowmobilers from both sides of the Canadian border have been visiting and raving about Algoma’s 3,700 kilometres of groomed trails for years. At less than six hours from the GTA, snowmobiling the Algoma North Shore Loop will prove to be a true winter sledding escape.

3. North Bay and Mattawa

Located in Ontario’s Near North at the junction of Highways 11 and 17, this city of about 52,000 sits at the eastern end of Lake Nipissing near TOP Trail D in OFSC District 11. Many of the breathtaking snowmobile trails are bordered by the Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers. Nestled between the Laurentian Mountains, these trails offer incredible viewing and riding opportunities. The well-groomed trails meander through tall pine and hardwood forests, taking you past beautiful remote lakes and rivers.

4. Timmins

The venerable mining town of Timmins is one of the largest, and coolest, urban centres in the wilds of Northeastern Ontario. In Timmins, sledding is a way of life. It’s a die-hard snowmobile town where people ride their sleds to work, to school, and to visit family and friends. With annual snowfalls of over 300 cm, and temps that regularly hit -40°C, make sure to pack warm and be ready to ride! Trails here open early, close late and run for hundreds of miles in every direction — there are 440 km of trails on the local club system alone! If you’re feeling trapped by the rain and high temperatures in the south, just hit the road and head north. You’ll find that old-time snowmobiling is still going strong in Timmins and there are tunnels for sleds — ones you can actually ride through!

5. Temiskaming Shores

Located on Highway 11, Temiskaming Shores is comprised of New Liskeard, Haileybury, and Cobalt. Temiskaming Shores is only an hour-and-a-half further north than North Bay. It’s community of about 25,000 is located at the northwestern end of Lake Temiskaming. Whether you wish to stay at the same lodging and ride small loops or prefer to take a longer trip and travel through several communities, the Lake Temiskaming Tour region offers you a variety of great choices. Thousands of trails are available, thanks to dedicated volunteers who are as passionate as you about snowmobiling. OFSC 14, better known as TATA, (the Temiskaming Abitibi Trails Association), is one of the most legendary districts in all of the OFSC. There’s a reason they call this place the World’s Best Snowmobiling!

6. The OFSC Cartier Loop

If you love an adventure that is engulfed with history and mystery, Ontario’s Cartier Moose Loop is for you! Located in Sudbury, this loop is the abandoned sawmill town of Sellwood, ON. It held a population of up to 1,500 people, but became abandoned in 1930. While riding this wide trail perfect for multiple riders, you may encounter tons of wildlife, including lynx and moose. Remember to keep your distance from the wildlife so as to not disturb the animals!

7. The Chiniguchi Loop

Located in Sudbury, ON, the Chiniguchi Wolf loop is a scenic ride that takes you through some of Ontario’s oldest forests. Embarking on this scenic adventure will show you historic patches of land that are home to massive red pines and other trees that span from 200-310 years old! This spot is also famous for its views, reaching Ontario’s highest point at 693m at Wolf Mountain lookout. If you love beautiful scenery, natural history and lots of snow, this is the loop for you!

8. RAP (Round Algonquin Park) Loop

Known for being one of the best trails in Ontario, the Round Algonquin Park loop is famous for its stunning views, as well as its wildlife sightings. This loop has a bit of everything as you travel through forests, evergreens, and places where great tectonic quakes once occurred. If you’re looking for trails with proper grooming, plenty of opportunities to refuel and accommodations galore, look no further than this scenic loop.

9. The OFSC Gold Rush Tour

If you are looking for adventure further north, this loop is for you. The Gold Rush Loop takes you through Ontario’s historic northern mining country. It is known for having some of the most beautiful and scenic wilderness in all the world. When riding these extra-groomed trails, riders will have the space to spread out and enjoy the scenery while not having it get in the way of the overall experience.

10. Oro-Medonte Rail Trail

For those of you who love to hike, you may be familiar with the Oro-Medonte Rail trail! This trail is considered one of the most challenging in Ontario when done on foot, however it is also home to an amazing snowmobile trail! Standing at 28km, the Oro-Medonte trail is an open snowmobiling route that runs from Woodland Drive at the City of Orillia border to Pentanguishene Road at the city of Barrie Border! Before you begin, treat yourself to to some of the wonders the city of Orillia has to offer!

Snowmobiling is one of the best Ontario winter traditions. With amazing trails, comfortable lodging, comprehensive tours and great Canadian hospitality, why wouldn’t you want to give it a try this season? Start planning your very own winter wonderful experience today and discover the province in a whole new way with these amazing snowmobile trails in Ontario!

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