ATVing – FREEDOM ROCKS!
The ALL TERRAIN
VEHICLE or ATV excels at everything our Georgian Bay climate throws our
way! Equally adept at traversing wet, dry, frozen, soft or hard
terrain this baby delivers freedom, in a big way, all year round.
FALL gives a
haunted feeling to the trails. Every hue of orange, red, yellow
and brown adds an exclamation point to this mysterious season.
Crisp cool days offer a hint of anticipation and tweak the explorer in
all of us. Ink black lakes, brilliant sunshine and migrating birds
beckon us to discover the paths deep in our backcountry. Later in
the season when frost and snow dusts our crossings we can see the many
tracks of wildlife that often choose the same route as us in search of
their own adventure.
The vagaries of this season, an inconsistent irritation to some
activities, are a delight to ATVers!
It is said that there
are many names for snow. We can certainly attest to that fact here
in Georgian Bay. 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.
includes time to appreciate where and when you are. Our
expectations are higher and our appreciation of nature much more
dramatic than faster modes of backcountry travel. The
extraordinary carrying capacity of an ATV means that a trailside lunch
or access to a camera is just a reach away on the racks in front of you.
A slow snake under a winter tunnel of snow-laden boughs brings all kinds
of opportunities 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.
Hallelujah! Trickles of water and maple sap mark the advent of
this glorious season. Sunshine and lengthening days convert the
snow banks and ice packed paths of Georgian Bay into crystal-covered
ROCKS is a descriptor of both the geography and activities of the east
Georgian Bay region. ATVing is, without doubt, a freedom
experience. The sport is shaking up the myth that our so-called
‘shoulder seasons’ are barren down times. We are rocking, both
figuratively and literally, all year round!
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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. Seek
out an ATV club in your area and join.
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 http://www.psatv.ca
or phone 705 774-9778.
you don’t own an ATV you can still ‘rock’ with us. 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 them.
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About the author:
Andrew Ryeland is the president of Bear Claw Tours Inc., which provides ATVs, equipment and Half Day Guided ATV Adventures in Parry Sound, Ontario (www.bearclawtours.com). 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 6 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 Club.