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5 of the Best Cycling Routes in Northeastern Ontario

• Credit: Voyageur Cycling Route, Ronfield ON
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5 of the Best Cycling Routes in Northeastern Ontario

Explore Northeastern Ontario with these great cycling routes. From all inclusive riding packages to relaxed casual trails, our region has it all.

Northeastern Ontario has some really great options for cyclists, from casual to avid. If you haven’t ridden in Northeastern Ontario, this summer is the perfect time to make it happen. Here are five of the best cycling routes in our region.

1. manitoulin island

Chances are high that you’ve heard of the world’s largest freshwater island. Famed for its sandy beaches on the pristine shores of Georgian Bay, the Island (as locals affectionately refer to it) is also home to a developing cycling network.

It’s easy to get to—cyclists coming from the Greater Toronto Area have two options to choose from when travelling from Manitoulin Island. 

  1. Chi-Chimaun MS Ferry via Bruce Peninsula to South Baymouth
  2. Highway 400/69 via Sudbury to Little Current

If you’re thinking about planning a cycle excursion to Manitoulin, a stop over at the Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) website is a must! In addition to a ton of useful information for trip planners, MICA offers cycling packages around the island and is the organizer of the Manitoulin Passage Ride, an annually occurring organized ride that takes place every June.

Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates.

2. véloroute voyageur cycling route

Spanning over 630 km, this expansive and developing cycling network will connect Ottawa to Sudbury, following the well-worn routes that the Voyageurs travelled over 400 years ago while ferrying furs and other trade goods.

All sections of the Mattawa Voyageur Cycling Route offer a different cycling experience.

  • Through Mattawa Voyageur Country between Mattawa and Bonfield:
    • A gravel road rider's dream. Gravel road riding is a definitely a thing in this area
    • This section is rugged with some steep climbs, and exhilarating (or exhausting?) descents
    • Stock up in Mattawa or Bonfield because there are no amenities along the way
  • Between Bonfield and Callander:
    • Scenic rural roads following the north shore of Lake Nosbonsing to Lake Nipissing
    • Opportunities for looped itineraries or ride extensions through Corbeil and North Bay
  • The ride between Callander and North Bay:
    • Easy ride which is popular with cyclists of all ages and abilities
    • North Bay and Callander have all the amenities needed for a comfortable trip

Download the detailed route maps here.

Voyageur Cycling Route, Astorville ON

3. manitoulin island and the north shore - great lakes waterfront trail

Part of an expansive trail network spanning Ontario and boarding the numerous Great Lakes, Northeastern Ontario is home to our own little slice of this fantastic trail system.

Whether you’re taking the long way around, or heading straight to the destination, start your cycling journey on this trail network in either Sudbury or Manitoulin Island. Spend your time exploring either destination, or hit the trail and explore the scenic North Shore (the very one that so inspired iconic Canadian artists the Group of Seven). Whichever way you choose, you’ll have to problem staying on track as the route enjoys signage marking the way.

Even better news: the trail is only expanding, with plans to develop the trail system further into Manitoulin Island and up the eastern shore of Georgian Bay to Sudbury. This extension began in 2017 and has continued to progress ever since.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Map.

4. rainbow routes

If your cycling adventures take you through the City of Greater Sudbury, it’s worth spending and extra day or two to explore the city by bike. The Rainbow Routes Trail Network has a large array of multi-use trails across the city. Throughout the city of Sudbury, we have 10 trails that are included in the Trans Canada Trail (TCT), making these routes part of one of the longest trail systems in the world. 

The Ramsey Lake Cycle Tour de Sudbury is a fantastic ride that takes you around Ramsey Lake on dedicated cycling trails. This route gives the rider the opportunity to cycle through the city, and also through some beautiful sections of the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. 

Ramsey Lake Cycle Tour de Sudbury Trail Map.

5. voyageur multi-use trail system (VMUTS)

The Voyageur Mulit-Use Trail System is one of the most diverse trails networks in Ontario, offering fantastic motorized and non-motorized trails. If you are travelling from Ottawa north of Algonquin Park along Highway 17, this is the perfect spot to stop in for a quick ride. VMUTS has trails ranging from advanced mountain biking trails to much more relaxed and easy riding adventures.

Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System.

As you can see Northeastern Ontario has a wide variety of cycling adventures that are perfect for all levels of riders. Whether you are a long distance cyclist who wants to put some serious kms on the road or if you are more interested in more casual routes off the beaten path we have something for everyone. 

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