Collections of stories and anecdotes of ATVing in Canada by Andrew Ryeland of 



Super Terrestrial Adventures

“There’s nothin’ quite so fine …  than letting the sun rejuvenate your mind”[1]

Summer is a great time for acting on impulse!  Whether it’s picking up that extra fishing lure on a hunch it will catch “the big one” or jumping in a car and heading for your favourite campground or just succumbing to that double scoop of ice cream in a sugar cone.  To your list of impulse items why not add the pleasures of exploring the natural and historic back trails of the Parry Sound area?  The All Terrain Vehicle or ATV will let you to do just that.


In this part of Canada we sit high on a ledge of rock and water – the great CANADIAN SHIELD.  It’s a spectacular assemblage of geography that combines rugged Georgian Bay shoreline with hundreds of thousands of lakes the glaciers left behind in their haste to head south.  All told we have more coastlines and land bridges than almost anywhere else in the world.  No wonder the passion for exploration has permeated our culture here for hundreds of years.

Colonization Roads

If you really want to find out what life was like for our pioneers and the hardships and joys they shared, then discovering the ghost towns, abandoned log cabins and hidden gravestones in this area will be most rewarding.  There are numerous trails, many of which served as colonization roads in the early 1800s that will lead you back to a time when freedom was literally wrenched from the ground,

 Imagine emerging from a glorious green canopy of leaves into the bright sunlit meadow of a long forsaken farmer’s field.  Just how many piles of stones and tree stumps had to be moved to eke out living back here?  Travel a little further and find a gurgling stream under a towering oak tree.  Can you hear the laughter of children?  Find an old wagon wheel maybe a fence line long ago incorporated into the trees it once skirted.  Picture what the virgin pine forest might have looked like 200 years ago and see a few rare survivors of that period.

A journey not a destination

There are several makes and models of ATVs, but they all have the common ability to take you on paths and routes ordinarily inaccessible to other means of discovery.  The pleasures of finding a secret lake or a picturesque ravine with the perfect panorama used to belong only to the fit and hardy souls that could backpack their way into the far reaches of the wilderness.  Now those delights can be shared by every day folk with the same passions.  The extraordinary carrying capacity of an ATV means that a trailside lunch or access to a camera or fishing pole is just a reach away on the racks in front of you.  Family outings, far from the hustle of urban life, are gaining in popularity as the ATV readily adapts to its “all terrain” moniker.


The excitement of ATVing is in the ride and the stops and then the ride.  A four-wheeler that can step over a fallen tree, traverse a granite-faced hill and plunge through a deep puddle will thrill and amaze you.  Unlike its two stroke brethren, the outboard motor, the snowmobile and the Jet Ski, the four stroke ATV purrs down its trails without any trailing blue haze.  Its design trades off speed for surefootedness.  For pure year-round fun and fascination it’s hard to find a better return on investment than the ATV.  It truly is a “super terrestrial”.

Can you come out & play?

This year you will find that many attractions, accommodations and services featured in this publication cater to the ATV adventurer.  A volunteer group of ATV enthusiasts is working very hard to open this sport to all who appreciate the unique and spectacular aspects of our wilderness.  Whether you are a seasoned resident or a curious visitor wanting to discover a ‘different’ Canada, if you are up for a little sunny rejuvenation and would like to experience an ATV adventure of your own while you are here contact the Parry Sound ATV District Club at 705 774-9778 or check out the ads throughout FUN in the SUN.

About the Author:
Andrew Ryeland is President of Bear Claw Tours Inc. (  He has over 30 years experience in off road adventures in the Parry Sound area. He is an active member of the OFATV through the Parry Sound ATV District Club and the OFSC (Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs) through the South Seguin Snowmobile Club.

[1]Sunny Days” 1972 Lighthouse (Prokop)  © GRT Records