North Of Superior Tourism ATV Ride in
Thunder Bay A Great Success
by Scott A. Sumner
Early on a Sunday morning in September, enthusiastic ATV riders joined together for a beautiful ride in some of the most scenic areas of Ontario you will ever find. The sunshine was brilliant and the colours of the fall leaves made a perfect setting for a group ride.
“ A few of us were going to ride this time of the year and North of Superior Tourism wanted to be involved so we worked together. I think ATVing has to get more known so NW Ontario becomes a destination for people to come riding. It is fantastic here. Today we had 45 ATV’s and riders on the ride,” said Adrian Tessier, organizer of the ATV ride and also a volunteer with the snowmobile club whose day job is with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. “I was the guy who got Oliver Paipoonge to put in the ATV by law to ride on the roads.”
“We started our ride today at the former Gravel Lakes Cabins which has been bought out by Ryan’s Bar and Grill. We followed a snowmobile trail through crown land and ended up at North Fowl Lake which is an international boundary lake. We are in Canada here and across the lake is Minnesota. We did 22 miles on the way up,” said Tessier. “There were some pretty good holes. With 45 machines the first few hit it real nice and then it gets muddier and muddier. In a month it will be all grown back though. I like getting outdoors and value the adventure and challenge. It is a lot like snowmobiling but in warmer weather. We prepared the trail twice before we came today and did trail repairs. We knew there would be some side by side machines here today so we had to widen the trail. In the mud, you have to pick your line and paths and see if you can get through. It is amazing what these machines will do. We ride on crown land and old bush roads.”
Adrian suggests getting a map called NW Ontario Backroads which shows every bush road and trail marked on it in order to go exploring. “There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails. I was hoping for about 40 machines today so am very happy.” said Tessier. “We want to encourage ATVing in the North of Superior region. Today has been hugely successful and we are trying to set up a template so all of our association members across the 60,000 square miles in our region can capitalize on it for tourism. Our goal is to promote tourism,” said Don Pearl Executive Director of North of Superior Tourism Association. “I think ATVing is a huge market as a niche market. There is lots of money involved in it so everyone wins.
The local dealers are helping to support North of Superior Tourism Association as we are non profit. The dealers have donated money to help us encourage these types of events. We are looking at doing something for snowmobiling as well in this type of format.”
“ It has been a great day. I love ATVing and this is a great way to promote the sport and get other people involved. Once people try it they like it,” said Randy Neufeld, General Manager of
North Country Cycle & Sports. “The fall is always the strongest period for ATV’s along with the spring period as a second strongest time. We are in the peak season right now and the manufacturers are providing some great incentives for people to get involved. “