Mighty MacTier in the Parry Sound Snowmobile District is home to some of the best trails in Ontario, and the club with the best logo in the land. Scott Gibson of the Six Star Snow Riders (SSSR) discusses what sledders can expect when they ride in these parts.
How long have you been with the Six Star Snow Riders?
I’m lucky enough to have a family cottage located just north of MacTier, so I’ve been involved with snowmobiling here since I was a kid. Back then there were smaller clubs throughout the area, but in 1986 they incorporated as the Six Star Snow Riders. So there’s better organization now. I felt it was time for me to give back to the club so I became President in 2013.
What is special about your club?
We’re a small club made up of dedicated local riders and volunteers, as well as volunteers from other parts of the province who take advantage of the close proximity to our great near north trails. In the winter I travel up here from the GTA most weekends. Something we’ve been focusing on is bringing activities and awareness to our members through newsletters and more recently our website and Facebook page. We’re trying to create a buzz around the club, the trails and the area, and we’d like to attract the next generation of people to the sport.
How would you describe the geography and trail riding experience in your club’s district?
The scenery is beautiful. There are some hills and valleys but mostly it’s smooth trails with a lot of attractions like waterfalls. You see a lot of wildlife like turkeys and deer. We have plenty of areas to stop and have a fire, and everything you need to really enjoy the winter outdoors without having to be uncomfortable. It’s great for families and first-timers. All the amenities you need are nearby too.
Are there any events over the season that you think people should know about?
We’ve been working with the MacTier community to create The Raffle and Ride Event on February 14, 2016. One of our executive members has a hunt camp that we’ll use as the basecamp for the event, which provides a place to warm up with hot chocolate and soup. The kids will get a chance to do some crafts and get a photo with one of the SSSR industrial groomers. We’ll do a 1-hour ride around the SSSR portion of the Blackfly Voodoo Loop, and then a raffle for prizes donated by members and local businesses. Last year was the first time we did it and we raised $400 for the MacTier Food Bank. It’s a great way for the snowmobilers who enjoy the area to give back to the community.
We’re also teaming up with the South Seguin Snowmobile Club for another Snow Poker Run on February 14, 2015. Last year was our first joint venture and we had over 200 participants. We’re expecting more this year so we’re hopefully expanding the number of check stations and doing the evening event at a larger venue. There’s a new community centre in Foley so after the ride we’ll meet there for dinner, presentations and entertainment. It’s a fun way to generate some funds for both clubs.
Are there any particularly great restaurants, accommodations or attractions that people travelling to your district should know about?
The H & H Resort is open year round and they have a restaurant, fuel, and cottages for rent so that’s a popular spot for visiting snowmobilers. We also send guests to Sherwood Inn and Grand Tapatoo Resort. You’ll find a lot of snowmobilers at the Bass Lake Roadhouse and Memories of Muskoka. All of these places are nearby or right on the trails. We have two sled dealers in the area as well, Gordon Bay Marine on Lake Joseph and The Cove in MacTier, who are big supporters of the club. And for fuel there’s also Suny’s Gas Bar.
Which trails within your club or district area do you think people should ride more often?
Well, there are times when we see over 1000 snowmobiles a day so there’s no shortage of riders checking out the trails. What I would suggest to people is to explore what MacTier has to offer. Being situated in a small town in northern Ontario, the businesses are all really snowmobile-friendly. Last year I heard a lot of comments from people who would drive up from places south of here saying how good the snow conditions are in MacTier, and how well the trails are groomed and maintained. SSSR groomers get out almost every night and we do our best to organize with the townships to avoid snow blocking a trail or roadway. This year will be even better because we’ll have more opportunity for trail maintenance.
To plan your route in the Parry Sound area, click on the links below.
To plan your visit to Parry Sound on Georgian Bay, click here.