Riding All-Terrain Vehicles on Ontario’s Most Scenic Trails

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Ontario is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada. From the vast forests of Northern Ontario to the sparkling lakes and rivers of Central Ontario, there are endless opportunities to take in stunning vistas from the seat of an all-terrain vehicle. For ATV enthusiasts looking for trails with exceptional views, here are some of the top routes and areas to explore in Ontario:

FeatureAlgonquin Provincial ParkKillarney Provincial ParkTemagami AreaWalden/Savage ForestOttawa ValleyGanaraska ForestVoyageur Multi-Use Trail SystemHaliburton Highlands ATV Trail System
Location3 hours north of TorontoNorthern shore of Georgian Bay2.5 hours north of North BaySudbury areaOttawa ValleyKawartha Lakes regionMattawaHaliburton Highlands
Trail Length2,400 lakes and 1,200 km of rivers and streams85 kmOver 80 km16 km300 km1100 km175 km500 km
PermitsRequiredRequiredNo permits requiredNo permits requiredNo permits requiredDaily permitsDaily and seasonal passes
Scenic ViewsRolling hills, dense forests, pristine lakes, diverse wildlifeLake views, granite ridges, quartzite mountainsOpen rock faces, secluded lakes, deep forestsPanoramic vistas of Junction Creek Valley, sparkling lakes, towering pines, abundant wildlifeMixed forests, bountiful lakes, dramatic topographyElevated views of surrounding lakes and valleys, glacier-carved landscapePanoramic views of the Ottawa River, Canadian Shield landscape, boreal forests
Trail DifficultyEasy to challengingEasy to challengingEasy to challengingEasy to challengingEasy to challengingEasy to challenging
Additional FeaturesInterpretive panels detailing the river’s historic significanceGranite ridges, sparkling lakes, lush woodlandsNo permits required for public trailsOver 11,000 hectares of woodlandsDaily and seasonal passes

Algonquin Provincial Park

Located about 3 hours north of Toronto, Algonquin Provincial Park is one of the premier destinations for ATV riding in the province. The park spans 7,653 square kilometres and contains over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of rivers and streams. Some of the most scenic ATV trails in Algonquin Park include the Barron Canyon and Petawawa Trails. Riders can take in views of rolling hills, dense forests, pristine lakes, and diverse wildlife as they traverse the interconnected trail network. Permits are required for ATV access in the park which help preserve the natural environment.

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Killarney Provincial Park

Situated on the northern shore of Georgian Bay, Killarney Provincial Park is known for its breathtaking lake views and granite ridges. The park offers over 85 kilometres of ATV trails that wind through white pine and maple forests, passing tranquil lakes and scenic lookout points along the way. The Granite Ridge Trail delivers incredible vistas of the bay and surrounding quartzite mountains from atop the Blue Mountain section. Riders can also catch glimpses of loons, herons, osprey and other wildlife native to the area. Like Algonquin, ATV permits are mandatory for exploring Killarney’s trails.

Temagami Area

The Temagami region, situated approximately 2.5 hours north of North Bay, provides abundant opportunities for trail riding with phenomenal views. Riders can head to places like Finlayson Point Provincial Park to access over 80 kilometres of picturesque trails circling around Lake Temagami. For more remote riding, the James Street Road/Wolf Lake Trail System contains some of the most stunning scenery in the area as it travels through deep forests, open rock faces and along the shorelines of secluded lakes. No permits are required for ATVing in the Temagami region.

Walden/Savage Forest

In the Sudbury area, the expansive Walden/Savage Forest contains a complex network of scenic ATV trails. Riders can take in panoramic vistas of Junction Creek Valley from high atop the Blueberry Mountain Trail. For those seeking a longer adventure, the Wolf Lake Trail winds 16 kilometres through pristine wilderness, offering sights of sparkling lakes, towering pines, and abundant wildlife. No permits are needed to ride public trails in this working forest.

