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Playing Favourites in Northeastern Ontario

Playing Favourites in Northeastern Ontario



If you want to know what the best motorcycling roads in Northeastern Ontario are, finding the answer is easy, just refer to the The Top Ten Motorcycle Roads in Northeastern Ontario and pick one, you really can't go wrong. But if you ask me what my personal favourite road in Northeastern Ontario is, it’s a bit more complicated. For me it’s not about the number of turns, quality of pavement, points of interest or amenities, it’s about a feeling of escape, remoteness and adventure. If I have to pick one road as my favourite it would have to be Highway 560.

As soon as you turn east from Highway 144 on to 560 your brain is overwhelmed with the expanse of the land around you. The road seems to run straight into the horizon dragging the trees and sky with it. You can’t help but exhale a WOW as you roll on the throttle. Be sure to top up the tank before making the turn as gas and all amenities for that matter are sparse from here on. Highway 560 meanders east from HWY 144 to HWY 11 for 184 km of some of the most remote lands in Ontario.

Like a fitness workout things start with a warmup, in this case it’s approximately 30 km of long straightaways and big sweepers to relax the mind and stretch the right wrist. Then the workout begins. Everything around you tightens up and for the next 100+ K the road is rarely straight. You ride along lake shorelines and through rock cuts with the ever present wall of trees always flanking your sides. There is a chance for gas in Gowganda, you can grab lunch in Elk Lake, then onward east you ride. At Elk Lake you have a couple of options. Take a sharp left and continue north on highway 560 or keep right on to highway 65. The surface on 560 deteriorates quickly from here so for me 65 is the way to go.  The the tight curves give way to big sweepers, trees give way to farm land and before you know it the vistas and straightaways again reach to the horizon. A fitting cool down to an awesome work out.

There you have it, my personal favourite motorcycling road in Northeastern Ontario. Highway 560 a 184 km excursion through the wilds of Ontario. It appears that Mike Jacobs, the curator of The Top Ten Motorcycle Roads in Northeastern Ontario would agree as my favourite is one of his best.

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