I created this for a other forum and thought I would share it here. Enjoy
A few notes:
This is by no means a complete list however it does contain a wealth of the best roads north of the GTA. Remember that many of these roads may have little traffic on them all season long, so any sand that accumulates over the winter may take until mid-summer to wash off. If you are on them in the early morning, the dew can often make the less traveled backroads quite slick. Some roads may have significant frost heaves even in mid-corner, so please be cautious. Please slow down in the small towns as you pass through them and most importantly, many of the backroads mentioned below are also residential/cottage areas with young children playing in the streets, so please ride respectfully.
Ride safe and ride often!
Muskoka Area roads:
heading from the GTA this can be a day trip in around 8-10 hours. There are many more roads than I have included below, but as a complete route, these are some of the best roads to be experienced in the area.
Southwood Rd 13
- this road is one of the most technical roads in Ontario and also has a few very dangerous spots. On this road you will encounter two railroad crossings that you would be well served to slow down for. You will also find significant frost heaves in mid-corner combined with opposing traffic that do not have the ability to stay in their own lane. Sand and gravel are considered local wildlife here. That said, it's an amazing road.
Coopers Falls Rd / Doe Lake Rd
- this is a nice hilly and twisty stretch that would serve as a good starter or finisher to a Muskoka route. It runs between Severn Bridge and just north of Gravenhurst.
Muskoka Rd 38
- this road leads from the Hwy 400 to the town of Bala and has a number of smooth fast sweepers.
Mortimers Point Rd / Foreman Rd
- a short twisty, hilly route that should be included in every Muskoka visit.
- when the pavement is in good condition, this is great fun to ride. It becomes much tighter and more technical in the north section.
- good quality pavement in the areas where the fast sweepers are. There is a good lunch spot called Crossroads with a great lake view and plenty of outdoor seating located at the western edge of this road in the town of Rosseau.
- This road has excellent pavement with some great scenery and fast sweepers. It's also a good road to connect Hwy400 and Hwy11 together.
Brackenrig Rd and Windermere Rd
- a good pairing of roads to include in your Muskoka route.
Muskoka Route: Here is a route
of all the roads mentioned above in the Muskoka area that can be done in under 10 hours from the GTA.
Parry Sound/Huntsville Area Roads:
ride a bit further north or east than the roads/route mentioned above and check out some of these other roads mentioned below:
is a very nice technical road - the best parts are between Orville and Sprucedale. From one side to the other, this runs east/west from Parry Sound and even crosses over to the east side of Hwy11 for some more good times. There are sections with fast sweepers, other parts with twisty technical stuff and some dirty curves with frost heaves.
is a great run that links up with the Hwy518 on the east side of Hwy11
Tally-Ho / Swords Rd
is a short ride between Hwy518 at Orville and Hwy141.
is a great road intersecting Hwy518 at Sprucedale and runs all the way to/from Huntsville. There is a nice scenic pull off/ boat launch at Buck Lake.
combo is a nice and hilly twisty stretch just northeast of Hwy518
The Bunny Trail
north of McDougall is a piece of paved flat out fun.
is a nicely paved road from Hwy11 to Magnetewan with fast sweepers.
The Old Nippissing Trail
is an amazing twisty, hilly run that changes between paved, chip-seal, hard packed gravel and hard packed sand. Apparently it runs north/south from around Commanda, through Magnetewan, and meets up with Hwy518 near Seguin Falls. The most passable section by streetbike is south of Magnetewan, with some awesome sections of non paved stuff in there too. It was an old pioneer horse/carriage rd and is considered a heritage rd or something like that. It's very technical and of my favourites.
Intersecting Old Nipissing Trail is Orange Valley Rd leading to Broadbent Rd
which are nice hard packed gravel roads with some nice twists.
Further north and starting east from South River, is a great loop including a road called Chemical Rd / Deadhorse Trail
. If you don't mind a little hard packed dirt, then it leads to the Deadhorse Trail, which is a fun ride to the western edge of Algonquin and then works its way back to Sundridge or you can work your way further south to Chetwynd Rd. In some spots it's like a 2 track ATV trail at times, so you can touch the leaves of the trees as you ride past them. It can get a bit slippery when wet, but when it's dry, it's lots of fun!
Parry Sound / Huntsville Area Route: Here's a route of the paved roads
above between Parry Sound and Huntsville which can be done from the GTA in around 10 hours.
Haliburton and Huntsville east roads:
A whole slew of other roads exist east of Hwy11 especially as you move further east. Very close to Huntsville and just south of Algonquin park you will find:
For some Huntsville backroads
, #9, #10, #2, are all just east and south of Huntsville and make for a good loop
Hwy35 between Dwight and Minden
is excellent with awesome, super smooth pavement - a very scenic ride with fast sweepers and some amazing scenery. The best section is between Dorset and Minden.
Kushog Lake Rd
- Lot's of twists, hills and a few blind corners thrown in for good measure - very close to Carnarvon off Hwy35.
Taking Harburn Rd #19 to County Rd#14
as a loop off Hwy118 - can get quite technical in some parts lots of great twisty, hilly bits.
Kennisis Lake Rd and Watts Trail
- Kennisis Lake Rd is an out 'n back, but adding in Watts Trail (which loops around a lake) makes it a very technical run. There can be sand on Watts Trail very late in the season since it has little traffic, but it's one of the most twisty, hilly bits in Ontario.
