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10 Best Bikepacking Trips in Ontario

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10 Best Bikepacking Trips in Ontario

Bikepacking is the best way to explore your own backyard. • Credit: Mathew Kadey

Where to roll out on an exhilarating multi-day adventure

Off-road Biking + Camping = Awesome



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Get off the congested urban paved roads and hop onto rural Ontario backroads for a truly exhilarating and secluded ride. Connect them together and you’ve got a multi-day excursion that reveals a whole new perspective from the saddle. Whether bikepacking from Toronto or venturing onto a northern bikepacking loop, Ontario is full of gravel trails, former rail lines and quiet country roads to explore on two wheels.

Bikepacking is essentially riding gravel trails with your gear on your bike and setting up camp along the way, or staying hotels, if you prefer. New to bikepacking? Discover everything you need to know to get started in our Beginner’s Guide To Bikepacking. Ready to roll out? See below for our 10 favorite bikepacking trails in Ontario.

Best Bikepacking Routes and Trails in Ontario 

Best Bikepacking in Algonquin 

Bikepacking around Algonquin Park is the second-best way to see the park (canoeing being the first). Stopping on serene lakeshores for lunch, taking pictures of wildlife and tackling the climbs are new ways of seeing beloved Algonquin Park. There are limited bike trails within the park boundaries—discover them here—but many quiet country roads surround the park and are ripe for exploration.

Bikepacking Stores And Rentals Near Algonquin 

Algonquin Outfitters tunes, repairs, custom builds and offers weekly rides. In Huntsville, Fred and Caroline can tune up or repair your bike at Muskoka Bicycle Pro Shop and offer advice on local trails. Stock up on local farm fresh goods at Farmer’s Daughter. Need a place to stay pre or post trip? Try one of these: Blue Spruce Resort, The Pines Cottage Resort, and Lakewoods Resort.

Bikepacking Hastings to Haliburton 

Stationary bicycle on gravel road beside a lake.
There’s no shortage of scenic gravel roads just south of famed Algonquin Park. Enjoy the same gorgeous views, without the crowd. Photo: Pamela Masales

Just south of Algonquin Park, this Ontario gravel route follows some varied terrain including sandy stretches, lots of loose stones and temporary construction gravel. Starting in Bancroft, expect steep climbs to ramp up at the end. Fuel up at Bancroft Brew Pub.

The scenery is gorgeous: bogs, wooden trestle bridges and lakes makes it truly one of the best bikepacking trails in Ontario. A few highlights include going into Glebe Park in Haliburton to see outdoor sculptures in the park. Tons of bakeries and quaint general stores, including Agnews in Wilberforce, sell everything from candy to sewing needles. See the route.

Bikepacking near Sault Ste Marie 

Cyclist riding a rocky path in fall on high hill
Find the best trails and views with a guided bikepacking tour in the Algoma Highlands. Photo: Red Pine Tours

With a bounty of local gravel and trail options around town, Sault Ste Marie is a prime location for launching for your bikepacking adventure. Ride a stunning, multi-day odyssey and get local insight when you join a guided ride with Red Pine Tours—they’ll tailor the ride to the skills and interests of your group.

In one offering, Red Pine has teamed up with Blaq Bear Adventures and the Algoma Highlands Conservancy. Riders’ gear is brought in by the staff of Blaq Bear, while the Red Pine Tour guides take guests through the rugged landscape of the Algoma Highlands to overnight at a cabin known to all as "Norm’s." Red Pine also offers self-supported bikepacking excursions—one or two night trips with various types of terrain. Based on riders abilities, the route distances can total 60 km up to 300 km. If you want to ride all day and sleep out under the stars, Red Pine can help make that happen.

Sault Ste. Marie Bike Outfitters 

Other Sault Ste. Marie bike rental locations include: Vélorution (mountain, electric assist and fatbikes—year-round); Algoma Bicycle Company (urban hybrid—summer only) and Parks Canada-Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site (fatbikes—summer only).

