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Ride the North


Bruce Mines/Great Lakes Waterfront Trail-Credit Martin Lortz

If you have spent anytime cycling in Ontario, chances are you have already experienced some of the top trails and rides in southern Ontario and are looking to set your sights and spin your wheels on new routes. Why not make 2019 the year to ride the north, exploring more of northern Ontario by bike?

Officially launching this year, the Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route is the newest addition and a 380km expansion to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. World famous for boating, landlubbers can now experience the pristine beauty, Canadian Shield and stunning crystal blue waters of north Georgian Bay from the shore. Touring the new route from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury is made all the more easy with newly paved shoulders on sections of Hwy 17 (see image below), directional signage and detailed maps. If shorter loops are more appealing, there are several options, on St. Joseph Island, in Blind River and in Sudbury.


Credit: Great Lakes Waterfront Trail / Martin Lortz

Set your sights and wheels on Manitoulin Island, to tour the largest freshwater island in the world, by bike. The eight newly installed trailhead signs make selecting from 14 scenic road routes easy for visitors. The new paved shoulders on Hwy 6 connect to quiet roadways further inland that guide you between the small villages, First Nation lands and many unique places to stop along the way. Getting there is a highlight of any visit with a two hour journey on the famed Chi-Cheemaun Ferry.

Manitoulin Island

Credit: Manitoulin Island – Destination Ontario

Lake Nipissing is one of Ontario’s largest lakes, quite an achievement for a province with 250,000 lakes. Explore the shores both east and west, on routes that will quickly familiarize you with this legendary lake, a part of the early voyageurs’ journey connecting the Ottawa River to Georgian Bay. Ride between Hagar and Sturgeon Falls, part of the aptly named Voyageur Cycling Route and experience some of our francophone culture in the north. North Bay has the urban amenities, accommodations and growing culinary scene enough to satisfy all tastes, making for a perfect hub to ride from. Explore city trails and ride south to Callander, an 18km one-way trip, with plenty of way points and worthy side trips.

Further east the Voyageur Cycling Route continues for those looking for extra kilometres on quiet rural roads towards Bonfield and Mattawa on the Ottawa River. Downloadable pdf maps are available for those interested in riding the sections of this route now signed, mapped and open the public. The eastern section of this route is still under development.

To plan your ride in the north, and for more information on bike routes, maps and bicycle friendly places to eat, visit and sleep visit:


Events are a fantastic way to discover new destinations and northern Ontario has some exciting experiences lined up once again for 2019.

Manitoulin Passage Ride
Spend two days exploring the best cycling the Island has to offer in June.

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure
From Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury, experience the scenery that inspired the Group of Seven from the seat of your bike on this six-day trip in July. (limited space available)

Crank the Shield
In August, take the famous Agawa Canyon Train north from Sault Ste. Marie and ride back over 3 days on backcountry single track.

Published On: March 6, 2019Categories: Destinations, News, Northern Ontario

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