Hudson Bay is the place to play

The champs of trail-building reside in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan

by Kyle Born

Corrina Kapeller rides by the entrance to Hudson Bay.
Corrina Kapeller rides by the entrance to Hudson Bay. The town of Hudson Bay is settled in the Red Deer Valley, between the Pasquia Hills and the Porcupine Hills. Trails stretch out from the town in every direction. Photo courtesy Jeanine Holowatuik

Canada has two Hudson Bays: one is a familiar body of water, the other is a snowmobilers’ paradise in Saskatchewan.

“Hudson Bay is blessed to be in the centre of five million acres (two million hectares) of provincial forest,” said Rick Dolezsar, trail committee chair for the Hudson Bay Trail Riders. “The two most popular destinations involve climbing in elevation from town to either the Pasquia Hills to the north, trails 210F and 210P, or Porcupine Hills Trail 210A to the southeast.”

The Hudson Bay Trail Riders takes pride in maintaining the 680 kilometres of groomed trails that wind through provincial forest and farmland. Average snowfalls of two metres create a smattering of fresh powder and long stretches to challenge seasoned riders. Pasquia Hills and Porcupine Hills rise to elevations of 792 metres with significant snowfall. Hudson Bay’s perfect trails have held the SnoRiders platinum award for the Best Overall Trails in Saskatchewan for 11 years in a row.

Want to know more about the snowmobiling in Hudson Bay? Check out our Trip Planner page.

Rick Dolezsar takes the lead with Owen Kinch following behind.
Rick Dolezsar takes the lead with Owen Kinch following behind. Meadows and marshes dot the landscape and are available for you to play in as you make your way through Hudson Bay. Dolezsar recalls some of the special moments he’s had in his years riding through the trails: “Several memories include riding through big snowstorms, being the first one to break through and clean the trails before they are groomed, and being able to do some boondocking in the bays of some remote lakes and hills that you can search out off trail with the help of GPS or local knowledge.” Photo courtesy Jim Kinch
Riders enjoy some of the trails that are carefully maintained by the Hudson Bay Trail Riders.
Riders enjoy some of the trails that are carefully maintained by the Hudson Bay Trail Riders. “I would say, for younger families or novice riders, that it’s best to stick to the trails,” said Marcel Dalpe, vice-president of the Hudson Bay Trail Riders. “There is a lot of extremely good off-trail riding, but there are lots of extreme conditions, too. There are always lots of places close to the trail where the more experienced riders can break away for a bit and have some fun while still riding as a group.” Photo courtesy Jackpine Cabins
An icicle archway is created across a trail by excessive snowfall on a tree branch
You may spot some unconventional archways while riding the trails in Hudson Bay. There’s always an abundance of snow and lots of wildlife making their way through the winter wonderland. One of the Hudson Bay Trail Riders’ major fundraisers is the Hudson Bay “100” Rally. The 100-mile rally has been held every February for over 20 years. It brings in a lot of tourists, and money raised is used for groomer financing and trail costs. In addition to the snowmobile rally, there is a trail lunch, steak supper, social, dance, raffle prizes and draw at midnight for your choice of a new sled, side-by-side or $10,000 cash. Photo courtesy Mandy Frohlick
(L to R) Jim Kinch and Larry Mark stop at the Swan Valley warm-up shelter.
(L to R) Jim Kinch and Larry Mark stop at the Swan Valley warm-up shelter. The Hudson Bay Snowmobile Club’s volunteers ensure that the 12 warm-up shelters are ready for sledders exploring the trails each season. The north trails have a series of four different warm-up shelters to break up the day and there are three shelters along the 130-kilometre trip to Moose Range Lodge to the southeast. All trails can be accessed right from the door of your motel or bed and breakfast in Hudson Bay, but you can also find staging areas along the way if you want to save your energy and fuel for the more remote locations. Photo courtesy Richard Dolezsar

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