Ontario By Bike – Gravel Cycling & Bikepacking Blogs

The following blogs and cycling stories include Ontario itineraries, bike rides and routes related to gravel road cycling and overnight and multi-day bikepacking trips. If you’re looking for unpaved roads off the beaten path, exploring Ontario’s bucolic countryside and beautiful natural areas, read on to find a blog that inspires your next great gravel ride or bikepacking adventure. We’ve also included other stories about multi-day bike tours and bikepacking itineraries on mixed surfaces. If you’re looking more for rail trail rides, check out the blogs in that category.

The blogs are sorted by ride type and publish date. If you’re looking for more ride styles, you can browse by the following ride categories.

Ontario By Bike Blogs – Gravel Cycling & Bikepacking

Bike Assist to the Rescue

April 30, 2024|

It can happen – getting caught out on a ride without the right gear to fix a flat or a more challenging mechanical issue that is beyond a trail or curbside repair. Whether you are an avid cyclist or just starting out, there are times when there is no way around it – help is needed. Just a call away, and available to CAA members, CAA Bike Assist® is just that.

Beyond the Bike: 5 Great Reasons to Ride Oxford

February 29, 2024|

Looking for ready-to-go cycling routes on winding roads where crickets outnumber cars with forests and farmland as backdrop for your journey? Oxford County knows the journey continues when you park your ride. Here are 5 post-ride activities that put Oxford in another class for an ultimate cycling getaway.

Exploring the Beauty of Cycling in the Ottawa Valley

February 28, 2024|

Nestled amidst the scenic landscapes of eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Valley offers cyclists a haven of breathtaking views, winding trails, and vibrant communities waiting to be explored.

Top Ontario Trail Rides & E-Bike Rental Locations

January 29, 2024|

Have an e-bike and willing to travel? Eager to try out an e-bike in a safe off-road environment? With a growing number of e-bike rental companies close to Ontario’s signature trails, it’s easier than ever to plan a day trip exploring our beautiful province on two wheels. An shorter version of the article was published in the 2024 Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide

Explore Seven New Rides in Waterloo Region

October 12, 2023|

Waterloo Region is emerging as a really interesting ride destination and cyclists around the province are taking note. The Region has put a lot of work and resources into developing trails and cycling infrastructure and more recently has developed a collection of signature rides to explore for everyone from locals to day trippers, to overnight bikepackers.

Rise & Grind: Three Hastings County Getaway Routes

September 29, 2023|

Get cozy at a country B&B after a day in the saddle. Hastings County specializes in comforting B&B style lodging with convenient access to some of the best Ontario gravel bike routes for fall colour peeping trips.

Hidden Gems of Kawarthas Northumberland

August 1, 2023|

Most regions have their marquee trails—the ones you see on every tourism site, every biking pamphlet you pick up. Quite often they’re popular for a reason, but what’s a cyclist to do once you’ve ridden those routes, or when you’re looking to get off the beaten track? Having featured some of Kawarthas Northumberland’s best-known routes in previous posts, we thought we’d take a moment to reveal some of the area’s hidden gems.

Escape the Usual in Ontario’s Near North

April 28, 2023|

You’ve toured Ontario’s ‘wine country’ and ‘cottage country’ by bike, but now you’re in the mood for something different – the Near North. Discovery Routes, a local trail and cycling advocacy organization has developed a series of rides with just the right amount of rustic and urban for cyclists of all abilities, from roadie day-trippers to bikepackers to gravel grinders.

Spend Your Weekend in the Hills of Caledon

April 5, 2023|

Whether you have a penchant for hills, undiscovered gravel backroads, a smooth rail trail or thrilling MTB trails, Caledon has it all – and it's just minutes from Toronto. Take a day or a weekend to unplug and get immersed in scenic Escarpment country – visit Caledon’s historic hamlets and villages, fuel up on local coffees, beer, baked treats and more as you explore their cycling loops designed for every type of rider.

Discover Five New Gravel Routes in Oxford County This Season

March 9, 2023|

Oxford County continues to develop more enticing gravel cycling routes, including the launch of five new gravel routes this year. They range in experience level from intermediate to advanced and cover diverse terrain and unique stops around the county. Oxford’s unpaved gravel roads also hold some of the county’s most beautiful scenery: rolling hills, bucolic countryside, and unique stops that showcase the bounty of the area.

