Canadian Trails for Winter Wheeling and Powersports Play

Canadian Trails for Winter Wheeling and Powersports Play

The official reign of winter may be December to March, but in all reality it’s much, much longer for those who reside in the northernmost points of the continent. Thankfully, Canadians have the good fortune of enjoying spectacular mountain views, pristine alpine lakes, diverse wildlife, and various outdoor recreation year-round. So, trade in that warm fire for a parka and grab your off-road gear, because we’ve lined up a few of the country’s best trails for winter adventure.

Prairie Creek Provincial Recreation Area

Popular among local off-roaders, the Prairie Creek Provincial Recreation Area remains a somewhat hidden gem in west-central Alberta, tucked within the province’s diverse landscape. While use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) is prohibited within the park itself, Prairie Creek serves as a comfortable, scenic stop along the way to nearby trails frequented by 4×4 enthusiasts and snowmobilers.

Expect a fair amount of difficulty. According to Backroad Mapbook, Canada’s #1 choice for backcountry maps and outdoor recreation guides, “Take your time exploring the informal trails in the area—with plenty of steep terrain, water crossings, and other challenges, you won’t want to rush yourself.”

Easier trails are relatively close by, including Lost Knife Trail, which is located approximately two hours south, but riders should confirm seasonal access first. As the Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists (OF4WD) points out, it’s important to consult your local trail groups and government agencies during the winter months, as many Canadian trails are turned over to snowmobile enthusiasts from December 1 – May 1. “These trails are off-limits for 4WD use, and you could be charged if you travel on the trails without a valid snowmobile permit,” but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for wheelers.

Whipsaw Trail

The Whipsaw Creek Trail is a 103-km trek that features plenty of obstacles to flex, twist, and get that 4×4 good and dirty. Located in the Canadian province of British Columbia—roughly four hours east of Vancouver—Whipsaw is well-renowned as a Jeeper’s paradise.

Considered one of the top 4×4 destinations in Western Canada, Whipsaw is a tough trail even for experienced wheelers. Mid-August is recommended as the best time to visit, but “if you want the adventure of a lifetime, you can run the Whipsaw trail in the middle of winter when the place is covered in snow and the temperatures hovers around freezing. You will have to bring your chainsaw to cut through fallen trees blocking your path. This trail offers some amazing views and challenging terrain, so prep that Jeep, charge up the camera batteries, and clear those media cards. You don’t want to miss any of the action,” explains FOUR WHEELER.

The Region of Quebec

Did you know that Québec offers the largest ATV trail network in North America? Yeah, me neither. For decades, ATVs have been a vehicle of choice to easily access the dense forests of Québec and explore its beauty year-round.

“Summers are incredibly popular with off-roaders since the terrain is a combination of rocky, challenging hills with scenic views. Winter months are, of course, better suited for snowmobiles than 4x4s, with the occasional heavy snow the region can receive. A number of trails and circuits are available to choose from, both from the Centre Du Quebec and also the Chaudière Appalaches regions, where loops range from 80-435 km,” according to

The Chaudiere-Appalache region—located north of Maine and New Hampshire and comprised of cities like Lac-Etchemin, Levis, Montmagny, Saint-Georges, and Thetford Mines—is easily accessible by vehicle or ATV. The region boasts 2,253 km of trails during winter, which are marked and groomed by various clubs. According to locals, the geographic diversity of the region is absolutely unrivalled and a must-visit to see and believe.

Concession Lake, Clarington, Ontario

With great bass fishing in the summer and trout fishing in the winter, the Concession Lake OHV Trail near Trent Lakes, Ontario, Canada is a popular choice for off-roaders who appreciate a little bit of everything, from rocky areas and mud to elevation changes and deep-water pools. Rated moderate difficulty, this trail is best traveled from March through October – in the Great White North, that guarantees snow on the ground.

“This trail is just under three hours from Toronto. It’s a relatively open trail that offers a variety of terrain, including swampy areas and mud crossings, rock crawling, and tight trees. There are definitely some obstacles to navigate, and some elevation changes that off-road enthusiasts sure seem to enjoy. This riding offers some open areas to rest and look around as well,” explains

Ironically, as the off-road community continues to grow in size and scope, access to public land continues to shrink. Since trail access is subject to change, be sure to always call ahead and confirm closures, change in entrance points, or reservation for snowmobile use only after a certain date. Remember to practice proper trail safety and always leave Mother Nature in better shape than she was found.

Categories: Features, Off-Road Plus