With Mother Nature very confused about what season it is, and continuously changing her mind about it, by mid-January I was getting very antsy to get in some riding time. On a drive up to Penetanguishene to visit my boyfriend, Tyler, I noticed groomed trails and LOTS of snowmobiles! My first thought was to drive straight to Parry Sound, get my sled, and drive back to hit the trails. As it turns out the Midland and Penetanguishene area was one of those few spots in the province with trails not only open but in surprisingly good condition for early season riding.
So Friday night I found myself parked in front of Factory Recreation with my sled waiting for Tyler to get done work so we could go hit the trails! With my sled awaiting a clear wrap to be installed Saturday morning, we ventured out two-up on an 900 ACE Renegade from Factory Recreation.
Friday we picked up the 900 ACE from Factory Recreation and also stocked up on oil. Super handy having a dealership right off the snowmobile trail!
Can you believe it, ME, riding two-up? It’s certainly been a few years, since I was a kid really, but what an absolute blast! I was terrified at first; having someone else in control is something I’m not used too, or OK with. But once I got settled and let myself relax I realized just how fun it is riding two-up. Not only did it give me the opportunity to really check out the scenery it was a great bonding experience. The ACE was quiet enough that Ty and I could talk while we buzzed down the trails and through the fields. My only complaint was not bringing along my camera!
On Saturday we spent most of the morning in the shop finishing off my Sharpie Sled. Once that was taken care of we headed out for an amazing afternoon AND NIGHT of riding. During the day we checked out some local hot spots for boondocking as well as a variety of trails that snake their way across District 8. This area isn’t characterized by one type of trail system but rather by multiple types. You can ride through farm fields, pine forests and tree farms, weave your way through the breathtaking Awenda Provincial Park, fly along abandon rail lines and take a leisurely ride along the shoreline of Georgian Bay. I loved riding in this area for the diversity of trails, I couldn’t imagine ever getting bored here!
A day of riding always leaves riders with a hungry tummy so we stopped by the Maple Valley Club for some seriously good food. The in-house smoked pulled pork and the deep-fried pickles were enough to make me want to stop by every day for dinner. While eating and playing pool at the Club we noticed that the groomer went by not once, but twice! Now, as longtime riders know, this opportunity was not one to ignore! So we hopped on our sleds and put on almost 70kms between 10pm and 1am. With trails freshly groomed, and no other sleds in sight this was one night ride to remember.
I loved having the opportunity to ride District 8 for the first time. This place seriously has everything! I got to enjoy smooth snaking trails, straight railroad beds, powdery wind swept fields perfect for boondocking and lets not forget amazing food! Not only will I be back to ride during the day but I think I will be taking to the trails everywhere no matter the time of day or night. When Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate I think we just need to take what we can get and ride whenever we can. So next time you’re sitting around the house or cottage waiting for the morning to go for a sled ride consider going out for a night ride. Just make sure you bring a flashlight or two for backup!
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