Must Ride Quad Routes for your Bucket List
Canadian ATV Trails - Canada has stunning trails, cycling routes, and multiuse pathways as well as tons of accessible Quad tracks across the nation and in every province. But you don't need to get way out into the remote countryside to go for a long distance or epic ride. Many of these amazing ATV and 4x4 trails are located along the world's longest recreational pathway – the Trans Canada Trail and are closer to home than you might think!
Whether you are interested in finding quick day treks, weekend adventures, or long distance treks the national pathway has ATV and Quad trails that can suit your needs. Ranging from Newfoundland's epic T'Railway Trail which spans the entire province to being able to drive hundreds of kilometers across Manitoba and Alberta there are a ton of options along amazing rail trails.
"Riding an ATV is like flying without wings!"
Great Canadian ATV Trails : Rail Trails
While railroads once dominated the landscapes of North America from the 1950s onward the development of more and more roadways and highways led the rising reliance of both cars for travel and transport trucks for shipping. As a result railways began to decline in usage, lose money and close unpopular rail lines. The slow decline of these unprofitable rail lines is a familiar story in communities across Canada with many locations closing their railway stations and businesses in the 1970s, seeing the last trains pass through in the late 1980s and having the lines permanently close by the 1990s.
In many places across Canada, these abandoned rail lines were quickly transitioned into hiking and cycling pathways commonly known as 'Rail Trails'. In fact some of the nation's longest and most believed pathways for hikers, cyclists, snowmobilers and skiers are the result of this transformation with communities across the nation benefiting from tourism.
Even better many of these same trails double as suburb Canadian ATV trails giving adventurers access to Canadian wilderness, long distance vacation possibilities and amazing possibilities for exploration. Whether you call them ATVs, Quads, 4x4s, side by sides, or OHVs, finding great long distance trails can be a challenge.
However from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains there are a number of must ride Canadian ATV trails that every rider needs to try!
Ride across an entire Province
Moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from east to west, the first of our great Canadian ATV long distance ATV trails is the epic T'Railway Trail in the province of Newfoundland. At 888 km in length, the T'Railway Trail follows the bed of the former provincial railway through the wild, remote, and sparsely populated center of the province from the capital city of St. John's to Port Aux Basques on the west coast. This train line was the historic route of the 'Newfie Bullet' which operated from 1898 until 1988 before being converted into the province wide linear provincial park.
Locally it is used by perhaps the nation's friendliest trail riders and thru trekkers in Canada who regularly get to travel this Canadian gem enjoying the province's diverse landscape, amazing wildlife and welcoming hosts across the island. End route users can visit historical villages, explore the Boreal forest, discover the 'Top Sails', traverse over 100 trestle bridges, and enjoy incredible views.
The pathway has been upgraded and maintained regularly and is a terrific route to explore in the winter months on a snowmobile venturing between warm up shelters, or on your Quad throughout the spring, summer and fall.
The next trail on our list of amazing Canadian ATV Trails is the Seguin Recreational Trail in Ontario – also known as the Ghost Trail. This stretch is also known as the Park to Park trail system and follows the historic Ottawa, Arnprior & Perry Sound Railway line between HWY 400 and Walls Junction. Originally developed in the late 1800s, as a means to move lumber between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay, this route has since been transformed in a recreational corridor. Together along with other pathways in the Park to Park trail system there are over 200 km of route to ride and enjoy with possible connections to other local paths.
This stretch of pathway gives trekkers access to pioneer history, the opportunity to see historical buildings, the chance to venture through amazing wilderness, and lots of small friendly communities to visit en route to resupply in.
While generally a dirt surface which is rough in sections, the pathway has been upgraded in parts and is a wonderful route to venture and enjoy!
Venture across the Prairies
Our third Canadian ATV trail route of choice that is a must to be enjoyed is the stunning Rossburn Subdivision Trail situated in the province of Manitoba. At almost 175 km in length the Rossburn Subdivision is one of Manitoba's longest portions of the Trans Canada Trail.
The Rossburn Subdivision Trail follows the abandoned railway line by the same name and visits welcoming local towns such as Russell, Angusville, Silverton, Rossburn, Erikson, Bethany, and Neepawa.In addition to which most of this trail follows along the boundary of Park's Canada's amazing Riding Mountain National Park located near Erikson via the Elk Link connector.
Here trail users can visit historical grain elevators, explore terrific birding sites around Beaufort Lake and in the town of Erickson, as well as enjoy local culture. While ATVing is not technically listed as one of the promoted activities the nature of the pathway, the route's maintenance and signage are all geared towards Off Road Vehicles and it is often noted by trail writers as clearly being the intended use of this route. In addition, the Rossburn Subdivision is purportedly groomed and maintained through the winter for snowmobile use enabling year round exploration of the area.
So if you are looking for a place for long distance adventure on your Quad in the prairies Manitoba's stunning Rossburn Subdivision Trail needs to be on your bucket list!
Exploring Alberta's Wilderness
Moving westward on our list you might be tempted to think our next choice would be a route in the Rocky Mountains. While the Rockies rightfully do get tons of attention, the next epic Canadian rail trail and must drive OHV route is the quiet gem known as Alberta's Iron Horse Trail.
This stunning stretch in Northern Alberta ranges along three branches from Heinsburg to Waskatenau and north to Cold Lake comprises nearly 300 km of pathway and ATV track across some of the nation's most beautiful landscapes. Built on the former CN rail line the Iron Horse has been the focus of trail development for years now with the result being a well maintained tract across the majority of the system. Situated in east-central Alberta and following the North Saskatchewan River, the Iron Horse Trail is the province's longest section of the Trans Canada Trail and maintained for a range of uses including horse riders, mountain bikers, hikers, snowmobiles and ATVs.
The route through Alberta's 'Land of the Big' takes users though historic towns, giving people the opportunity to see roadside attractions, utilize camping sites and rest areas, and venture through a mixture of regions including Boreal and Aspen Parkland forests, prairie landscapes and wetlands. Trail users have the chance to take in the world's largest mushroom in the community of Vilna, visit the giant pumpkins of Smoky Lake, or make contact at the UFO Landing Pad in St. Paul.
Regardless of the distance you traverse or route you chose, Alberta's Iron Horse is the sort of well connected, well maintained, hidden gem that balances wilderness, enjoyment and amenities making it one of our favourite Canadian Trails to explore!
"Gear up, Ride With Nature, and Discover Yourself!"
Epic Canadian OHV Trails
Across Canada and in every province there are amazing off road pathways and multiuse recreational trails to be explored by ATV, Quad, and Off Highway Vehicles. Many of these stunning routes which span hundred's of kilometres are beloved by regional adventurers but not well known across Canada. Yet despite being hidden gems for long distance off road explorer's they are well developed routes which allow anyone to take on sections for day trips, embark on epic overnight ventures, or long distance treks. Whether you decide to cross all of Newfoundland on the T'Railway Trail, explore the Mukokas on the Seguin Trail, embark across the wilderness of Manitoba on the Rossburn Subdivision Trail, or visit rail history on Alberta's Iron Horse Trail each of these pathways provide stunning opportunities for discovery and adventure!
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Have you been ATVing before? If you ever get the chance, I would definitely recommend Newfoundland - there are lots of tours, and lots of support!