ctrl down video player instagram facebook youtube pinterest twitter Home Menu Where Am I? Subscribe Popular
Northern Ontario Travel
The Official Magazine
Home > Explore > Northeastern Ontario

5 Cycling Routes to Discover in Northeastern Ontario

Cycling the smooth roads of Northeastern Ontario
Image credit

5 Cycling Routes to Discover in Northeastern Ontario

Find your next cycling adventure just a few hours north of the GTA

Varied terrain, quiet roads, and flowy trails—the North is calling.

There is a song by Canadian rock icons The Tragically Hip that exemplifies Northeastern Ontario’s lesser-known, but soon-to-be-discovered cycling experiences; “The Last of the Unplucked Gems." Can you hear it? One trip to the North and the song will play on repeat in your head as you ride the never-boring terrain of smooth roads with few cars and long sweeping hills, rugged mountain bike trails, and endless gravel backroads. Northeastern Ontario’s cycling experiences are the perfect blend of adventure and wilderness with a touch of urban comfort and a unique Northern culture.

Here are the 5 best cycling routes for bike lovers. 

1. North Bay’s Spirited Rides

Colourful murals decorate Downtown North Bay

A great start for a cycling adventure is a slow roll through the heart of North Bay, Ontario to discover a mosaic of creative spaces reflecting the community’s cultural identity and uniqueness. Inspired by the mighty Lake Nipissing, Spirit of the Bay is a self-guided adventure to engage with the local arts community while cycling through a secret garden, taking in a performance on the shores of Lake Nipissing, exploring colourful murals throughout the downtown, meeting the makers selling their wares at a local studio and savouring the flavours of local cuisine. 

2. A Ride Back through Time in Mattawa’s Voyageur Country

Glorious gravel backroads near Mattawa make up parts of the Voyageur Cycling Route

With a human history dating back 6,000 years, the connections run deep along the Red Toque Tour. Across the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, a rich history comes to life while riding the glorious gravel and paved backroads that make up the Voyageur Cycling Route. Starting at the historical pinnacle of the ride, the town of Mattawa on the shores of the ancient water highway was once a thriving Indigenous trade route and later used by the Voyageurs on their quest for furs. Through the communities of Bonfield and Astorville to Callander and North Bay, modern-day explorers will discover the whispers of the past echoing over every climb.

3. Vive le Nord! in West Nipissing and French River

Long sweeping hills on secondary Highway 535

With a fiercely proud Francophone heritage, a road ride through West Nipissing and the Municipality of French River following the Vive le Nord! cycling tour is an escape to an area with deep roots influenced by the region’s early settlers. Riding the flats through the region’s agricultural lands into the rugged wilderness along Lake Nipissing’s West Arm presents road cyclists with a challenging and exciting ride where the kilometers evaporate over sweeping hills along quiet secondary highways with few cars.

4. Grind the North

The natural landscape adds technical challenges to the Three Towers Trail Network in North Bay

Granite ridges, natural bedrock berms, lush forest, 100’s of kilometers of trails and 40+ swimming holes: the perfect formula for an epic mountain bike adventure in North Bay. You’ll never get bored of the diverse terrain as you grind and flow through the forest trails, drifting over roots with the earthy smell of the pine and spruce mixed with leafy trees that scream in a blaze of colour in the mid-autumn. Be at any one of a handful of trailheads within minutes of downtown North Bay.  The community created by the North Bay Mountain Bike Association is energizing. Meet them on the trail or at the brew house après-ride.

5. Farmstand 40

The Farmstand 40 cycling tour in the Powassan area gives riders a taste of local

A gravel ride to local farm stands in Almaguin Highlands is an intimate experience where riders can engage with local farmers and pick up fresh local produce, honey, maple syrup, preserves and baked goods at roadside stands. The Great Powassan and Area Farmstand Tour has grown since 2020 when it was first introduced to include a 40 km gravel ride affectionately known as the Farmstand 40. Our only recommendation when cycling the tour: Don’t put all your eggs in one bike basket!

Discover your next best cycling adventure in Northeastern Ontario!

Find Your True North
Sign up now to get stories, news, and travel tips
We will never spam you and will never share your e-mail. Please see our privacy policy.
Thank you for subscribing!

Featured articles

Find Your True North
Sign up now to get stories, news, and travel tips
We will never spam you and will never share your e-mail. Please see our privacy policy.
Thank you for subscribing!