Central Ontario Loop Trail (COLT) Bikepacking 

Bicycle parked on wooden bridge on a rail trail
Find some of Ontario’s most scenic trails on the popular COLT trail in central Ontario. Photo: Julie Rossall

The COLT bike packing loop is a 450 km mix of rail trails, ATV and snowmobile trails with some good climbing on loose gravel roads. Historical signage on route explains how the railroad was established to support the logging and mining industries. Campbellford has the spectacular Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge and Doube’s Trestle Bridge is near Omemee. 

The route is also home to some of the province’s best camping including Presqu'ile Provincial Park, and a craft brewery in Brighton. There are two route options: the original 450 km route and a revised 445 km route.

Central Ontario Loop Trail Bikepacking Outfitters 

Tri & Run Sports has a part time mechanic. Frog Cycles in Lindsay doubles as coffee and pastry shop; Eric can repair, restore or modify your bike. Cycle Transitions in Cobourg recommends calling ahead for an appointment.

Bikepacking The Burks Falls Loop 

Large concrete sculptures of screaming heads
Enjoy a stop at the Screaming Heads Midlothian art near Burk's Falls.  Photo: Robert Edmonstone

An avid cyclist created this 115 km loop which makes for a good two-day trip. It passes through Sundridge and the northern edge of Algonquin on ATV tracks, with a great stop at the Screaming Heads Midlothian art before heading towards Kearney. Stock up on butter tarts and sandwiches at The Cornball General Store at the intersection of Nipissing Road and Midlothian. Download the Strava route here.

Burks Falls Bikepacking Outfitters 

The Missing Link is a one-stop-shop in Burks Falls offering pre-packaged and custom cycling tour itineraries in the Almaguin Highlands, Parry Sound and Muskoka regions. There’s also a bike mechanic on premises. The Lake Bernard Bicycle Repair Shop also offers servicing.

Bikepacking Timmins to Matachewan 

Bicycle leaning against a sign post.
Timmins offers adventure seekers remote roads and wildlife spotting opportunities. Photo: Reilly Hefferman

On this remote bikepacking route in northern Ontario wildlife outnumbers people. Stock up on food, water and supplies in TimminsPick of the Crop is a delicious gourmet grocer—for this epic 125 km bikepacking route on gravel logging roads. Forty percent is hard packed, 40 percent is loose over hard; and 20 percent is loose gravel—which may have to be walked depending on your set-up. Cell service is spotty so share your itinerary and when to expect you back before leaving. Siva’s serves amazing steaks and veggie options. Once alongside the Montreal River, take in the plethora of historical homes, and stay at the Pioneer Park campground for the night then return to Timmins the next day.

Timmins Bike Outfitters 

O’Reilly Sports has servicing, gravel bikes and parts.

Park to Park Bikepacking Trail 

Woman riding a bicycle on a gravel road beside a pond
The Park to Park Trail takes you through Parry Sound, Muskoka, Almaguin Highlands and Algonquin regions. Photo: Aleesha Clark

This 230 km multi-use trail connects Killbear to Algonquin Park. Two of the most popular sections are the Seguin Trail, which runs from Hwy 69 through to Hwy 11 largely along the bed of an old railway with iconic views of central Ontario, and the Rose Point Trail is an extension of the Seguin Trail and is primarily a non-motorized section used by hikers and cyclists. Buy a pass online to support local volunteer trail building. The trail passes through Parry Sound, Muskoka, Almaguin Highlands and Algonquin regions along old rail beds and interior roads that take you back to fur trading days. Stay in provincial parks, or, about half-way, hunker down at Bear Lake.

Parry Sound Bike Outfitters 

Parry Sound Bikes offers tune up and repairs.

Griffith Highland Overnighter 

A cyclist riding on a gravel road in forest in autumn.
The Griffith Highland Overnighter is a great introduction to bikepacking in Ontario. Photo: RideGravel.ca

It’s hard to choose just one bikepacking loop in eastern Ontario as gravel roads are everywhere! Only 90 minutes from Ottawa, the Griffith Highland Overnighter is a great introduction to bikepacking in Ontario. This 70 km route is ideal for two nights and ensures lots of climbing on hydro cut line roads, camping near streams, and views along the Madawaska River. There are a handful of campsites on route. Ensure you register with the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance before heading out. Starting in Griffith, Calvyns Pub N Eatery is a bikepacking Ontario favourite.

