Eastern Ontario: A Bucket List ATV Destination
Inside the densely forested trails is the iconic Canadian Shield, a massive exposed rock face that stretches from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. This gives the trails a completely different feel than just deep woods—here there are rivers, streams, and major lakes throughout, as well as towering cliffs and exposed rock. To give you a sense of the height changes throughout, the EOTA is home to one of Ontario's highest populated towns, Foymount, at 1,600 feet above sea level.
One minute you're running through the forest, with glimpses of freshwater lakes and streams on both side; the next you're in wide open farmers' fields with split rail fences lining the boundaries. Rock cliffs, massive inclines, deep valleys, and steady descents. This is the stock and trade of the EOTA, and it keeps the ride interesting.
The central parts of the EOTA were built on old railways, which means it's easy and quick to get from one area to another—making exploring far reaches of the trail system possible. There's also hundreds of miles of logging roads and old colonization roads that stretch off the main trunks—there's never any need to ride the same trail twice. It's easily possible to do 100 miles a day, or more if you want.
While the railbeds are fairly uneventful riding, there's plenty of more technical trails just around every corner. There are four self-guided tours available on their website, in case you don't want to plan your own trip and prefer to just follow a loop.
EOTA also offers a number of package deals for ATVers who want an all-in-one solution. Visit this page to see those packages.
Towns throughout the entire system love ATVers and want them in their towns, so they make sure there's lots of parking and staging areas for trucks and trailers, and plenty of resorts and motels have power washers and gas on premises. There's even a few good ATV events if you're the social type.
Trail permits all go back into the system, so you'll notice how well-signed the trails are. Along with the EOTA printed map (which you can order here), and trip planner, it's nearly impossible to get lost. Trails are maintained at the highest standard. See all your options for purchasing trail permits and prices.
If you want to combine activities on your trip, there are plenty of possibilities for backcountry camping, fishing, and paddling. The trails here also accommodate horses, walkers, joggers, cyclists, dogsleds, and snowmobiles, as well as ATVs.
See you on TheTrail.ca!
Last updated: April 5, 2022