Upgrade Your 4x4 Suspension with Active Off-Road Bump Stops
- Where to go in Ontario for off-roading?
- Where are the tourist attractions?
- What should I consider before choosing a trail?
- Are all off-road bump stops created equal?
The following article will outline for you the locations in Ontario, Canada that offer the best trails for off-road enthusiasts. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced overlander, there is something for everyone. I have also included some important info about what to keep in mind when choosing the best trails.
Where to go in Ontario for off-roading?
Bear Skulls OHV Route is a 7.6-kilometer loop trail located near Greater Madawaska, Ontario, Canada that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for nature trips and ohv/off-road driving.
Concession Lake OHV Trail is an 8.9 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Trent Lakes, Ontario, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for off-road driving and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Hogs Back Falls Loop is a 1.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers several activity options and is accessible year-round.
Simcoe County Forest: Hendrie Tract is a 15.1 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Springwater, Ontario, Canada that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers several activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Rose Point Recreational Trail is a 13.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a few activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Where are the tourist attractions?
World’s Largest Photo Mosaic | Port Carling, Ontario
This mosaic project began in 2004 and consists of 9,028 pictures. Each photo is a snapshot in the lives of Port Carling residents during the village’s first century, from 1860-1960. Put together, the mosaic creates an image of the RMS Sagamo passing through the Port Carling locks c1922. The Locks & Wall, 97 Muskoka District Road 118 W, Port Carling, ON, Canada
The Big Apple | Colborne, Ontario
Situated next to the Highway of Heroes, you can see the world’s largest apple from the 401. Stop, take a photo, and occupy stir-crazy kids with games (including a train, mini putt, and bocce ball). While you’re there, grab lunch, stock up on souvenirs at the country store, and pick up a pie to take home. The Big Apple, 262 Orchard Rd, Colborne, ON, Canada, + 1 905 855 2574
The Big Nickel | Sudbury, Ontario
No trip to Sudbury is complete without checking out The Big Nickel, an exact reproduction of the 1951 Canadian coin. Built-in 1964, the nickel symbolizes Sudbury’s mining heritage and the city’s contributions to the Canadian economy through nickel production. Thanks to the substantial base, access is barrier-free, so visitors can get all the Instagram shots they need. The Big Nickel, 122 Big Nickel Mine Dr, Sudbury, ON, Canada
‘Willie Emerging’ Wiarton Willie Statue | Wiarton, Ontario
The living weather-forecasting groundhog Wiarton Willie gets most of his glory every February 2nd on Groundhog Day. Luckily, visitors can check out the ‘Willie Emerging’ statue in Wiarton’s Bluewater Park any day of the year. Unveiled on February 3, 1996, the impressive statue commemorates the 40th anniversary of Willie’s predictions. Bluewater Park, William St. Wiarton, ON, Canada
Wawa Goose | Wawa, Ontario
It wouldn’t be a Canadian road trip without a Canada goose sighting. This Canada Goose, situated over the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 101, dates back to 1960. The steel monument is a nod to Wawa and its large iron ore mine, and with Wawa meaning ‘Wild Goose or Land of the Big Goose’ in Ojibway, what better way to welcome visitors than with Canada’s largest goose? You’ll find it at the junction of Highway 17 and 101, right beside Wawa’s Tourist Information Centre. Highway 17 and 101, Wawa, ON, Canada
What should I consider before choosing a trail?
This guide is designed to go over the fundamentals of off-roading so you can get started. Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more seasoned off-roader.
Figure out what kind of off-roading you want to do
Before you start preparing your rig for the trail, it’s important to know what type of off-roading you want to do. Your location in Ontario will determine what’s available:
Most roads that are off-pavement but not part of an actual off-road park will fall under the light-trail category. Fire roads are a great example. This is a good place to start for newbies and the most accessible type of off-roading in general.
Overlanding and Camping
Overlanding involves driving through isolated areas for extended periods of time. This type of off-roading seems to be getting more popular every year, and for good reason. The driving itself isn’t much more difficult than hitting a light trail. It can be as easy or as tough as you like, depending on where you go and how long you stay.
Simply put, mudding involves taking your rig through large amounts of mud. At off-road parks, trails are usually rated as green, blue, or black, in order of ascending difficulty. You might be ok with AWD on a green trail, but blue or black will require 4WD. No matter which mud trails you choose, good off-road tires are required.
Rock crawling is an extreme and more specialized form of off-roading. It involves getting up and over very uneven rocks. Because there are such large gaps and differences in height, drivers will navigate at a much slower pace than if they were mudding. Rock crawling also requires some specialized gear you might not need for other types of off-roading. These include skid plates, lockers, a lift kit, high clearance bumpers, Beadlock wheels, and a winch.
Make sure you own an off-road vehicle
Off-road vehicles can be expensive, but they don’t need to be. You can either buy an affordable used 4x4 or spend loads of money perfecting a brand-new, fully loaded off-roader. Lots of cars and trucks have the basics already installed and are ready to go off-roading right from the factory. There are many components that make a good off-road vehicle.
Here are some of the things you should look for in a 4-wheel drive vehicle doing moderate or advanced off-roading:
- Locking Differentials
- Front-facing trail camera
- Trail Control (‘cruise control’ for the trail)
- Electronic disconnecting sway bar
- Off-Road Tires
- Lift Kits
- Winch Kits
- Off-Road Lights
- Body Armor and Skid Plates
Are all off-road bump stops created equal?
There are basically 4 types of off-road bump stops:
- Active Off-Road Bumpstops
- Wheeler Superbumps
- TeraFlex Speedbump bump stops
- Hydraulic bump stops
If price is no object, Hydraulic bump stops are the way to go. They’re filled with shock oil and nitrogen and are adjustable allowing you to fine-tune them to your particular needs. You’re going to need a custom shop that specializes in made-to-measure installation because these bump stops work best in conjunction with your existing shocks. Two of the most popular brands are Bilstein and King. Average price: $700.00 - $1,000.00 US (pair).
TeraFlex Speedbumps use the same principle of a factory bump stop but look and act much like a hydraulic bump stop. Installation requires some customization. Average price: $300.00 - $400.00 (pair).
Wheeler Superbumps resemble factory bump stops but are much taller and provide better ride quality. Average price: $150.00 (pair).
Active Off-Road Bumpstops – made by Timbren Industries – are made of natural rubber and come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on what you drive, there is a custom kit that will fit your off-road vehicle. If you can remove a bump stop, you can install Active Off-Road Bumpstops on your chariot. Average cost: $225.00 US (pair).
Depending on your vehicle and current skill set, you will need to choose your destination accordingly. If you are a newbie, I recommend you start with the light trails in Ontario that don’t require the best tools and the most advanced skills.
As you become more experienced and more confident, your desire for more advanced tools and vehicle modifications like suspension upgrades and off-road bump stops will grow. It’s important to put safety first when you decide to leave the pavement and head for the off-road trails of Ontario!
Make overnight adventures more fun and comfortable by hauling an off-road trailer along with you. Off-road trailers are made possible with independent suspensions or what we call an Axle-Less suspension by Timbren.