For the hardcore bikepacking enthusiast keen on a five- to seven-day ride, the Log Driver’s Waltz passes through Quebec and eastern Ontario. It was created by the same guys that brought us the BT700 and COLT and has 8,000 meters of elevation. Hold on!

Ottawa Area Bikepacking Outfitters 

Tall Tree Cycles in Ottawa has an extensive collection of bike packing bags and bikes.

Bikepacking The Great Trail 

Group of cyclists standing with bikes looking a beautiful harbour with sail boats
A great way to experience local communities. Photo: Great Lakes Waterfront Trail / Martin Lortz

For cyclists interested in going the distance, the The Great Trail offers a continent-crossing 24,134 km of adventure. One of the most scenic sections travels along the northern shore of Lake Huron, running through North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. And there’s no shortage of gravel for those who want to get off the signed paved route and explore quieter roads.

This 570km section can include side trips to St Joseph Island and Manitoulin Island. Pedallers will pass by picturesque Mennonite and Amish farms along northern Ontario roads on the Canadian Shield, as well as 12 heritage rivers and 16 beaches along the clear waters of Lake Huron. Explore the official route here, including recommendations for restaurants and accommodations.

Simcoe Lake Loop Bikepacking 

Group of cyclists riding on a road by water towards a large building.
Travel through nine municipalities and past three major bodies of water, including Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching. The Simcoe Loop Trail is primarily on off-road, multi-use rail-trails. Photo: Cyclesimcoe.ca

For a two-day introduction, this 160 km easy route is a good first taste of bikepacking in Ontario and only an hour’s drive from Toronto. Starting in Barrie (stock up on snacks at local favourite Goodness Me), ride counter-clockwise along Lake Simcoe past the Minesing Wetlands, one of Ontario's largest remaining wetlands, into Penetanguishene for a lunch at the World Famous Dock Lunch. Then, continue into Orillia for an apple fritter at Mariposa Bakery and a visit at the Leacock Museum National Historical Site. Midland is a good camping stop.

Simcoe Lake Loop Outfitters 

Barrie has no shortage of food stops. Giant Bikes offers repairs and bikepacking bikes and accessories—their LIV Devote model and H2PRO collection of panniers is made for Ontario bikepacking conditions. MEC in Barrie also has bikepacking gear as well as bikes.

Bikepacking the BT700 (Butter Tart 700) 

Cyclist riding on a gravel road, about to go down a big hill.
Fresh pastries and gorgeous views make the BT700 one of Ontario’s most popular bikepacking routes. Photo: Mathew Kadey

This is one of Ontario’s most popular bikepacking routes—maybe because it’s named after a butter tart. Starting and ending in St. Jacob’s near Guelph (enjoy a beer finish at Block Three Brewing), this 760 km route is an epic journey through Mennonite country, hilly Mono Cliffs, markets full of fresh pastries and the scenic shoreline along southern Georgian Bay.

Download the GPS map, along with the map of amenities, to ride the self-support route along rail trails, farm roads and some single bike paths at the official BT700 website. Cycle for just a few days or tackle the entire route over an epic week.

The wine and craft beer on-route are undoubtedly big reasons for bikepacking the BT700. Be sure to enjoy stops at Mudtown Station in Owen Sound, Collingwood Brewing, Coffin Ridge Vineyard and Winery in Annan, Northwinds Brewery in Collingwood and Hockley Beer in Orangeville.

BT700 Bikepacking Outfitters 

Martin’s in Southampton offers rentals and quick servicing. Smitty’s in Thornbury has weekend rentals, servicing and espresso. In Owen Sound, Forks Bike Shop can help get you serviced. Tunes up and servicing are also available in Caledon.

More Resources

Need more inspiration? Try these resources and start dreaming about your next adventure: www.bikepacking.com and www.ridegravel.ca.

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