Algoma Country – North Central

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Regional Map + Listings
Township of the North Shore

Photo credit: Martin Lortz, Photographer. Trans Canada Trail/Great Lakes Waterfront Trail: Township of the North Shore

Cycling in North Central Ontario presents fantastic day trips and training options for road cyclists travelling through welcoming communities, beautiful forested areas and past sparkling waterways. Recreational cyclists will be thrilled with the shorter distance and urban cycling opportunities along established trails and quieter roads with plenty to do and see along the way. Long distance cyclists will find an epic overnight touring route stretching across the region, perfect for a bucket-list cycling experience.

Mountain biking and those looking for an adrenaline-filled experience will enjoy the growing trail network that cuts through the rugged Canadian Shield and forested wilderness of Northern Ontario!

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

North Central Ontario features numerous roads that have lower volumes of traffic and scenic cycling. While not mapped, there are several popular cycling routes in the Greater Sault Ste. Marie area including:

  • ‘The Lines’ – North and west of the city, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Line as well as Landslide Road up to the Hiawatha Highlands offer great road cycling routes, popular with local riders and clubs.
  • Gros Cap – Riding west out of the city explore the rocky beach and bluffs of Gros Cap on Lake Superior. A scenic ride of about 40-50km ‘out and back’ with options to build out a partial loop.
  • Searchmont Highway, Bellevue Valley / Goulais River – Enjoy 100km round trip from Sault Ste. Marie. Landslide Road to 6th Line and follow Hwy 17 North to the Hwy 556 provides a 100km round trip from Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Click here for more information about routes

Cycling Routes on St. Joseph Island – Many of the roads on St. Joseph Island feature low volumes of traffic and scenic road cycling opportunities.

Sections of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail (Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route) feature great road cycling for ‘out and back’ linear options that could include overnighting in a community and riding back the following day.

  • Spanish to Blind River – A 53km stretch featuring both on and off-road cycling. An area rich in cultural and natural scenery. Multiple services are available for cyclists, including accommodations in Algoma Mills and Blind River.
  • Blind River to Bruce Mines – 80km featuring the communities of Huron Shores and Iron Bridge. Plenty of opportunities to connect with local culinary and cultural delights of the region, with accommodations along the way. Opportunity to take a 20km detour into the community of Thessalon.
  • Bruce Mines to Sault Ste. Marie – A 70km stretch along the western portion of the route, featuring the small farming community of Desbarats with its many Mennonite families living in the area.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – 5 Drive & Ride ItinerariesWhile the full expansion of the cross-provincial cycling route the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail along Lake Superior is in progress, there are 5 Drive & Ride Cycling Itineraries to explore the beauty of cycling in the area. The following 2 Drive & Ride Cycling Itineraries along Lake Superior are in the North Central region of Ontario.

