It couldn't be more straightforward when planning an Algoma motorcycle tour. With five pre-planned tours to choose from, a simple visit to the Algoma Country website lets you choose one and just go! At 120 kilometres, the Deer Trail Tour is the most popular out of the five. Not surprising, as it offers a pleasant day ride for those in the area. But if you are coming from further afield, you should definitely make the Deer Trail is part of a grander plan, like perhaps riding all that Algoma has to offer in a week. In that case, here are our favourite parts to help put the Deer Trail on your moto to-do list!
Start at the Red Top Motor Inn
Every motorcycle tour has to start somewhere, and for us, it's 570 kilometres south of today's destination. Not a problem; today is all about getting there. We begin with big roads and big traffic associated with big cities. The inconvenience is expected and temporary as the roads shrink, traffic thins, and the landscape expands. We drop our bags at the Red Top Motor Inn in Iron Bridge, Algoma, seven hours from the start. The unique Festival Style design of the inn's main building has turned my head every time I travel along Highway 17. Located along the Deer Trail and with a reputation for comfort, hospitality and good food at the on-site restaurant, I'd say it's a perfect place for a home base for a couple of nights.
Dean Lake Bridge, Kennebec Falls and the Elliot Lake Fire Tower
Day two, let's ride. We opt to ride the trail counterclockwise, front-loading the day with several touristy activities. The first stop is just a few minutes into our ride at the Dean Lake Bridge; photo op, anyone? Spaning 300 feet across the Mississagi River, the impressive steel bridge has been around for over a hundred years. We grab a coffee in Blind River and stroll the shops along the main street. At the east end of Lake Lauzon, we follow the signs to the nearby lookout for a grand view of the North Channel.
The rest stop at Serpent River Park and Kennebec Falls, nestled among tall white pines, is always a favourite. Follow the walking trail to the Kennebec Falls rapids under the highway.
Turning north for Elliot Lake, we grab a quick photo with the Deer Trail sign, then enjoy the perfect pavement and big sweeping curves of Highway 108. In Elliot Lake, the Miner's Memorial Park offers a glimpse into the area's uranium mining history plus a spectacular view of Horne Lake. Next, we head over to Spruce Beach for some mid-ride R&R.
Ready to ride again, we climb uphill to the Elliot Lake Fire Tower. The road is a bit of a bumpy experience, but the view of the surrounding area is well worth it.
Burgers and a view
All that exploring makes for hungry explorers. With blue skies and sunshine, we pull up a chair on the deck at Dunlop Lake Lodge for a delicious burger and a view to match.
Let's roll; the road narrows, the surface turns to Tar-and-chip and signs of civilization vanish as we make our way west onto Highway 639 and then 546. Trees and rock faces line the road as it dips and climbs over the hilly landscape. Turning south onto the home stretch along Hwy 546, the sign informs us of the 53 kilometres of the winding road ahead as we follow the Little White River down to Iron Bridge.
Our Bike Friendly Motel
Back at the Red Top Motor Inn, we partake in our favourite motel stay routine. With the bikes parked outside the door, we pull some chairs, order food from the restaurant, crack open a cold beer and spend the evening chatting to our temporary neighbours, comparing notes on our adventures big and small.
The Deer Trail Tour is a definite Algoma motorcycling highlight with its flowy curves and many reasons to stop. Be it a day ride or part of a grander plan-like riding everything that Algoma offers in a week.