Total Distance: 54km
The Ride: Enjoy rural riding between two quaint villages on this paved, island road ride that is perfect for those looking to explore the beauty of St. Joseph Island. With views across famous waterways and a countryside popular with cyclists, this Northern Ontario ride gives cyclists a glimpse into the seemingly endless cycling experiences in the area.
Experience Level: Moderate to Experienced: Paved roads
View digital route of tour – RideWithGPS.com
Day 1 (Leg 1 of 2): – Richards Landing to Hilton Beach 37km
Area services: Accommodations, campground, cafes, restaurants, groceries, banking, attractions and trails. Limited services between Richards Landing to Hilton Beach (located off route).
Set off from the Richards Landing Marina with views across St. Joseph Channel to the mainland. Leave town riding west along the quiet and curvy Hwy 548 / C Line Road, part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Ride for 2km along this tree-lined road with glimpses of water off to the right. As cyclists continue west, the beauty of St. Joseph Island is quickly revealed upon every crest and corner. Enjoy stunning views across St. Mary’s River to Neebish Island and the United States from the waterfront docks off Sailor Encampment Drive. Continue south along Hwy 548, hugging the western shoreline of St. Joseph Island with amazing views of St. Mary’s River. As Hwy 548 makes a short incline, the roadway begins to depart from the shoreline and draws cyclists through meadows and agricultural lands. Passing the seasonal facility of Gilbertson’s Maple Products, riders will note the change in the forests as it shifts from coniferous to a mixed forest with a more deciduous beech and maple trees. Keep an eye out on the left for Hilton Road, as routing continues east across the island towards Hilton Beach for 14km. Ride across the causeway between Twin Lakes, before rolling into Hilton Beach and the beautiful boardwalk overlooking the harbour and marina.
Day 1 (Leg 2 of 2): – Hilton Beach to Richards Landing 17km
Area services: Accommodation, campgrounds, cafes, restaurants, groceries, shopping, banking, and attractions. No services between Hilton Beach and Richards Landing.
After enjoying lunch and an ice cream, set off from Hilton Beach, riding north on the quiet and tree-lined Canoe Point Road along the eastern shoreline of the island. Stop off at the government docks and boat launch on Gawas Bay Road, just over 7km north of Hilton Beach. Use caution when crossing Hwy 548 and connecting to F&G Line Road. Optional – After less than 2km, cyclists can take an optional, paved road detour (2 km one-way) south on 20th Side Road to I Line Road and St. Joseph Island Museum Village. Ride into Richards Landing and spend the remainder of the day visiting local shops and galleries or enjoy a bite to eat and refreshments on the beautiful patio at La Terrazza Franzisi, located in the Richard Landing Marina. Richards Landing has several cafes, restaurants and accommodation options available for visitors.
Notes to Riders
This route is a suggested route only. All cyclists are responsible for their own safety. Always wear the proper safety gear when cycling, ride sensibly and abide by all laws. Each route should be evaluated by each individual cyclist based on their level of experience, comfort level in cycling on trails and roads, weather conditions, time of day, and any road obstacles. This route is suitable for cyclists with experience and comfort in riding on roads with vehicle traffic. This route has been selected to incorporate roads with low-traffic and low-speeds, bike lanes and paved shoulders whenever possible.
Getting To/From Start: St Joseph Island can be reached by car. Follow Highway 17/Trans-Canada Highway towards Sault Ste. Marie. Parking is available at the municipal parking lot opposite of the Richards Landing Town Hall.
Visitor Information: Use below to find out more about ride areas and plan an extra day or two to see more.
As part of Canada’s 150th celebrations in 2017, Ontario 150 Celebrate by Bike connected fifteen communities across Ontario through cycling. Ride itineraries, events and cycling education in Bike Friendly Communities and Ontario By Bike ride destinations were developed and hosted to take advantage of the iconic Greenbelt Route and Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to strengthen communities and create cycling itineraries as a permanent legacy of Ontario 150. This initiative was a collaborative partnership between the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Ontario By Bike, and Share the Road Cycilng Coalition, building on two decades of investment in cycling infrastructure in Ontario. Check out the 15 legacy ride itineraries, and make plans to get out there to explore more of Ontario By Bike.