One Bike, All Rides – Ontario Gravel Cycling Routes

February 15, 2023|

Ontario has more than 130,000km of unpaved and gravel roads, perfect for cycling – so where do you want to groad? Yes, groadies. Groadies are roadies who love dirt. And mountain bikers who love gravel too. However you define your ride, cyclists have pedalled over every surface imaginable for years. So make some plans to hit the groad! Check out this mix of terrain and routes that will give you a taste of Ontario's unpaved fun and best gravel cycling routes. It's just the tip of the gravel iceberg!

  • Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve - photo by Thom Lambert

Gravel Riding in the Haliburton Highlands

August 1, 2022|

If you, like thousands of cyclists all over the world, have discovered the joys of gravel riding, you owe it to yourself to consider a trip to the Haliburton Highlands. From smooth, rolling gravel roads to full-on adventure riding in iconic Algonquin Park, you can find a gravel route here to challenge you and re-ignite your love of cycling.

Bikepacking in Ontario? Get Started Here

June 1, 2022|

Bikepacking is a natural next step for those who love both cycling and camping, it truly is human power for the win. Over the past few years, Ontario’s Highlands has emerged as a bikepacker’s paradise. Before you head out, here are some tips for planning your first trip.

  • Photo credit: Dudek Photography, Oxford County gravel cycling

Make Plans for a Gravel Grazing Adventure in Oxford County

March 1, 2022|

With a large number of gravel roads that bisect the county’s endless farms and agricultural greenspace, an easy to navigate grid system of roadways, well situated sizeable towns north, south, east and west, plus a smattering of small hamlets and unique destinations scattered about – Oxford County earns the bragging rights as a top gravel riding destination in Ontario.

  • Mountain bike on a trail

Happy Stragglers: Gravel Ride Experience

October 13, 2021|

When my partner Natalie and I decided to sign up for the Reggie Ramble, a self-described “gravel grinder” event, we were admittedly both a little nervous. While we are pretty experienced cyclists (both having done overnight tours and long day rides over the years), the sustained output required to participate in a bike “race”, especially on gravel, combined with the amount of climbing required (1000m) had us questioning our decision.

  • Cycling group

Locals Share Top Rides in Waterloo Region

September 14, 2021|

If you are a keen cyclist chances are you know the best routes in your neighbourhood, city and surrounding area. Hence who better to ask for ride suggestions than a local. We reached out to a few connected friends to ask them to share some insider tips, their favourite rides and destinations in and around Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge areas.

  • Ride to Blue Mountain

Bikepacking Ontario Style

February 16, 2021|

Over the last few years, bikepacking has become increasingly popular. It allows for some epic cycle touring and while it can take many forms, it often gets riders out on a more challenging experience exploring exciting areas off the beaten track. With its diverse landscapes and large network of old railway lines, trails and gravel roads, Ontario is an ideal location for a bikepacking adventure.

  • A Perfect Mix: Waterloo Guelph Explorer

A Perfect Mix: Waterloo Guelph Explorer

September 30, 2020|

There is always a thrill in travelling to somewhere new, something we were keen to experience this summer with travel keeping us all closer to home. Having long heard about the excellent bike trails, quiet country roads, small town charm and modern city amenities we enthusiastically began research mid winter on the ultimate looped two day ride itinerary to explore the Waterloo Guelph area.

  • Take the Backroad: Exploring Gravel Routes in Kawarthas Northumberland

Take the Backroad: Exploring Gravel Routes in Kawarthas Northumberland

September 1, 2020|

Gravel roads have a beauty all their own. Choosing a less-trafficked route lets cyclists enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside with little or no intrusion from cars, making for a more contemplative ride. Perhaps the only downside is the difficulty of finding routes close to town, but fortunately that’s an area where the Kawarthas Northumberland region excels.

  • Cycling Rice Lake

Pack Your Bags & Go

June 14, 2019|

In our excitement to ride and discover Ontario by bike, we sometimes forget the right gear can make our trips much more enjoyable. Whether you prefer day or multi-day trips on road, trails, gravel or mountain bike track, consider these tips as you equip yourself and your bike.

  • Bikepacking

Intro To Bikepacking – Guest Blog By Miles Arbour

July 10, 2017|

Bikepacking has seen huge growth within the cycling industry in the past few years. This rise in popularity means more and more people are getting out and giving this new style of cycling a try. So what is bikepacking? Simply put, it’s a blend of backpacking and mountain biking. Packing lighter and more strategically than traditional cycle touring allows us to ride off-road routes like snowmobile trails, service roads, and even technical singletrack. For me, I was drawn to the opportunity to travel further than I could walk or hike, but still benefit from great adventures found off of paved roads.