Monday, 25 March 2013

Snowmobiling to Old Man's Pond with Darren Park

Having a boil up on the shores of Old Man's Pond

By Keith and Heather Nicol
       “You know most of my clients are novice snowmobilers. I would say that at least 60% have never driven a sled before so we spend the first 15-20 minutes of a tour showing them how to steer and stop a snowmobile as well as the basic hand signals. I have had people this year from England, Ireland and even Pakistan but most of my clients come from the East Coast of the province.” Darren told us over the phone. Darren Park operates a popular snowmobile guiding business based in Cox’s Cove in the Bay of Islands near Corner Brook, which also happens to be in the main snowfall area of the province. We first met Darren two years ago through his fishing tour business in Cox’s Cove and have told countless people about the great tours that he does in the summer time. We have been out with him on several occasions and have seen eagles up close, viewed great scenery and always caught our limit of cod during the recreational cod fishery.  
Heather appreciated the smooth trails for riding

        On our most recent trip with Darren on March 25, 2013 our main objectives were pretty simple: to see some nice scenery and let Heather have the experience of driving a snowmobile for the first time. And we accomplished both in our ½ day tour thanks to Darren.  Darren has his own snowmobiles along with a variety of helmets so all you need to bring is your winter clothing. After our safety session we set off toward Frenchman’s Pond. From there we took a side trail which gave us good views of the distant North Arm Mountains as well as the rugged hills surrounding Frenchman’s Pond. The trail was remarkably smooth and Darren told us that it is regularly groomed to make it easy to ride on. The previous night's snow sparkled in the trees and we stopped several times for photos. Next we headed to Old Man’s Pond via a scenic hill top trail that gave frequent vistas of Frenchman’s Pond. The route gradually descended to Old Man’s Pond where we had a boil up with hot chocolate and muffins. Although we returned via the same route the views were different and we could now see the snow covered Blow Me Down Mountains in the distance as we wound our way back to Cox’s Cove. Besides half day tours Darren also leads full day trips to the North Arm Hills and the Lomond “Sinkhole” and he figures he has at least 2 weeks of snowmobiling left this season depending on the weather. You can also bring your own sled and Darren will guide you. He can be reached at 709-688-2125 or
Darren riding on a side trail with Frenchman's Pond in the distance

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