There’s great news for riders seeking an iconic Canadian wilderness touring experience: it’s waiting for you just two hours north of the nation’s largest city.
Pristine forests. Thousands of sparkling lakes and rivers. Granite rock cuts and exposed shorelines. Winding backroads that range from tame cruisers to technical twisties. This is what riding in this stunning region – also known as “Ontario’s Cottage Country” – is all about. In fact, quintessential Canadian landscapes and our renowned hospitality are probably closer than you think!
About The Region
The region is located approximately 2 hours north of Toronto, 2-1/2 hours from Ottawa (the nation’s capital), and 3 hours from world famous Niagara Falls. One of Canada’s most popular vacation spots, this place is home to unique sub-regions, each with its own distinct character and tons to experience off the bike.
Starting in the south, Muskoka is globally recognized as a summer and fall hotspot, with the long-standing tradition of resorting its cornerstone feature (along with many other great places to stay). It also offers exceptional shopping, dining, golf, live entertainment, and easy-to-access outdoor adventures. Learn about the area’s traditions and culture at the Muskoka Discovery Centre and head out for a gorgeous cruise on the historic RMS Segwun or Wenonah II steamships. You can also view the lakes on the 1940s era Peerless II of Sunset Cruises, and the newly-restored SS Bigwin out of Dorset.
Culinary adventures await as well, with hundreds of restaurants, pit stops and food trucks. Head to the famous cranberry marsh in Bala (“The Cranberry Capital of Ontario”) and sample all sorts of products at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery that are made from this ruby red berry that is native to the region.
Top Touring Roads in Muskoka
While visiting beautiful Muskoka, be sure to check out Southwood Road (including a visit to the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve, the first of its kind in Canada), Muskoka Beach Road (connecting Taboo Golf Resort and Muskoka Brewery), the Rosseau to Port Carling 632 stretch, and the Lake of Bays loop into Algonquin Park.
Parry Sound District
The district of Parry Sound hugs beautiful Georgian Bay on Lake Huron in the west, a stretch of shoreline along what is the world’s largest freshwater archipelago and part of the UNESCO-designated Georgian Bay Biosphere.
Visit Parry Sound Harbour to take a day cruise aboard the Island Queen or the M.V. Chippewa III, and take a break at the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, located in the same building as the incredible Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. Stretch the legs by climbing the awesome Fire Tower over the harbour, and tour the Museum on Tower Hill. There are lots of exceptional places to eat downtown, as well as an epic patio lakeside at Glenn Burney Lodge. Tons of accommodations too.
Head across the top of the district to explore the region of Loring-Restoule (home of Ontario’s largest white-tailed deer yard…and a great place to stretch the legs). And discover the Almaguin Highlands of Ontario, a collection of charming villages on the west side of Algonquin Park. Here you’ll find the legendary “Screaming Heads“, a hundred acre outdoor art installation featuring, you guessed it, screaming heads!
Top Touring Roads in Parry Sound District
Make your way across Highway 522 to discover “the Golden Valley” leading through Loring-Restoule, and head across Highways 520 and 124 to connect from Parry Sound to Sundridge, Ontario (home of summer’s annual Sunflower Festival and Lake Bernard – reputedly North America’s largest lake without an island).
Canada’s oldest provincial park remains one of the nation’s most treasured destinations, and with the main artery of Highway 60 running through from gate to gate on smooth, twisty asphalt, it’s a great opportunity to really have a great Canadian wilderness experience. Campsites book fast due to popularity, but there’s also no need to rough it in the park. And with the historic town of Huntsville and beautiful Lake of Bays on the west side, and South Algonquin on the east, you’ve got plenty of options for dining and overnighting if you want a daytrip into this special place.
Check out the video below to see what four moto-journalists had to say when they toured the region (and see the full reviews in Motorcycle Mojo, Inside Motorcycles, Motorcycle.com, TheMotoLady.com or RoadRUNNER Touring Magazine).
Join Us for More Travel Planning Info:
The Explorers’ Edge Vroom Zoom on May 14, 2024
Explorers’ Edge is the regional tourism organization for the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto. Interested in learning more about our region, the awesome roads, and all the epic things to see and do in this neck of the Ontario woods? Join us for a special “Vroom Zoom” event when our staff and two motorcycle journalists will answer your questions about riding in these parts. By the time we all gather, our rider will have been out to do his annual “Ride The Edge Check” – an annual ride and report on the state of our Top Roads. He’ll share his observations – as well as any new-found places to stop. Click here to sign up for the Zoom, and be sure to include any questions you have for planning your visit.