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Adventure, Canada

ATV Adventures on the Canadian Shield

I am the last person I would expect to be writing about an ATV adventure.  I love my thrills and all, but they tend to be more organic – dog sledding, cycling across countries, hiking in Nepal.  None of them have involved powerful engines, until now.  While there is no such thing as a boy or girl activity, I somehow had ATV adventures or 4 wheeling it pegged as a boy activity.  Riding through mud puddles not high on my list of priorities.

ATV adventures with Bear Claw Tours

Getting ready to rumble with Bear Claw Adventures

The ATV adventure at Bear Claw Tours was part of a wilderness experience trip that I was doing through Explorers’ Edge.  I was all over the canoe and kayak experiences, hesitant and nervous to try the mountain biking, but had lukewarm feelings about the ATV through the mud.  It really looked like a boy thing to do.

The morning started with the Bear Claw guides reviewing the machines – how they worked and the safety features.  It was clear that they were every bit as powerful as I suspected.  We experimented with the brakes and the throttle and the ATVs roared to life – a glimmer of excitement rippled through me – this was going to be ok!

It was more than ok.  IT WAS AWESOME!  Maybe I should say that again – IT ROCKED!  MORE FUN THAN I COULD HAVE IMAGINED! TOTAL ADRENALINE RUSH!

ATV adventures near Parry Sound with Bear Claw Tours

We head out into the bush and I rocked back and forth in a less than smooth motion.  Luckily, being the first after the guide meant that I got a few extra pointers and reminders on how to handle the machine (I had clearly forgotten some of the important braking features right after they were explained to me!).  Our guide convinced me to release my death grip on the handlebars and voila – the entire ride smoothed right out.  My ATV stutter was gone.  For the rest of the morning, I forgot everything but what I was doing.  It was impossible to wipe the smile off of my face, or the faces of the rest of the people in my group.  I was lost in the moment and the excitement of it all.  We roared through the forest, marvelled at the beauty of the lake as we stopped for coffees and hot chocolates and powered over rocks and obstacles as they came to us.  Then, of course, until I got stuck in the mud!  My heart sunk and I didn’t know what to do.  With a little of rocking and rolling, my guide helped me ease out of the mud pit and we were back in business.  Cries of “faster” could be heard from the group as we raced down the road and our ATV adventure came to an end.  We had such a good time – you should have heard us in the bus after as we excitedly relived the morning.

ATV Picnic #instafun #adventure #OntWild

Bear Claw Tours have been around for quite some time.  They have been leaders in outdoor adventure experiences since August 2001 and have conducted a substantial amount of research in safety and environmental issues, the care and maintenance of trails and the ATV units themselves. They have won a number of tourism awards and it was clear that they are passionate about what they do.  Bear Claw runs their tours over 1,000 acres of exclusive ATV trails on the Canadian Shield.

Out in the bush with Bear Claw Tours ATV adventures

For the ATV aficionados – here are a few machine details:  Bear Claw uses Honda machines exclusively.  They are 420 cc power steering, independent suspension, 4 wheel drive machines (aka fun-mobiles) that offer a great deal of control at low speed where tricky 4 wheel drive challenges present themselves.  While I know nothing of the mechanics or the ins and outs of the ATV, I had a blast and that is all that mattered!

Disclaimer – I was a guest of the Explorers’ Edge tourism board, but that in no way influenced my opinion.  That grin on my face was all mine!

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


40 thoughts on “ATV Adventures on the Canadian Shield

  1. I have to add this to my bucket list…looks too fun.

    Posted by Pride in Photos Photography | June 18, 2013, 9:51 am
  2. See much wildlife on the trip?

    Posted by midnitechef | June 18, 2013, 11:49 am
  3. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award!!!

    Posted by Katherine D | June 18, 2013, 2:08 pm
  4. Hey Anita,

    This looks like a lot of fun 🙂 We did something similar in Egypt but I think an ATV ride in the bush will be much more challenging than in the desert. Way to go! Another one off the list, eh?


    Posted by Vid | June 18, 2013, 2:29 pm
  5. You are a brave woman, Anita! I wouldn’t have the courage to do this!

    Posted by Ana Silva O'Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld) | June 19, 2013, 12:18 pm
    • I didn’t know that I would Ana – but once I got out there, I had a ball. Sometimes the best activities are the ones you are so unsure of, then have so much unexpected fun that you can’t even begin to understand why you were nervous in the first place!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 20, 2013, 11:04 am
  6. OMG – you were let loose on one of those – WATCH OUT People – ha! Just kidding – nothing better than a little risk & FUN:) Have a Great Day

    Posted by cravesadventure | June 19, 2013, 4:43 pm
    • I know – I was questioning whether or not they knew what they were doing giving me such a powerful machine – but truth be told, they ran a pretty sweet operation. There was no risk and loads of fun!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 20, 2013, 11:05 am
  7. I can’t believe they let you behind the wheels.. lol. Looks like so much fun though I don’t know why I’d be terrified to drive next to you.. hehehe

    Posted by Kieu ~ GQ trippin | June 20, 2013, 2:24 am
  8. That looks like a blast! Last time I drove one I crashed and ended up with an apple sized bruise on my knee. I may need to try it gain 🙂

    Posted by Annette | June 20, 2013, 1:52 pm
    • Oh no…Annette, you need to try it with Bear Claw. They were awesome! The trails were spectacular and they went through all the safety about where to keep your feet and knees – no bruises were incurred on the experiencing of this adventure!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 21, 2013, 9:40 am
  9. Now this looks like one amazing experience. I haven’t ridden an ATV in ages. You’ve inspired me to fix that soon!

    Posted by D.J. - The World of Deej | June 21, 2013, 9:33 am
  10. Looks like a lot of fun! I’ve never been on an ATV must try it!

    Posted by calculatedtraveller | June 24, 2013, 12:17 pm
  11. Looks like so much fun!! What an adventure!

    Posted by Jenna Kvidt | June 24, 2013, 9:57 pm
  12. This looks fun! I had a nightmare ATV experience on the sand dunes in Namibia – such anxiety the entire time! But, this looks more my speed. 😉

    Posted by The World Wanderer (@TheWrldWanderer) | June 24, 2013, 11:54 pm
    • Bear Claw was a pretty solid outfit – I am sure you would find it no problem at all. Sorry to hear you had problems in Namibia – that isn’t cool. You’ll have to replace those memories with better ones!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 26, 2013, 3:44 pm
  13. umm the hubs and i did atvs in hawaii and had SO MUCH FUN. totally agree that it wasn’t on my list, but i was surprisingly happy after.

    Posted by Lazy Travelers (@lazytravelers) | June 25, 2013, 2:03 pm
  14. Stuck in the mud?! It’s good that up you got out quick! Gotta love the power of that throttle! 😉

    Posted by Lola DiMarco | June 25, 2013, 2:14 pm
  15. Nice blog…mainly for women who always fears and don’t want to go out for adventurous trip…hope by reading your blogs they at-least try once.

    Posted by Ian Mcindoe | July 19, 2013, 4:32 am
    • Trying once is the best thing…you learn so much about yourself and discover things that you may love that you never knew about! I had so much fun on this trip..had no idea going into it that that would be the case!

      Posted by Anita Mac | August 20, 2013, 2:43 pm


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