Owen Sound receives an average of 9 feet of snow each season—so it’s little wonder that our region is well-known as a snowmobiler’s paradise. With over 3,600 kilometres of groomed trails in Grey and Bruce counties, there’s a day trip, overnight adventure or family outing waiting for you.
With spectacular scenery and plenty of snowmobile friendly hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants across the region, great conditions are just a short drive away from several major cities. Head over to the Ride Grey Bruce snowmobile site for trip planning resources, route suggestions and a list of local businesses that welcome snowmobilers with open arms and ample sled parking.
Before you ride
In Grey County, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs District 9 maintains the snowmobile trail system. This means that all riders on the trail system need a valid OFSC trail permit. Permits are available for purchase online at www.ofscdistrict9.ca or by calling 1-800-387-7669. District 9 trail maps can be picked up at local tourism outlets across the region. If you don’t have a valid Ontario driver’s license, the OFSC offers Driver Training courses. Courses are available to those 12 years of age and older throughout the season. Learn more at www.ofscdistrict9.ca/safety/55
Once you’re licensed, insured and ready to go, there are several important steps before you can head out. Be sure to check local trail conditions on the OFSC District 9 sites, as sections of trail can vary significantly and can be closed periodically for maintenance or other issues. For advice on routes and conditions, you may want to connect with the local club where you’re planning to ride. A list of local OFSC District 9 clubs is available here.
Snowmobile Rentals and Tours in Grey County
Owning a sled and your own gear can seem like a big obstacle to getting out on the trails for the first time. Thankfully, Grey County has some great operators who can provide you with a guide, a snowmobile and even the gear you’ll need to experience the sport for the first time.
Homestead Resort in Durham offers a variety of winter snowmobile packages that include snowmobiles, gear, insurance, trail passes, guides, accommodation and even some meals. With the main trail system beginning just 10 feet from the Homestead Resort parking lot, you can be on your way in minutes. Learn more by visiting their website at http://www.homesteadresort.ca/snowmobile.html.
Ride on Rentals (near Collingwood) offers 1-hour and 4-hour tours in the Pretty River Provincial Park. The 1-hour tours are offered several times a day with the 4-hour tours running in the evenings. Tours include snowmobiles, helmets, a trail guide, insurance, trail pass with fuel being added after, as per use on the tour. Learn more at http://rideonrentals.com/winter-html/.