Snowmobiling the Gold Rush Tour

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Snowmobiling the Gold Rush Tour
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The Gold Rush Tour is a classic weekend saddlebag loop that’s been around since the 1990s. Originally a tribute to the region’s gold mining heritage, the Gold Rush Tour has recently been revitalized with new signage, great trail maps, and resources for distances and services available along the route. Known as The North’s #1 Self-Guided Tour, it’s definitely one of Northeastern Ontario’s most beloved multi-day loops.

The Perfect Long Weekend Sled Tour

The 710 km loop is made up of Trans Ontario Provincial (TOP) Trails, many of which are on old logging or mining roads or utility corridors, making for some stellar groomed riding. There’s generally great snow coverage, and trails are usually open from early January through the end of March. This year, much of the trail is still open into April.

This is one of the premiere touring routes in Ontario, with some of the most diverse trails and scenery in the world. Depending on trail conditions and your riding preference, the Gold Rush Tour can take from two to four days.

Where to Eat, Sleep and Play on the Gold Rush Tour

The eastern and northern sections of this loop run from Temiskaming Shores to Timmins on TOP Trails A, A108 and A111C. These snowmobiling corridors roughly parallel Highways 11 and 101, so it’s easy to access the nearby well-serviced communities of Earlton, Engelhart, Kirkland Lake and Matheson for all your dining and accommodation needs.

The southern and western sections of this circle ride cover quieter TOP Trails through slightly more remote areas. You’ll find communities such as Elk Lake (there’s now premium fuel at the Elk Lake Eco Centre & Lodge!), Gowganda, Shining Tree, Mattagami and Gogama have all you need to have a great weekend, from great pub eats by the fireplace to interesting detours along the way, like the Val Gagne Ski-Doo Tree! (Some of the gas stations in these places may still accept cash only!)


The Gold Rush Tour was created in the 1990s by snowmobile club pacesetter Mike Farr and fellow volunteers, and finding it used to be a bit of a challenge. As part of its revitalization, the exact route is now highlighted on the OFSC District 14 Trail Guide and the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide. The D14 website also has a highlight map that includes a total listing of all Gold Rush trails, complete with distances and the services available on route.

These tools take away much of the guesswork for doing the tour. Local clubs are placing more Gold Rush Tour signs on the trails to make navigation easier than it was for previous generations of Gold Rush Riders. These days, riders should be able to simply follow the Gold Rush Tour signs to find their way around!


Duration: 2-4 days, 710 km

Highlights: Farmland, forests, hydro corridors and historic gold mines

District: OFSC District 14

Trails: Top A trail to the A107C, Top C to A111C, to Top A and then back to New Liskeard on the A108

Staging Communities: Temiskaming Shores, Gowganda, Timmins, Kirkland Lake

Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express – New Liskeard, Quality Inn – New Liskeard, Waterfront Inn – New Liskeard, Elk Lake Wilderness Resort, Long Point Lodge, Auld Reekie Lodge, Gowganda Lake Lodge, Three Bears Camp, Minakwa Lodge – Mattagami, J & L Lakeview Retreat, Morin’s All Seasons Resort, Cedar Meadows Resort, Timmins Inn & Suites, Travelodge – Timmins, Mainstreet B & B – Kirkland Lake, Country Inn Bar & Grill

Bonus: District 14 has many excellent local trails off the loop—make a week out of it!

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