10 Best Routes for Riders in Ontario
It’s hard to define a best motorcycle route. Riding style, personal preference, and even your mood can affect the kind of riding you enjoy. Still, there’s no doubt Ontario is rife with prime riding roads that weave our diverse landscapes together.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend trip or a Sunday cruise, here are 10 Best Routes from around the province.
- Hockley Valley is as beautiful as it is accessible for a day or evening ride. Carving through the picturesque valley, Hockley Road’s gentle curves follow the contours of the Niagara Escarpment. Nothing is straight, flat, or dull. If you’re lucky, you’ll find historic hamlets, legends, and points of interest tucked in these hills. The outdoor patio at the Hockley General Store is a favourite gathering spot for riders. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/jqy1at1bnVK2
- Nicknamed the Grand Algoma, this route follows the eastern coastline of Lake Superior on the Trans Canada Highway between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa. The mosaic of boreal forests, sky-high cliffs, sand beaches, rugged rock outcrops, and Lake Superior vistas, almost demands you pull over to breathe in the energy. With places like Agawa Pictographs, Old Woman Bay, and Batchawana Bay, there’s a noticeable First Nations history and sacredness to this land. If time allows, head inland to Chapleau. Connect with Highway 129, which will keep you busy with endless twists and turns as the road follows the Mississagi River. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/YVwcm4TtVtD2
- Beaver Valley is a lovely cruise in spring or summer but it really shows its colours in autumn. My favourite access point is north of Flesherton on County Road (CR) 30. You’re riding through peaceful countryside and before you suspect anything, the road curves and descends sharply as a magnificent vista opens up. Riding CR 13 along the floor of the valley you feel cradled by the hills on either side. Just before Thornbury, gorgeous views of the sparkling blue waters of Georgian Bay appear. CR 2, heading south, is mostly straight but don’t let that deceive you into thinking it’s boring. Elevation changes, farmland, forests and views of the valley keep you absorbed in your ride. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/edPMEfixdcs
- Manitoulin Island. The Anishinaabe believe that when the Great Spirit created Manitoulin Island, it was so beautiful He called it home. Seven First Nations still do. It’s one of my favourite places to ride because it combines physical beauty with an unmistakable spiritual energy. This route takes you through the heart of the island via small communities boasting a rich cultural heritage, and lots of rock, trees, and water. Make sure to stop at the Ojibway Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng for a fascinating presentation of the culture, arts, and traditions of the Anishinaabe of Manitoulin.Arrive by land and cross the swing-bridge into Little Current, or board the Chi Cheemaun Ferry for a two-hour crossing from Tobermory. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/zkboKGtSmaH2
- Algonquin Park. Epic best describes this ride between Huntsville and Arnprior. Everything about it is big, except for the plentiful small lakes and welcoming small towns like Eganville, Golden Lake, and Wilno, Ontario’s first Polish settlement. Big forests, big hills, big curves, and big scenery make this a memorable ride. This is prime habitat for big animals like moose and bear so exercise caution as you’re enjoying the ride. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/g1QezAdRGZk
- Calabogie. If twists, turns, and gyrations whet your appetite, head for Calabogie. You’re in Ontario’s Highlands and there are no shortage of fantastic roads to keep you going for days. Iconic Calabogie Road is a favorite with lots of thrills and little traffic. Take it to Griffith, then for a tamer return to your starting point, head east on Highway 41, to 132 and south on CR 34.Another action packed alternative is to head south on Highway 41 from Griffith, turn east on CR 509 and let it delight you all the way to Highway 7. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/7Hv7F24NLQ32
- St. Jacobs. Underrated as motorcycle country, the undulating farmland around St. Jacobs is perfect for an evening cruise. Unwind after a busy day or just enjoy a casual outing with friends. Start in Fergus, which is easy to get to and interesting because of its locally quarried stone buildings. Follow the Grand River as it meanders to Elora, then immerse yourself in the countryside as you pass through Conestogo on your way to St. Jacobs. North of town, you’ll pass through Elmira and the heart of Old Mennonite country. Traditional horse and buggy transport is contrasted against modern farm equipment. This bucolic route takes you back to simpler times and the basics in life – like community, food, and water. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/dVjnWSUfKy62
- Prince Edward County – Enjoy this picturesque route with lots of variety– from sand dunes, to vineyards and the shores of Lake Ontario. A few twists in the roads, gentle curves, and many interesting places to stop make this a refreshing, casual cruise. One of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the County is Lake on the Mountain, situated nearly 62 metres above the Bay of Quinte. Only a narrow strip of land, which ends in a cliff, separates the lake from the water below. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/gsQuXWktXLs
- Muskoka, Dotted with lakes, waterways, and granite outcrops, this is popular cottage country. Those same characteristics make for prime motorcycle roads. While you can venture off in any direction from Bracebridge and be exhilarated, the route to Port Carling and down to Bala is popular for good reason. But the best is Muskoka CR 13 which twists intimately through woods and wetlands. There’s even an area of badlands, evoking images of a moonscape. The road surface on this section is variable and it’s essential to watch for sand, gravel, wildlife, and cyclists. Map. https://goo.gl/maps/kfgLFF4WeAE2
- Rider’s Choice. We’ve mentioned some of Ontario’s best roads but there are many more. The most important thing is that you get out and ride. Set out with no agenda and let your motorcycle take you where it will. Take the roads less travelled, or try out those you’ve never been on. You never know what adventures await. They could become your new favorite roads!
Riding conditions on Ontario secondary roads are subject to change due to seasonal conditions, road work, and surfaces that vary from asphalt to packed tar and chip.