Ride The Edge Check 2024: Top Ten Touring Roads in the Great Canadian Wilderness

With a winter that wasn’t and a spring that came early, motorcycle enthusiasts started planning their tours of the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto starting in April. But sometimes the transition from snowy and icy roads to suitable conditions for two-wheeling fun can be less than smooth due to winter freeze-thaw cycles and sand coverage – this is Canada afterall.

That’s why Explorers’ Edge was pleased to send out rider Martin Lortz for our annual spring “Ride The Edge Check” to inspect our Top 10 Motorcycle Roads in the region. His report is in: read on and get ready to ride!

Highway 60 Through Algonquin Park
Condition: Excellent

Riding a motorcycle through Canada’s oldest provincial park is a fantastic experience, especially during the early season when there is less traffic and, I’m happy to say, in 2024, no construction work. Enjoy riding perfect sweepers surrounded by forest, rock and water. In Whitney, on the park’s east side (South Algonquin), you can fill up on gas and grab food at The Mad Musher or the Algonquin Lunch Bar. In the park, you can take a break at various places along the way, such as the Lake of Two Rivers Cafe and Grill, or grab a snack or the Visitor Information Centre, where you can learn more about the park. It’s all clear and ready for you to enjoy!

Tally-Ho Swords Road
Condition: Clear and perfect

Winding its way for 32 kilometres between Highway 141 and 518, Tally-Ho Swords Road is a short but sweet ribbon of smooth pavements and light traffic. You can access this stretch of road off the beautiful Highway 141, which features a designated (and famous) scenic corridor in Raymond, Muskoka, Ontario (gas available at Windermere Corners, and in Bent River). Tally-Ho Swords Road is ideal for those who appreciate big, perfect sweepers.

Ravenscliffe Road
Condition: The east half is perfect; the west has sand in spots and rough pavement

Heading west from Huntsville, the ride is pure fun on excellent pavement, and this road is a favourite with riders in the know. However, this spring, when Ravenscliffe Road turns into Stisted Road, conditions deteriorate, and you can expect some sand on the road and sections of rough pavement. Just ease up a bit as you head through this part.

In particular, watch for signs announcing 90-degree turns along Stisted Road; they come up fast, and the corners are rough and loose.

Muskoka Road 3 – Aspdin Road
Condition: Excellent

This fun ride connects the historic village of Rosseau in Seguin Township to the west, and Huntsville, Muskoka to the east. In Rosseau, be sure to stop for one of the finest meals you’ll have on the road at Crossroads Restaurant (and also an epic patio for a peak at beautiful Lake Rosseau). Aspdin Road has been known to flood in the spring, but not this year; it is dry, has no sand, and is super fun. Lots of undulating hills towards Huntsville.

Muskoka Beach Road
Condition: Good

While the ride between Gravenhurst and Bracebridge is enjoyable, traffic can hinder it depending on the time of day; it’s a backroad the locals use a lot. Although some sections still have bumpy pavement, there is no sand to deal with, and overall, it’s a fun ride. Stop in at Taboo Resort or its affiliated golf course for a break in touring.

Highway 632 – Peninsula Road
Condition: Excellent

Get ready for some pure motorcycle fun! This scenic route is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, that will keep you smiling. The road is clear and ready for you to enjoy. Not far off the road in Minett is the stunning JW Marriott the Rosseau Muskoka Resort, and the route links into Muskoka Lakes Township’s most populated town, Port Carling, by first passing through the charming spot of Port Sandfield (great place to pull over by the bridge to head down to a dock for a break – at the marina).

Highway 520
Condition: Excellent

Extensive views and big sweepers are on the menu between Burk’s Falls and Magnetawan. Be sure to gas up in Burk’s Falls (and stretch the legs on the Heritage River Walk), and also be sure to take a short detour to the Screaming Heads sculptures, a must-see attraction in the area.

Highway 35
Condition: Excellent

The ride between Highway 117 in Bracebridge and Highway 60 into Algonquin Park offers stunning views of lakes and rock formations. Don’t miss the Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower for a fantastic view of the area and the charming village of Dwight, where you can find food and gas – and you’ll be very happy if you stop for a treat at the famous Henrietta’s Pine Bakery.

Highway 141
Condition: Excellent

This road contains the most iconic corners in the region as you twist and turn between lake and rock. Good pavement, long sweepers, and descending radius corners keep the ride fun, and we are happy to inform you that there is no construction currently. You’ll find some of the most iconic views in Muskoka along this route, and it’s no wonder parts of it are designated a scenic corridor. From farmland to rock cuts, you’ll want to slow down a bit to take it all in.

Highway 522
Condition: Good

I enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this road as it travels through Highway 69 and Trout Creek. However, it should be noted that the western half of the route has sections of rough pavement, and there is construction on Highway 69 at the junction with 522. If you ride a bike requiring premium gasoline, you can fill up at the gas pump at Buchanan’s Hardware in Port Loring. For lunch, I recommend either Roxie’s Diner or Jake’s Place – both are always popular spots for touring motorcyclists. To stretch your legs, visit the Loring Deer Yard trails.

Notes From The Road

This region, also known as Ontario’s cottage Country, is just a short ride north of the Toronto, Ontario and includes Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka, Parry Sound & Area and South Algonquin. Ticking off all Top Ten Roads on this list will add around 1500 kilometres to your odometer from Toronto. It is doable in two long days on the bike, but more time is better, and I opted to do it in three days.

On day one of my trip, I stayed at the Inn at the Falls in Bracebridge. The rooms were cozy and had beautiful views of the river, and a stunning waterfall right downtown! The location was perfect, just a short walk from all the shops and restaurants. The on-site Italian restaurant, Basilico, also provided excellent food, making for a relaxing evening.

For my second night’s stay, I checked into the recently opened Best Western Plus Hotel in Parry Sound. The hotel’s location is perfect: it is situated just off the highway, making it easily accessible for travellers.
If you’re looking for dining options, you’re in luck, as numerous choices are within walking distance of the hotel. There is also gas available as you leave the hotel parking lot.The newly renovated rooms are comfortable and cozy, providing a relaxing atmosphere for a good night’s rest. The hotel staff are friendly and always willing to assist you during your stay.

One more tip: be sure to fill up with gas in the bigger towns before you head out…gas pumps can be few and far between when you get out on the country roads.

For more tourism information while you’re travelling in the region and to plan our stay, visit GreatCanadianWilderness.ca

Guest Blogger/Rider: Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a seasoned explorer, photographer, and writer passionate about outdoor adventure. With his talent for freezing unforgettable moments on camera, he has become a go-to photographer for all things power sports in Ontario. However, Martin’s interests extend far beyond power sports, and he is equally skilled at capturing outdoor activities, including RVing, cycling, paddling, fishing, hiking, and camping.To see more of Martin’s photography, visit www.lortzphoto.com. You can also follow his adventures on www.CreakingOn.com