Last week we gave you a taste of the famous Voyageur Route that you can only experience while riding in the Ontario’s Highlands. However,we left you hanging in Petawawa. So for those of you wanting to experience an equally great ride carrying on from the location you ended at, listen up. Starting just at the base of Pembroke – part of the pipeline A trails we told you about last week – is the Round Bonnechere Loop. The best part about this loop is the fact that you don’t need to back track your steps if you completed a good portion of the Voyageur Route and its only 230km, which makes for a great day trip.
Enjoy the RAP without the Length
The Round Bonnechere Loop follows the bottom section of famous Algonquin Provincial Park, making it the perfect trail that allows you to take your time and enjoy the ride. Following the B trail just outside of Pembroke, with its pipeline width and winding trails, you’ll easily navigate to the small towns listed on the RAP tour. Besides the great scenery of the park and the deep forest snow that is protected from any major melt downs, this is the only OFSC snowmobile trail that is allowed to cut through Algonquin Park. It’s like crossing the RAP tour off your bucket list without the price tag.
Part of the reason this loop is rightfully named, is the fact that you ride along the side (and can cut across if you wish to make the loop shorter) of Round Lake. In the summer months this is a great spot for fishing and ATV enthusiasts, but in the winter its smooth trails are just what snowmobilers hope to stumble upon. The second reason behind its name is the region of Bonnechere itself, and within its limits, the Bonnechere River Provincial Park. The name itself comes from the French words of Bonne chere, meaning good food, which is not only true to hunters, but to foodies who enjoy a good meal. If you are a vintage snowmobile lover, you’ll recognize the name as part of the famous Bonnechere Cup, a vintage sled race held in Eganville each February. Going to miss the race? Don’t worry. Eganville is another welcoming stop along the loop. If you get the chance to go into the town itself on a Tuesday, we recommend stopping at the Dixie Lee on Main Street for a bowl of their famous Chicken Dumpling Stew. Even on a cold day it will take the chill off your bones, not to mention fill your rumbling stomach!
On your way from lunch if you’re feeling a little tired, why not stop in and spend a luxurious night at the Sands on Golden Lake. Kept a secret by locals (and for good reason) this beautifully renovated resort has just what the doctor ordered. Their fully equipped spa is sure to please the ladies, while their lounge and bar, is sure to keep the men from realizing you’re away being pampered. The hospitality is second to none and you won’t find a more snowmobile friendly environment. The owners of the resort not only help raise funds for the local snowmobile club by having people place bets on when the vintage sled out front will fall through the ice, but they also donate money out of their own pocket to improve the trails. We almost don’t even want to tell you about how amazing their food is, but we will say this; this is one place you don’t want to drive by, especially as they’re conveniently located right on the B101A.
Keep your eyes on high alert for deer...and plenty of them. During our ride through the area we spotted more than 10 deer, many of which weren’t high-tailing it out of sight at the sound of sleds. If you act quickly enough you might even be able to snap a few shots of them through the forest. There are some other more stationary objects that you’ll appreciate as well, in the form of a few newly-built bridges which you will spot on your trip from Eganville and over to the junction of the A trail.
Regardless of what you see, the Round Bonnechere Loop is guaranteed to give you a taste of everything. From wild life, untouched forests and abundance of snow...you never know what you’ll find when you come to know snowmobiling in the Ontario’s Highlands.