- Andrew Ryeland
ATVing a Four Seasons Trail Experience
Adventure in Georgian Bay Country is not limited to the warm seasons
alone. The explosive growth
of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) sales in Canada has created a massive pent
up demand for those seeking to escape indoor inactivity and replace it
with quality outdoor experiences. Popular
television series feature survival and challenges that most urban
dwellers can only dream about. ATVing
is one way to taste the excitement that our rugged Georgian Bay
landscape can provide.
a fact that today’s life is full of too many goals and objectives and
not enough challenges.
Don’t bemoan the fact that summer is behind us.
Experience the haunted feeling that a dark sky punctured with
shafted sunlight on brilliant deciduous colours creates.
Adrenaline flows freely, when cool air hits your face.
Bumps, hills, rocky creeks, crevasses and wide-open Canadian
Shield framed trails all normally inaccessible, are ours to conquer.
We laugh at rain! Puddles
are a lot of fun especially when they have a frosting of orange and
yellow from the birches and sugar maples above. All your senses are on full alert! An ancient foreboding of a winter to come adds to the
adventure. You rejoice in the knowledge you are cheating the forces of
nature by the very fact you are embracing her transition. A very
Canadian thing to do eh!
What would the weather channel say?
So much for cocooning, its time to get out and play.
The vagaries of this season, an inconsistent irritation to some
activities, are a delight to ATVers!
There are so many options for winter ATV fun that its almost a
sin to miss the opportunity to get out on the trails.
There is that marvellous crunchy frost that spikes up early on
the trails, the white dusted mirrored black ice that seals the puddles
each night and yields to the sun the next day, the slush that sprays in
your wake and the frigid powder that squeaks with gladness that you’ve
come out to play.
favour the trails for their daily jaunts so all kinds of prints provide
endless fascination for the ATV adventurer.
A slow snake under a winter tunnel of snow-laden boughs brings
ample opportunity for mischief. Tailgaters will learn the
refreshing meaning of an impromptu snow shower. Those who tarry
will wonder how the tracks disappeared.
a good frozen trail the bumps and rocks are all grouted with a deep
layer of snow and ice. Four
Wheel drive makes the trips effortless and should the snow get a little
too deep all that is needed is to back track your path and try again.
For real adventure an electric winch and a friend or two with a
tow strap can embolden even the most dubious riders to ‘push on’.
are plenty of places to ride an ATV in winter in the Parry
Sound/Georgian Bay area, but OFSC snowmobile trails aren’t one of
them! Our tires and traction leave a streetcar track like path in
the snow that is detrimental to the snowmobile trail surface.
Touring a snowmobile trail is also a safety hazard, in that the
speed differentiation between the two machines is vastly different and a
sure recipe for a collision.
advent of the snowmobile and the evolution of the ATV have given us many
creature comforts that allow for a full warm winter experience.
Snowmobile clothing coupled with electrically heated handlebars and
packsacks stuffed with goodies make ATVing in winter a joy.
Comfort is a main factor in determining whether or not to venture into
the winter wilderness. So is safety. Most late model ATVs
are equipped to provide both. It’s always advisable to travel in
a group. Know exactly where you are going to travel and carry
gear, such as cell phones, tow straps and survival supplies. In
addition those at home should have an idea when to expect you back and
know which trail system you are following.
boots, splashing, lengthening days, a taste of maple syrup and fresh
green sprouts everywhere. Is
it any wonder that this season is celebrated?
Ontario’s pride and joy, the Trillium, lays down a carpet of
white and purple but only for a few weeks.
Ice covered beaver ponds yield to fast flowing streams and the
trails appear again beckoning those with winches across the rapidly
Parry Sound we celebrate the season with Canada’s largest ATV Jamboree
- Spring Jam 2004. Last
year’s event at the end of April, drew over 400 ATVers to the district
and offered 5 different tours to challenge spring.
It also featured an ATV Expo, dance and a Rumble Ride through the
streets of Parry Sound. Over
$100,000 poured into the region giving tourism a real boost in an
otherwise slow period. The Four Wheelin’ Women’s Ride for Breast Cancer
Awareness complimented the jamboree by raising $10,000 for local
hospital equipment. Judging
by all accounts Spring Jam 2003 was a huge success.
Jam 2004 will be held on April 22 – 25 and is expected to draw 1,000
ATVers. An extra day has
been added to the festival and many more trail adventures are planned.
Keep abreast of the Jamboree by checking out www.springjam.ca
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best way to see all that ATVing can offer is to join with others who
know where and when to take the right trail. ATVing is one of the
fastest growing pastimes in North America and year round use is the main
reason. There are more ATV trails opening each year and the sport
is benefiting from organizations dedicated to its enjoyment and
sustainability. Seek out an ATV club in your area and join or
check out ATV Ontario’s tourism related offerings at www.atvontario.com.
For quality ATV tourism experiences in Georgian Bay Country check out
TRAX – Georgian Bay at www.traxgb.ca.
PARRY SOUND ATV DISTRICT CLUB sponsors a whole host of events. To get an
update of what might interest you frequent our web site at www.psatv.ca
or phone 705 774-9778.
you don’t own an ATV you can still take the ‘challenges’.
There are several ATV touring companies that operate on the
Canadian Shield and many of them operate year-round. If you are
new to the sport or would like to taste a bit of the ‘other seasons’
of Ontario, you can affordably sample the experience by hooking up with
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Ryeland is the president of Bear Claw Tours Inc., which provides
ATVs, equipment and Half Day Guided ATV Adventures in Parry Sound,
He has over 30 years experience in snowmobiling in the Parry Sound area
and has been operating ATVs and conducting year-round experiences for
patrons for over 7 years. 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