Five Ontario Motorcycle Routes Perfect for a Weekend


Welcome to the weekend, that magical collection of time where so much is possible, particularly if your favorite time indulging activity is exploring Ontario from your motorcycle seat. That said, Ontario is a big place and narrowing down all the weekend-worthy moto adventures is easier said than done. Well, you’re in luck; here are five routes worthy of your weekend, and all you have to do is get on your bike and ride.

The Lake Temiskaming Tour

Lake Temiskaming Tour

Northeastern Ontario’s Lake Temiskaming Circle Tour is a two-for-one tour as it splits its length almost equally between Ontario and Quebec. Two provinces, languages, and cultures offer an abundance of natural, historical and cultural treasures to uncover along its length.

At 450 km, this is an easy two-day ride starting from North Bay. Coming from further afield, it is still possible to squeeze it into two longer days in the saddle or a more relaxing 3-day weekend.

Heading north, Highway 11 being one of the main passages through Ontario’s north, you will be sharing the road with other users, but the ride is no less enjoyable as it twists and turns between lakes, rocks and forest. Be sure to stop at Gramp’s Place General Store for some ice cream, take in the grand view from the Fire Tower in Temagami, learn about Cobalt’s mining history and grab a selfie with Ms. Clay Belt the Giant Cow in New Liskeard.

New Liskeard is an ideal location to spend the night, and the lakeside Waterfront Inn offers a chance for some beach R&R. For your dining enjoyment, 28 on the Lake is located in the same building.

Day two, head south through Quebec. Highway 101, what a gem of a road, from charming villages, grand lake and river views and its remote vibe as you make your way south to Temiscaming. Back into Ontario, follow the sweepers along the Ottawa River; then it’s back into the forest and the tight twisties of highway 533 bound for Mattawa before turning west and the home stretch to North Bay.

The BIG LOOP – in The Great Canadian Wilderness

The Big Loop

Within easy reach of most of southern Ontario, the Muskoka region needs no introduction as a weekend favorite for all things good time, including adventures by motorcycle. With a collection of roads from tight and twisty to big, open and remote; from the shores of the Georgian Bay to the lakes and forest of Algonquin Park and the Almaguin Highlands, there are moto touring opportunities aplenty.

There are a couple of ways to approach a motorcycle weekend in the Great Canadian Wilderness. With a list of the area’s top ten motorcycling roads in hand, the assignment is simple: check off as many roads as time allows. Option number two follows the preplanned 1000km Big Loop. No matter the approach, the roads will be the highlight of the weekend, but of course, there is more to a good ride than just the ride, and luckily in Muskoka, there is no shortage of bike attractions. Stop by the falls at Bracebridge or the Visitor Center at Algonquin Park. Stroll amongst the sculptures at Screaming Heads near Burk’s Falls or along the harbor in Parry Sound. Enjoy lunch at the Crossroads restaurant in the village of Rosseau or a coffee in Bala. Tour one or all of the half-dozen breweries along the way.

Ride the Highlands – Riding and Relaxation Route

Ride the Highlands

With six weekend-worthy routes to choose from in Ride the Highlands, making a choice is not easy, but whatever the option, a good time is a sure thing. Located at the doorsteps for those lucky enough to reside in the Kingston or Ottawa area and with a bit of extra saddle time, still weekend worthy from the GTA and Montreal, the 703km Riding and Relaxation route sounds like weekend perfection. Ride through rolling hills and twisty roads from the forest, rock and lakes of Haliburton Highlands to the farmlands of Ottawa Valley. Along the way, pamper yourself at Sir Sam’s Inn or hit the town in Perth. Walk underground at the Bonnechere Caves. In Barry’s Bay, grab a coffee and pastry at the Madawaska Coffee Co, enjoy lunch at the Redneck Bistro in Calabogie. Stop by one of the many breweries along the way (at the end of the day’s ride, of course) or at Scheuermann Winery, one of Ontario’s most northern vineyards.

Algoma Country – The Grand Algoma

Grand Algoma

Containing perhaps the most spectacular stretch of road in Ontario along the north shore of Lake Superior, The Grand Algoma is a memorable ride.

Unfortunately, to us in southern Ontario, just getting there puts it out of weekend ride contentions. This one is for northern Ontario locals and our friends in Michigan’s northern reaches, accessible via Sault Saint Marie and the International Bridge. The visual delights are aplenty as the route splits its distance between the shores of the Great Lakes and the rugged landscape of Algoma’s core. What’s not in abundance is traffic; once away from the busier Trans Canada Highway, the traffic count often matches the fingers on one hand.

Enjoy the twists and turns along Highway 129 as it snakes its way between river and rock through the Mississagi Valley. Take in the remote vistas along Highway 101 and, of course, the visual spectacle along the shore of Lake Superior.

The Wawa Goose provides the selfie fodder, and a stop at the Voyageurs’ Lodge & Cookhouse to sample their famous apple fritters is pretty well mandatory. Wawa and Chapleau offer many accommodation options, as does Sault Saint Marie.

Bruce Peninsula – The Lion’s Tail

Bruce Peninsula

The Bruce Peninsula has always been a popular weekend destination for southern Ontario riders. A quick look at a map might suggest that a straight shot up Highway 6 to Tobermory is the only option. Not so fast; thanks to the newly developed The Lion’s Tail route, a Bruce Peninsula weekend ride plan just got a lot more interesting.

Touching the coastlines of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, from sandy beaches to ancient rock cliffs and an abundance of roadside attractions, a two-day weekend will do, but three days might be better.

Park your bike by your beach towel in Sauble Beach, catch the sunset in Tobermory or hit the town in Owen Sound. There are many accommodation options, be it camping, cottage or hotel, but the Bruce Peninsula is popular with more than just us riders and reservations are strongly recommended.

Get that engine running; weekends are for motorcycle adventures. Luckily for us, Ontario has plenty of opportunities. The riding season is short, and planning takes valuable time. Hopefully, the above five weekend-worthy routes will save you time and get you out there exploring.

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