This is the third installment of Ryan Hawkins' series on motorcycle camping in Northern Ontario. Check out Part 1, on Grundy Lake and Restoule Provincial Parks, and Part 2, on Temagami.
Midsummer is upon us, so no better time to get up to Algoma Country for another motorcycle camping adventure. Suzuki Canada was generous enough to lend me one of their fleet bikes for this ride, which worked out perfectly with the amount of gear that I needed to pack. Picking up some last-minute supplies at Royal Distributing such as bungee cords and chain lube, it was time to get moving.
With the V-Strom 1000 loaded up, I was rolling north towards Elliott Lake, which would be my destination for the evening. Arriving at Dunlop Lake Lodge, it was time to unload the saddlebags, get checked in, and head down to their restaurant for some dinner. Dunlop Lake Lodge was not only the perfect halfway point along my journey, but also a great place to stay if you’re looking for quality fishing, guided ATV adventures, or snowmobile trails during the winter months.
Morning came, and it was time to find a few twisty roads that would eventually take me to two great Ontario Parks. Jumping onto the 639 north was a good little warmup before hanging a left onto 546 which would then take me south into the town of Iron Bridge. All in all, 53 km of twisty roads running along a beautiful section of river was a great way to start the day. There were some sandy areas, but the Suzuki Adventure bike held its line throughout the turns.
Trekking north from Sault Ste. Marie on Highway 17 was a beautiful ride into Pancake Bay Provincial Park. The park has more than 3 km of shoreline, which is great for swimming, and panoramic views of Lake Superior. Amenities include hiking trails that range from the 3.5-km Nature trail to a full-day hike on the 14-km Lookout trail.
As late afternoon approached, it was time to get camp prepped. Stringing up my Hennessy Hammock took no time at all, and the fire wasn’t far behind on the to-do list. It’s amazing the people that you meet while motorcycle camping. Other motorcyclists with like-minded adventures can be found throughout Ontario Parks. I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow avid motorcyclist, Rob, who was familiar with moto-camping and the roads in Algoma Country. We shared stories about biking and discussed some of the epic roads in the area over a few drinks by the fire. The great thing about the motorcycle community is that you meet friends along your travels and immediately have things in common to talk about for hours.
The next morning, it was time to pack up the hammock and Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag, and get the Suzuki loaded up to continue north on Highway 17. There was a bit of construction just north of Pancake Bay, but a beautiful morning ride up to Wawa was well worth the minor delay. Topping up the V-Strom with fuel, finding a quick bite to eat, and picking up some groceries for dinner had me back on the road heading south to Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Check-in was a breeze, and I was fortunate enough to have reserved a waterfront site for the night. The park staff (Titus and Jacob) were very helpful who dropped off my firewood before checking out the bike. Lake Superior Provincial Park is known for its sunsets and amenities. Whether it’s checking out the pictographs, fishing, canoeing on many lakes in the area, birdwatching, or spending multiple days hiking the Coastal trail, this park has it all. Be sure to check out the Visitor Centre, which will have all the info that you’d need to explore the area.
A stroll around the park and along the beach allows you to take in the beautiful setting of this park. Private sites, amazing views, and a great location on Highway 17 should put a trip to Lake Superior on the top on everyone’s list. The sun was starting to set with the sound of the crackling fire beside me—what more could you ask for? This was the perfect way to end the day. It was early to bed to get some rest before my 1,000-km ride home come morning.
Dawn broke and it was time to break down camp, despite a light drizzle of rain in the air. A quick visit to the comfort station for a shower and then I was on the road.
If you are new to moto-camping or looking to give it a try, Algoma Country has everything that an avid motorcyclist is looking for. I could have easily spent multiple days exploring twisty back roads on two wheels in this area. Thank you to Suzuki Canada for the use of the V-Strom 1000 for this trip. The bike ran flawlessly, had plenty of storage for all my camping gear, and enough power to keep a smile on my face while riding.
Ontario Parks are perfect for motorcycle camping as well as being a cost-effective way to travel. If enjoying the outdoors and finding adventure from the seat of a motorcycle is something that you’d be interested in, then be sure to include moto-camping on the bucket list. Plan your route, book your sites, and enjoy all that Northern Ontario has to offer!
Follow Ryan Hawkins from Canuck Powersports on social media as he travels to multiple Ontario Parks throughout the season.