Ottawa Valley

From whitewater rafting to scenic trails, the Ottawa Valley is a premier destination for outdoor recreation in Ontario. Several exceptional trail systems wind through the forests surrounding popular spots like Barry’s Bay, Palmer Rapids and Killaloe. The Madawaska Trail System contains over 300 kilometres of gorgeous trails following the Madawaska River and passing numerous lakes. Riders can also head to the Bonnechere Caves for stunning underground riding and scenery. Permits are not required for most public ATV trails in the valley.

Ganaraska Forest

Situated in the Kawartha Lakes region, Ganaraska Forest contains over 1100 kilometres of managed trails spread across more than 11,000 hectares of woodlands. The rugged Canadian Shield terrain in this working forest provides breathtaking vistas for ATV riders. Scenic trails like the Plateau Trail and P7C Trail offer incredible elevated views of surrounding lakes and valleys carved out by glaciers. Daily permits can be purchased for access to this expansive ATV trail network.

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Riding a Quad or Side-by-Side allows you to access rugged natural areas and take in views that are inaccessible by other means. With iconic parks, vast wilderness and endless trails to explore, Ontario is paradise for ATV enthusiasts seeking scenic adventure. Permits, proper safety precautions and respect for rules and the environment will ensure the province’s beauty will endure for generations to come.

Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System in Mattawa

Nestled along the shores of the Ottawa River, the town of Mattawa is located in the scenic Madawaska Valley of Ontario. This historic fur trade settlement provides access to the spectacular Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System. Stretching over 175 kilometers, this network of ATV and snowmobile trails delivers stunning vistas of the mighty Ottawa River, the rugged Canadian Shield landscape, and seemingly endless boreal forests.

The Voyageur Trail travels along the banks of the Ottawa River, providing panoramic views of this iconic waterway. Riders can take in the beauty of the riverbend that wraps around Mattawa. Elevated sections of the trail offer scenic overlooks across the shimmering blue waters. Interpretive panels detail the river’s historic significance for the fur trade and its role as part of the canoe route from Montreal to Lake Superior.

The trail system also ventures deep into the surrounding promontory forests, delivering views of granite rock faces, sparkling lakes, and lush woodlands. Voyageur loops like the Fort Trail, Amable Trail, and Kenna Trail showcase the quintessential landscape of the Canadian Shield with its mixed forests, bountiful lakes, and dramatic topography carved by glaciers. The scenery changes with the seasons, ensuring a stunning visual experience year-round.

With options for all riding abilities and breathtaking scenery reminiscent of Canada’s fur trade past, the Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System in Mattawa is considered one of the premier ATV destinations in Ontario. Its panoramic vistas provide lasting memories of the Ottawa River Valley’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

Haliburton Highlands ATV Trail System:

The Haliburton Highlands region of Ontario is acclaimed for its pristine lakes, lush forests, and abundance of outdoor activities. ATV enthusiasts flock to this area for its renowned trail system winding through some of the province’s most picturesque scenery.

Operated by the Haliburton ATV Association, this network consists of over 500 km of authorized trails spanning across rugged Canadian Shield terrain and the northern section of Haliburton Forest. Riders can explore sparkling lakes like Koshlong, Raven, and Kennisis or traverse rolling granite hills and dense mixed forests.

For stunning vistas, excursion routes like the Scenic Sixty Five and the Loop Run offer incredible elevated views of the surrounding landscape, with lookouts over stunning glacier-carved lakes. Areas like the Wolf Tower give riders a sky-high perspective over the forest canopy.

With loop trails ranging from easy to difficult, the Haliburton Highlands Trail System accommodates ATVers of all skill levels. Beginners can practice on smooth trails along old logging routes while advanced riders can challenge themselves on rocky and steep terrain. Daily and seasonal passes provide access to this breathtaking network where jaw-dropping scenery is around every corner.

Whether cruising along shorelines or climbing to panoramic lookouts, the Haliburton Highlands Trail System delivers an unforgettable ATV experience amidst Ontario’s spectacular forests and lakes. The area’s visual splendor captivates riders while its variety of trails satisfy any skill level.