Haliburton and Huntsville east route: Here's a route
with all the roads mentioned from southwest Algonquin area & east of Huntsville, which can be done in around 10 hours from the GTA.
Peterborough north / Kawartha Highlands and Algonquin South roads
: these roads are quite popular with riders for good reason.
- runs north/south between Buckhorn and Gooderham - fast sweepers and decent pavement.
Glamorgan Rd aka Buckhorn Rd #3
- connects nicely with the Hwy507 between the Hwy503 and the Hwy118
- nice smooth curves and rolling scenery, This road runs from the heart of Muskoka all the way out to Bancroft area with one of the best sections around Loon Lake (which is why it's included in this section and not in the Muskoka section).
Essonville Line #4
- a sweet shortcut route to connect between #118 just east of Loon Lake and Wilberforce with nice pavement and some nice twisty bits. A great addition when joining the 507 to Elephant Lake Road as part of a longer route.
Elephant Lake Rd / Peterson Rd #10
- if this road is clean you won't be disappointed. Runs between Maynooth and Harcourt and has an excellent combination of fast sweepers, moderate curves with some scenic elevation changes.
- a slow meandering run through Algonquin Park. Nice scenery. A great place to stop for a break between the great roads on either side of the park.
Peterborough north route: Here's a route
including all the roads north of Peterborough with a run through Algonquin Park. Included in this route is also Hwy35 and Kushog Lake Rd because they are on the way and awesome. This route can be done in around 10 hours from the GTA.
Barry's Bay area roads:
There are also some nice roads up near Barry's Bay and to the south/east. Some of these roads may be less technical than those previously mentioned, but there is far less traffic up this way and the scenery can be quite breathtaking.
Old Barry's Bay Road
- this runs between Barry's Bay and Combermere while staying off the less interesting Hwy 62.
- This is a road that is called Dunn St in Barry's Bay, and if followed to Siberia Road and then to Kartuzy Road, follows a hilly scenic ride leading to Kamaniskeg Lake Rd. There are some decent curves and little other traffic. Pay attention to making the correct road changes and you will be rewarded with a nice route along a lake.
- a nice backroad to get from Barry's Bay over to Foymount and the Hwy512
Hwy's #512 and #515
- travels between Combermere and Eganville. Good pavement and scenery with nice curves.
Barry's Bay area route
: this is a shorter route
including all the Barry's Bay roads mentioned above. There are many other smaller back roads in this area worth exploring.
Calabogie Area - Renfrew / Lanark County roads
- asides from the track, there are some really great roads to check out in this area. It will make for a long day coming from the GTA, but it's well worth it at least once a year.
- a great road with little traffic and fast sweepers throughout.
- there is some excellent cornering on this road and breathtaking scenery. While you can take this road east all the way to the TransCanadaHwy, the best curvy section is west of Calabogie.
Hwy #509 / Buckshot Lake Rd
- more excellent roads with some great twisty sections and amazing scenery. This can taken all the way from Hwy7 in the south to the Denbigh area in the north
- If you are travelling along Hwy7 or in the area, this is a fun stretch worth checking out.
Calabogie Area Route
: while the main roads listed above are included in this route
, there are so many more in this area worth checking out.
West of Barrie roads
- I usually stay away from this area because it means I have to ride for many hours on straight roads to get to anything that resembles a corner. There are many good roads with some more about the scenic value than the curves. Also included are some of the roads that lead really far west and become part of multi-day trips from the GTA..
Grey Rd #13
- A scenic windy road between Thornbury in the north and Flesherton in the south.
Grey Rd #1
- this is a scenic waterfront road that hugs the coastline of Lake Huron as it makes it way between Owen Sound and Wiarton.
County Rd #9
- When heading up to Tobermory and the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry for Manitoulin Island, this is a much better route than taking the traffic filled, boring Hwy 6. This route also has an awesome view of the water just north of Wiarton.
Hwy 6 north of Manitoulin Island
- This is one awesome road that runs between the towns of Little Current and Espanola which is at the TransCanada. Riding along this stretch includes an amazing combination of twisty scenery that rivals anything else in Ontario.
- this road is sometimes referred to as the Tail of the Dragon north because of how twisty and scenic the southern section of this road is. It extends from the town of Thessalon along the TransCanada in the south all the way up to the town of Chapleau in the north. The best section for tighter curves is in the southern section.
- Also known as Ranger Lake Rd - this is an excellent twisty, hilly, hard packed gravel road about 80 km long! It makes its way between the Hwy129 and the Searchmont Ski Resort
- this paved section between Sault Ste Marie and Searchmont Resort is a great road of fast sweepers with a few tighter twists. It is an out 'n back unless you want to ride the next 80km section of hard packed gravel which leads to Hwy129
- the stretch between Sault Ste Marie and Wawa is widely known as one of the most scenic rides in Ontario. There is a perfect mix of great pavement and smooth sweepers with spectacular views of Lake Superior.
- between Marathon and Nipigon this stretch also has some great sweepers mixed in with awesome views of Lake Superior.
North Shore of Lake Superior Route
- 1000kms of fun!
more to come....
Here's a bunch of good websites for planning your next adventure. If you have more to add then do so and I'll add them to this post.
Quebec and Canada
(Prince Edward Island)
I have done a few trips through the Smokey Mountains and here is a ride report with all the most amazing roads mapped
out in detail. Here is another ride report
with other roads mapped out leading towards Barber Museum and along the Natchez Trace in Mississippi.
*(Skyline Drive / Blue Ridge Parkway)
(Deals Gap and area)