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



ATVs – First Hand Wilderness Experiences
by Andrew Ryeland

So you thought the back woods were only for the young fit back packer, a loon call on a remote lake only for the few that could hike, the sight of a bear or moose only down the barrel of a rifle?  The carefree enjoyment of a green-canopied pioneer trail with dappled sunshine is just for those with lots of time … right?  Well, you obviously haven’t enjoyed the many pleasures of guiding an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) through the dozens of trails and passages in Georgian Bay Country.

 You’re in luck!  We have all the ingredients to let you taste, firsthand, the backcountry wilderness and challenges in relative ease on board an ATV.  Whether you have access to your own machine or simply want to try a guided tour you have come to the right place.

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.  The ATV is the perfect freedom machine that molds itself to the land and easily traverses the variety our wilderness affords.

 ATVing is experiencing an explosive growth in North America; nearly 2,000 new units are sold each month in Ontario alone.  This is truly a 4 seasons sport that has captured the imagination of everyone who is an explorer at heart.  Forget Survivor, forget Fear Factor, leave the Amazing Race to the TV producers, ATVing is the real thing!  Where else could you maneuver down twisted forest hillside paths, climb granite outcrops, splash through puddles, step over fallen oaks and catch a few rays, a swim and a cup of coffee all within an hour?  Live large enough to stretch your smile muscles  … now that’s an experience!

 This sport is truly and unabashedly about the journey not the destination.  And yet, the average ATV family will not hesitate to seek luxury in a hot tub, spa or a five star restaurant at the end of the day.  This ironic juxtaposition of activities associated with the All Terrain Vehicle is spawning hundreds of vacation packages across North America and Ontario is at the forefront of those developments.  As the tourism industry in Georgian Bay Country adapts to this brand new market we are seeing private and public riding opportunities develop.  Packages are becoming abundant and are heavily promoted (check 

 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 in Georgian Bay Country contact the Parry Sound ATV District Club ( at 705-774-9778 or check out the ads throughout FUN in the SUN for guided tours and ATV friendly accommodations.  You’ll soon have your own Wilderness Experience!

 PS.  If you are around October 1st – 3rd this year don’t miss a great celebration of Autumn in all its glory at Fall Jam 2004 – Canada’s Premiere ATV Festival.  Check any of the previous websites for details in late summer.

About the Author:
Andrew Ryeland is President of Bear Claw Tours Inc. ( an ATV Adventure company and Project Co-ordinator for ATVOntario. He has over 30 years experience in off road adventures in the Parry Sound area. He is an active member of the Parry Sound ATV District Club and sits on several economic and cultural Boards of Directors in both the Georgian Bay region and the Province of Ontario.