Rural Rivers: Moonbikes


January 2, 2024

Words by: Brandy Belitsky

Winter fun in Sturgeon County

Rural Rivers has been captivating the attention of adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers since 2020. Owned by Indigenous entrepreneur, Zack Doroshenko, the business is an embodiment of a dream nurtured over years and brought to life during the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the core of Rural Rivers’ story lies a remarkable 23-acre property on Treaty No. 6 Territory. The land has been in Doroshenko’s family for generations and is where he grew up.

“There’s a lot of history on this land,” he says with pride. “The house that was originally here is actually now at the Musée Heritage Site in St. Albert on River Lots 23 and 24.”

Rural Rivers is not just a business; it’s a manifestation of Doroshenko’s commitment to preserving his family’s legacy while sharing the beauty of this historic land with the world. It’s a place where visitors can escape into nature, explore the glistening waters of the Sturgeon River, and experience thrilling outdoor activities.

When restricted indoor gatherings and social distancing measures were implemented due to the pandemic, Doroshenko saw an opportunity to make the most of the situation. People were seeking outdoor activities and he had the perfect space. Offering canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals turned his family’s land into a hub for fresh air adventures, but with winter coming, he needed to offer something more. Doroshenko scrolled through social media and stumbled upon Moonbikes, an electric hybrid between a snowmobile and a motorized bicycle that presented an exhilarating winter adventure virtually unheard of in Canada. Doroshenko was intrigued.

Moonbikes are no ordinary machine; they are 100% electric, lightweight (163 lbs without the batteries), and can travel up to three hours on a single charge. With a top speed of 42 km/h, the bikes feature different speed modes to cater to various skill levels, ensuring both beginners and seasoned riders enjoy the experience. 

Rural Rivers currently offers four Moonbikes for rent, with rates starting at $65 for a 45-minute session. To ensure everyone’s safety, helmets and orientation sessions are included in the rentals.

Doroshenko spent the past year extending the trails—originally designed for snowshoeing—for Moonbike use. A combination of hills, twists and turns, and wide-open spaces over three kilometres on private land enables riders to indulge in the joys of winter. 

Keep your fingers crossed for a snowy January!

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