As fall arrives and the leaves start to turn to the beautiful reds and organes across the Northeast there is no better way to enjoy our beautiful region than exploring the Georgian Bay Coastal Route (GBCR).
The route in its entirety is about 1,350-km or 840 miles long and takes you around the world famous Georgain Bay showing off some of the most impressive locations in all of Ontario. From cyrstal clear waters, to breathtaking lock out spots this road trip has it all and with the addition of fall colours it cannot be rivalled.
Below is a very useful interactive map created by Go Tour Ontario which does a fantastic job of highlighting the route as well as marking popular stops including places to stop for food, gas, as well as provincial parks along the way.
This is an extremley accessible tour no matter where you are coming from. We are going to break up this tour into 4 legs or sections to make it as easy as possible to plan your trip and we will start the planning in Southern Ontario and take this tour clockwise. This is absolutley not the only way to do it, feel free to start anywhere or do it in the complete opposite direction if you would like!
Leg 1: Bruce Peninsula to Manitoulin island
This road trip has a very unique start which includes both covering the land and the water. Starting in Southern Ontario make your way along the Bruce Penninsula to Tobermory where you catch the MS Chi-Cheemaun Passenger Ferry and arrive at South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.
Once you arrive on the world's largest freshwater island there is plenty to do with incredible beaches, hiking trails and restaurants within minutes of touching down. The Island is home to some awesome breweries including Manitoulin Brewing Co and Split Rail Brewing Co. Both of which are awesome local business who are growing fast and we definitley recommend checking them out.
Leg 2: Manitoulin island to suDbury
Once you are on the Island it is an easy drive to the biggest city in Northern Ontario and home to the iconic big nickel. The City of Greater Sudbury is full of things to do with a thriving downtown core and immersive outdoor activities minutes outside of the city.
This is the perfect spot for an extended stay with so much to do. It is definitely recommended to start by taking a look at Sudbury Tourism's website to see if there are any music festivals or cultural festivals happening around the time of your trip as they are poping up all over the place these days. One of the most popular things to do is to spend a day at Science North and while you are there enjoy a walk along the Ramsey Lake Board Walk.
Spend the night at one of Sudbury’s brand name hotels scattered throughout the city. The TownePlace Suites by Marriott, the Travelway Inn next to Science North, the Holiday Inn & Suites on Regent Street, and the new Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham on the Kingsway are all accessible options depending on your entry point to the city. Motorcyclist travellers may also want to consider the Moonlight Inn & Suites, offering quick access to the Highway 17 Bypass with motel-style suites.
Leg 3: Sudbury to killarney
There is no better opportunity to fully experince Georgian Bay than by taking Highway 637 off of Highway 69 outside of Sudbury to Killarney. Hands down one of Northeastern Ontario's most popular tourist destination the Municipality of Killarney offers some of the best dining, hiking, and relaxing available. This small town is home to one of the most luxurious accomodations in the region which is Killarney Mountain Lodge.
We believe this quote from their website perfectly desbribes an experince at Killarney Mountain Lodge.
It is eary to spend a day or two in Killarney with awesome hikes like the "Crack". And we would be remissed to mention the World Famous Herbert Fisheries fish and chips that you can enjoy on the dock while watching boats cruise by.
Leg 4: Killarney to French RIver and beyond
If you can finally pull yourself away from the gen that is Killarney you will head south on highway 69 and make your way into the French River region.
Before you exist the boundaries of Northeastern Ontario there are a few more worth while stops starting with the French River Provincial Park where you can quickly pull over to stretch your legs and enjoy some beautiful views of the famous French River.
Another stop that will make the rest of the journey more enjoyable is at the French River Trading Post which has been operating for more than 50 years. Here you can pick up some of their delicious fudge made in house as well as other locally produced treasures.
From here you will enjoy the journey back home south down Highway 69 where you can start to think of your next adventure in Northeastern Ontario.