Southeast of North Bay, the Mattawa River Multi-Use Trail System consisting of numerous loops of varying distance. The terrain is constantly changing. The trails are forest-covered with stream crossings, wet areas, as well as rugged, rocky climbs. This remote area offers diversity beyond description. There are easy trails for leisurely sightseeing for those who might be looking for a tame experience as well as technically advanced trails to satisfy the accomplished outdoor enthusiast. Its all here on well mapped, well marked trails.
To reach the trailhead from Toronto: Take Hwy 400 North to the City of Barrie, then Hwy 11 North to the City of North Bay. Turn right on Hwy 17 East and this will take you into the Town of Mattawa. (4 hours) The main trailhead is located at the end of Snake Creek Road.
The Voyageur Run loop is a 48km. This trail is the longest of the loops. It begins at Highway 533 trailhead and continues south west towards Kearney Lake through a large hemlock stand, which provides the setting for the second largest deer yard in the Nipissing District. After crossing the hydro corridor, this trail connects with the Olrig Road. South from here is sandy terrain that has previously been harvested. A return to the mixed-wood forest and hilly terrain brings riders South and then East to the beginning of the Voyageur Run.
The Granite Trail is a 21km loop. This loop presents a great chance to test your skills. The trail consists of narrow tracks that cover muddy, rocky and steep terrain. It winds through the mixed forest lowlands and then gradually works north to the hydro corridor where it meets both the Voyageur Run and the GLSL Trail. Of note is the red colour of the southern portion of the trail. This is the result of the significant outcrops of pink granite found in the area. Large piles are visible along certain sections. Also watch for signs of moose and deer as both are common to this area. The Granite Trail also displays many good examples of glacial deposition. Over 10,000 years ago, the melting ice left the sand and gravel that make up many of the landforms, evidence of this is seen in the sand and gravel pits that have been exposed over time.
The GLSL Trail is a 21km loop. The northwest corner of our system is home to this loop named for the Great Lakes/ St. Lawrence forest that the Mattawa area is within. The highlight of this area is the dense forest populated by several different species of deciduous and coniferous trees. As well, several wetlands can be seen as the trail winds north from the hydro corridor and then south back to the same starting point. At the beginning of this loop, there is a scenic picnic or camping area on the north shore of Cahill Lake. As well, the highest hill along the hydro corridor provides a striking vista facing west.
Overall, Mattawa River Trail System is the 7th most popular ATV riding trail of all 15 ATV trails in Ontario.