North Bay Powersports Guide

by | May 31, 2023 | Outdoor Adventure, Powersports, Spring, Summer, Tourism Activities & Experiences, Winter

Imagine a place that embraced off-roading and snowmobiling so much that no matter which direction you looked you would find riding opportunities! Did you know a place like this exists? Do you dream about off-road 4×4 adventures, and two-wheel trails nestled within mega terrain and stunning forests? Or perhaps snowmobile heavens of interconnected trails, deep abundant snow, and ride-to-your-door services? You may think to reach such an amazing place you would have to drive dozens of hours, but the reality is North Bay is just 4 hours from Toronto & Ottawa and less than 6 hours from major USA-Ontario border crossings. I’m going to share with you key details on why this area is one of the best off-road and snowmobile destinations in the world. I’ve prepared this North Bay area guide to provide you with the resources to ensure that you have the most incredible experience.


North Bay Powersports Guide - VMUTS

Voyaguer Multi-Use Trail System – photo credit: Rob Simpson


Off-Road Trails 

The topography in the region leads itself to naturally create some of the best off-road riding adventures, this diverse terrain formed by glacier activity thousands of years ago mixes rock, gravel, sand, loams, and soils creating the perfect mix of terra-firm a for powersports adventures. Atop the landscape, you will be within the Great Lakes St Lawrence Forest which boasts an abundance of multifarious vegetation, be sure to check out the video I filmed below of the stunning fall colours that this forest produces each fall. There’s a bounty of riding opportunities in all directions, offering great adventures no matter your method of transportation. To get you started I’ve provided a synopsis of the best and easiest to access off-road destinations in the area.

North Bay Powersports Guide - credit: Jeff McGirr

Off Road Trails – credit: Jeff McGirr


The Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System is located just a few minutes east of North Bay within the foothills of the Laurentian Mountain range. Here you will find 300km’s of signed, mapped, and marked off-road multi-use trails. This trail system boasts varied terrain for all experience levels and vehicle types such as ATV, SXS, Off-Road or Adventure Motorcycle, and even 4×4 Trucks and Jeeps. Within the trail system, you can expect to find several unique points of interest including the historic Purdy Mica Mine which dates back to the 1940s, majestic lookouts including the scenic Redbridge Lookout, and Birds Eye View as well as crystal clear lakes. The trail system can be accessed via a few different points, including via Songis Road by Camp Conewango as well as three separate points to the north of the town of Mattawa off of Highway 533.

In addition to the extension and best-in-class VMUTS trail system opportunities exist for off-road explorers to venture onto an abundance of crown land trails in the area, of popular note are two locations, the first being south of Bonfield and east of Powassan in Boulter Township and the 2nd being just north of the city at Sand Dam Road, in both locations you will find an abundance of exploration opportunities on unmaintained old colonization and logging roads, remote backcountry lakes and even mythological sites.


Snowmobile Trails 

You can ride anywhere from here, it’s one of the reasons why the North Bay area is such a great place to snowmobile. Trails in the immediate area offer great diversity combining twisting forest trails with plenty of elevation change, wide open utility corridors that lead to extensive vistas, scenic lake runs accordingly marked, and even self-guided snow tours that take in unique points of interest that offer learnings from a local legend. It’s common for the area to have one of the longest snowmobile seasons in the province, sometimes stretching from December into April, this extensive season allows for local clubs to build an ample base providing some of the best quality trails you will find anywhere. To get you started I’ve provided key sledder resources so that you’re in the know.

North Bay Powersports Guide - snowmobiling

Snowmobile Trails – photo credit: Virgil Knapp


The Near North Trail Association along with its immediately local member clubs the North Bay Snowmobile Club, South Shore Snowmobile Club, maintain some of the world’s greatest snowmobile trails that connect directly to the city of North Bay. Popular in the area are three world-renowned snowmobile tours including the Ride Around Algonquin Park (RAP) tour, the Ride Around Nipissing Tour (RAN) and the Explores Snow Tour. North Bay is a popular destination to ride out of for day trips as you can ride in all directions and access thousands of kilometers of maintained snowmobile trails. While riding the trails in the area it’s common to see an abundance of wildlife including moose and deer and even occasionally the evasive lynx. The area is also a great choice to base when heading even further north as the main provincial TOP A and TOP D trails run right through North Bay.

Area hotels and motels are snowmobile friendly, with many offering secure snowmobile lock-up parking, plenty of room for trucks & trailers, and easy access to fuel, restaurants, and most importantly direct trail ride from your door access.


North Bay – Rider Resources 

Area Powersports Dealerships & Service  

Auto Sports & Marine

Carlson Sports

North Bay Cycle

Giesler Marine

Sampson Sales

Idylltyme Sports & Marine

Bent Toys

Leisure Cycle & Powersports

ATV Warehouse

7 North Bay Powersports Friendly Hotels & Motels 

Best Western


Holiday Inn 

Quality Inn 

Ramada by Wyndham Pinewood Park

Sunset Inn on the Park 

Glen Garry Motel and Cottages

10 Delicious Locals Know Rider Restaurants  

Moose’s Cookhouse

Burger World 

The Portage

Average Joes

1886 Lakehouse Bistro 

Le Voyageur Inn  

Dinner Bell Restaurant 

Valois Motel & Restaurant 

Beef n’ Brand 



10 Area Top Point of Interest Stops 

Off-road / snowmobile / Adventure MC – Mica Mine  46.317416, -78.905728 

Off-road / Snowmobile / Adventure MC – Redbridge Lookout 46.401639, -79.161238

Off-Road / Snowmobile / Adventure MC – Birds Eye View 46.318560, -78.804983

Off-Road / Snowmobile / Adventure MC – The Blue Sea  46.17551, -79.11488

Off-Road / Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Big Joe Mufferaw 46.320162, -78.709209

Off-Road/ Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Boulter View 46.140820, -79.111012 

Off-Road/ Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Pioneer Spring  46.126350, -79.083688 

Off-Road/ Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Kearney Lake  46.33187, -78.87179

Off-Road/ Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Little Clear Lake  46.14207, -79.05955

Off-Road/ Snowmobile / Adventure Motorcycle – Devils Canyon 46.140508, -79.129688

Off-road powersports recreation comes with inherited risks and responsibilities that you must assume. We’ve added this disclaimer to this article to inform you and remind you to check with local authorities before you venture out verifying where you can ride and where you cannot. The content in this article is relevant only at the time of publishing and the reader assumes all responsibility and liability. This article is for reference purposes only.


Additional Resources 

Ontario Off-Road Vehicle Act 

Ontario Motorized Snow Vehicle Act 

Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs 

Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System  

Ontario Federation of Trail Riders 

Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs  

City of North Bay Off-Road Vehicle By-Law permits travel on only select routes within the City limits – more information available here 

City of North Bay Snowmobile Vehicle By-Law permits travel on only select routes within the City limits – more information available here


About Jeff McGirr

Jeff McGirr is a Powersports & Marine enthusiast who loves sharing Northern Ontario experiences with you through his articles and videos.

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