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A Rider's Guide to the Heart of Ontario

Down the Escarpment
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A Rider's Guide to the Heart of Ontario

The Hamilton, Halton, and Brant Region

From the Grand River to Lake Ontario and back up north to escarpment country, in The Heart of Ontario the roads of Hamilton, Halton and Brant Region lead to diverse scenery and exciting things to do.  

A Grand Ol' Time

picture of the grand river
The Grand River

Grand River country is a rider’s dream. In Brant County, lazy roads wind around the majestic Grand River's shady curves and through farmlands to the old cobblestone buildings of Paris and Mt. Pleasant. For lunch, stop of at Camp 31 in Paris and try their award winning real southern bar-b-que! When lunch has digested and you've had enough wind on your face for the afternoon, head to Caledonia for dinner and a river tour on an old-timey river boat with Grand River Dinner Cruises. If you're around on the last weekend of July ride out to the nearby Six Nations of the Grand River to witness thousands of aboriginal dancers from all over North America competing in the annual Grand River "Champion of Champions" Pow Wow.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Picture of motorcycle reflections

Hamilton’s juxtaposition of stunning natural beauty, a metropolitan downtown, and an awe-inspiring industrial sector makes it one of the most intriguing places in the province. Cruise along its limestone cliffs to take in incredible vistas of the city, and explore over 120 of its breathtaking waterfalls. Below the escarpment, the downtown offers plenty in the way of food, drink, and entertainment. In the afternoon Hess Village may look like any other residential street with Victorian-style homes. But when the sun goes down, these houses transform into some of the city’s most happening bars and restaurants, which overflow into a massive street party on warm nights. Fortunately, The Rutherford House Bed and Breakfast is not far away. Northeast of downtown lies Hamilton’s sprawling industrial sector, a landscape of gargantuan steel mills, shipping ports, and towers of fire. Perhaps the steel you ride upon was refined right here. Don’t miss an opportunity to cruise between the massive steel monoliths, or take in the impressive bird’s-eye view from high atop the Skyway Bridge.   

The Lakefront

Ride northwest over the Skyway Bridge to Burlington's breezy lakefront. The Sound of Music Festival at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington takes place Every Father's Day Weekend. It's a great opportunity to park your bike, pull out a blanket and enjoy fireworks, a midway, and some of Canada's top musical acts, all as Lake Ontario laps gently against the shore. But before you settle in for the night, Burlington's downtown has some of the area's finest restaurants. Taste of Burlington is a bi-annual prix-fixe dining programme that offers a chance to experience the ecclectic styles and flavours of the area. Cruising along Hamilton's beaches you'll find Hutch's Restaurant. Serving up classic diner fare since 1946, it has become a bit of a local institution with a long-running Cruise Night every monday from June 4th through to mid September. Sunday afternoon fish and chips on the waterfront is a pleasure unique to this place. 

Escarpment Country

Motorcycle Road near LowvilleNear Lowville

Conservation Halton manages over 6 conservation areas in this meeting place of escarpment cliff faces. And where you find trees, rock, and prehistoric river valleys, chances are you will find that perfect back road that riders live for.  The dizzying heights of Rattlesnake Point offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario and surrounding area, while Crawford Lake Conservation Area takes you back over a thousand years to a brilliantly reconstructed Iroquois village. No matter what you do, be sure to head to the Lowville Bistro for a drink and or amazing food. Their breezy patio affords views of the deep green foliage along Bronte creek and the hills beyond. Book a room at the Mohawk Inn in Campbelleville and feast at their recently opened Mohawk Chophouse & Horsemen's Lounge featuring made-from-scratch recipes using local farm-to-table ingedients. You will wake up minutes from Kelso Lake and Hilton Falls, right in the heart of primo riding country. And for the evening, the OLG Slots at the Mohawk Racetrack is just next door.
For more information on this exciting region, visit www.theheartofontario.com or see OntarioTravel.net's Hamilton, Halton and Brant section.

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