  • Sault Ste Marie to Chippewa Falls – 67km (one-way) or 138 (out-and-back) – Celebrate the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail’s first foray along the shores of Lake Superior with a ride from the Sault Ste Marie Waterfront to stunning Chippewa Falls where you’ll see landscape that inspired the Group of Seven and can hike to the top of the falls.
  • Wawa Lake Lollipop – 3.4-7km – A breezy loop from the quiet shores of Lake Wawa to Lion’s Beach and the iconic Wawa Goose with its scenic lookout and back. You’ll start and end your ride at Dr. Rose’s Beach, where you can stretch your legs with a stroll down their waterfront boardwalk. For a shorter 3.4 km ride, cycle the loop section only.
  • John Rowswell Hub Trail – Approximately a 25km road and trail system connecting all areas of the city and showcasing key cultural, historical, and natural areas of the community, including Fort Creek Conservation Area. The Hub Trail incorporates portions of shared on-road and off-road multi-use trails. A wonderful cycling experience for recreational and family cyclists, as well as those looking for the best way to experience Sault Ste. Marie. Available for download is an accompanying audio tour. Navigate the Interactive Map
  • Boom Camp Trails – A network of multi-use trails and interpretative signage jointly managed by Mississauga First Nation, Town of Blind River, and the Blind River Cross Country Ski Club. The trails are located southwest from Blind River. The follow loops are incorporated in the Boom Camp Trail Network:
    • Harbour Loop – The focus of the interpretation on this trail loop features the timbering heritage and history of the area. The trail is 3km, starting at the east pavilion and looping through forested areas extending all the way out to the shore of Lake Huron.
    • Woodland Loop – This trail is over 5km long and takes cyclists out from the east pavilion with two scenic lookouts overlooking wetland areas and Lake Huron.
    • Delta Loop – Approximately 4km, this loop takes cyclists to the western portion of trail network to a delta at the mouth of the Mississagi River.
  • Bellevue Valley Trail Network  – Roughly 20 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie there are approximately 5km of trails for experienced mountain bikers with several challenging features and 200m of elevation changes over those 5km.
  • Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area
    • Crystal Creek Mountain Bike Trail  – Approximately 9km of trails located in the 3,000 acre Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area and supported by the Sault Cycling Club. Winter fat biking through pilot project on select trails.
    • Red Pine Trail System  – Approximately 8km in length, this trail features long, quick down hills and is suitable for those with some mountain biking experience.
    • Pinder Trail System  – Approximately 4km in length primarily along double track that follows a gentle terrain and has no significant elevation changes and is an ideal beginner trail.
  • Crimson Ridge Fat Biking Trails – Open during winter months, with over 20km of thrilling, scenic and technical fat biking trails on golf course.
  • Pancake Bay Provincial Park  – Located approximately 1 hour north from Sault Ste. Marie, the park features the Pancake Bay Nature Trail, 14km trail most suitable for mountain bikes.
  • Algoma Highlands Mountain Bike Loop (King Mountain)  – Approximately 10km of singletrack and cross-country mountain bike trails with some significant climbs along single track loop. The double track offers a more leisurely bike ride. Park in the main lot at Stokely Creek Lodge.
  • Velorution Dirt Park  – Located at the Velorution Bike shop, this park includes a “Pump Track” and a “Jump Park” designed to help develop agility and off-road bike handling skills. Located at 162 Old Garden River Road, Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Elliot Lake Mountain Bike Trails – Elliot Lake is located at the centre of one of Ontario’s largest trail networks. Mountain bikers can find hundres of kilometres of trails on the rugged natural landscape close to the city centre.
  • Great lakes waterfront trailGreat Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3600km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting over 151 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. The fully signed Trail uses the safest infrastructure possible, a mix of both on-road and off-road facilities, and is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads. It can be enjoyed for as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long distance cycling adventure.
    • The Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route, recently opened and expanded, is a 450km northern addition to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Trans Canada Trail. This fully signed, epic touring route crosses over countless waterways and through quaint rural towns and First Nations communities in Northern Ontario between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. The route is mostly on-road, including roughly 49km of gravel roads and trails (longest continuous stretch is 15km). There is also approximately 50km along new and wide paved shoulders of Highway 17, (the longest stretch is 23km along the Mississagi River).
    • Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – 5 Drive & Ride ItinerariesWhile the full expansion of the cross-provincial cycling route the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail along Lake Superior is in progress, there are 5 Drive & Ride Cycling Itineraries to explore the beauty of cycling in the area. Explore 5 new Drive & Ride Cycling Itineraries along Lake Superior in North Central and Northwest Ontario.
      • Sault Ste Marie to Chippewa Falls – 67km (one-way) or 138 (out-and-back) – Celebrate the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail’s first foray along the shores of Lake Superior with a ride from the Sault Ste Marie Waterfront to stunning Chippewa Falls where you’ll see landscape that inspired the Group of Seven and can hike to the top of the falls.
      • Wawa Lake Lollipop – 3.4-7km – A breezy loop from the quiet shores of Lake Wawa to Lion’s Beach and the iconic Wawa Goose with its scenic lookout and back. You’ll start and end your ride at Dr. Rose’s Beach, where you can stretch your legs with a stroll down their waterfront boardwalk. For a shorter 3.4 km ride, cycle the loop section only.
      • Marathon – Pebble Beach to Penn Lake, Carden Cove, and Pukaskwa National Park – 7.1-20km. A loop within the hidden gem of Marathon from Pebble Beach to Penn Lake and around town, visiting two beautiful and distinct landscapes. Later, you’ll have the option to cycle an out-and-back trip to beautiful Carden Cove, choose any number of hiking options. Extend your visit with a (drive only) trip to Pukaskwa National Park.
      • Terrace Bay Beach to Lighthouse Lookout – 4.7km – Cycle from Terrace Bay Beach at the mouth of the Aguasabon River on Lake Superior to the Lighthouse Lookout and back. Short hikes near both the lookout and beach reveal exceptional views, and local craft brewery can be enjoyed either after your ascent or when you head back into Town post-ride. At the beach, reward yourself with a dip in Lake Superior, a hike to Aguasabon Falls or just lounge by the boardwalk.
      • Terrace Bay to Shreiber Beach – 38.7km – Cycle from Terrace Bay Beach at the mouth of the Aguasabon River on Lake Superior to enjoy the Terrace Bay Lighthouse lookout. Continue west from the lighthouse into Schreiber to experience the magic of Schreiber Beach, unlike any other on the North Shore. Head back on your route for a visit to stunning Aguasabon Falls and a local craft brewery back in Terrace Bay. Then it’s back to the beach to relax by the boardwalk or continue your journey with a short hike to the red chair lookout.
  • Voyageur Cycling Route – Sections of this route that when complete will connect Sudbury to Ottawa are now open and have directional signage installed. Ride between Hagar and Sturgeon Falls, or North Bay and Mattawa, along quiet and scenic northern country back roads.
  • Trans Canada Trail – A portion of this cross-Canada trail runs through North Central Ontario, including incorporating the new Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. Visit Trans Canada Trail “Explore The Trail” for information – www.tctrail.ca

For more information on accommodation, attractions and activities within the greater region visit Sault Tourism or Algoma Country websites.

* Please note there are may be additional trails, routes, events and information resources for the region that may be of interest and useful to cyclists. Changes to the above links, listings and cycling routes may occur.

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