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Red Rock ATV rides continue to grow

A pair of fundraising rides will be taking place in Red Rock this year.
Red Rock ATV Ride
ATV riders prepare to hit the trails in Red Rock during a ride last year.

RED ROCK – During the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew St. Jean and his family were looking for things to do.

In 2020, they bought a couple of four-wheelers and soon began to explore the great outdoors.

As COVID restrictions eased and outdoor groups of up to 100 people were allowed later that year, St. Jean and his friend Ted Clearwater came up with an idea.

“We said ‘Let’s have a quad ride in the community of Nipigon and let’s involve some of the business,’” St. Jean said. “We drove all over to get business involved and we got our 100 riders that we were allowed to have that fall.

“When that happened, we both said ‘Wow, you know what . . . people really want this.’ From that point out, we started to plan out different rides.”

Those rides have now expanded to a spring ride in May and a poker run in August. Both events are held in Red Rock.

The spring rides have usually brought in 70 to 100 participants since it started in 2021, while the poker run brought in 150 riders for its first edition last August.

“I think a lot of that growth came from word of mouth, especially after we put together the ATV Country 11/17 group on Facebook,” St. Jean said.

“We have so many people coming from Thunder Bay and the outlying area that are the bulk of our riders, but we also have riders coming from Marathon and Greenstone. We had a little pop-up ride about a week ago and we promoted that on our social media . . . and now we’re getting a lot of people from Minnesota and North Dakota looking at our group.

“Everybody that comes out here wants to see this grow and I think that’s only helping to expand our numbers and interest.”

In addition to riding the trails with like-minded individuals, the events also serve as fundraisers.

The Red Rock Seniors Van, the Red Rock Fish and Game Club and a newly formed local kids recreation fund will all receive donations from this year’s ride.

“The riders are willing to put out the money to come out and play and they also support the community that they are in, which is great to see.”

This spring’s ride, which is taking place on May 4, will also see a new route for participants.

“During the last three years, we’ve been mainly focusing on the area from Nipigon up by Pine Portage and over to the Dorian Wind Farm, with a little bit of riding up towards Gorge Creek,” St. Jean said.

“With so many riders wanting to come out and since we also want to keep up the interest level for those that have been here for a few years, we’re now going to explore the east side of Highway 11.

“So we’re going to go a little bit north and start exploring the areas around Limestone.”

For more information on registering for this year’s rides, contact St. Jean via phone or text at (807) 889-0200.