Spring has officially arrived in cottage country, and across the region roads are free of snow and ready for riding. With temperatures rising it is time to hop on the saddle and pedal out on a spring adventure. Here are some of our favourite spring cycling routes.
Highway #60 is the only road that runs the width of Algonquin Provincial Park. This results in a high volume of traffic in the summer, as cars and campers traverse the 70 km stretch of pavement. With far less traffic and better chances to spot moose and other wildlife, spring is the best season for cycling in Algonquin. Park your car at either the West or East Gate of the park and cycle the challenging mix of curves and elevation changes as you travel past lakes and soak in Algonquin’s iconic scenery. If you are looking for even more distance, try starting from Oxtongue Lake or the Village of Dwight and create a route as long as your legs can handle.
The roads of the Almaguin Highlands make for some of the best cycling in
the province. Head to any one of the unique and adventurous Villages of Almaguin and set out to explore wide open vistas with crystal lakes surrounded by charming farms and granite rock cuts. Try the AIM Triangle named by the Almaguin in Motion cycling group. Travelling through the villages of Sundridge, Magnetawan and Burk’s Falls, this challenging 70 km route samples the best roads the Almaguin Highlands have to offer. For a shorter ride, try starting in Burk’s Falls and head west on Highway #520 to take in the Screaming Heads outdoor art installation. One of the area’s most popular attractions, it is also a great place for a picnic lunch.
The roads of Loring-Restoule are some of the region’s least travelled routes, which means you will encounter few cars and your chances of spotting wildlife from the roads is very good. Highway #522 stretches 100 km, all the way from Grundy Lake Provincial Park in the west to the Village of Trout Creek in the East. Along this scenic paved route you will find the small villages of Commanda and Port Loring which are perfect for a rest and refuelling stop. By travelling north on Highway #524 and east on #534 you can link Grundy Lake with Restoule Provincial Park, a challenging ride that takes in the best scenery the area has to offer.
The back roads of Muskoka are famous for expansive big lake views and challenging terrain. When the leaves appear, they add a brilliant green hue that reflects magically off of the water and lends a golden glow to the air. With so many amazing roads, you can set out from any of Muskoka’s towns and villages and fill a day or more with incredibly scenic rides. Challenge yourself to a loop around Lake of Bays. This route is followed by the Spin the Lakes Cycle Tour every spring and offers numerous stops for food and fun along the way. Highway #141 hugs the shore of Lake Rosseau and winds through open fields, while Muskoka Beach Road travels between Gravenhurst and Bracebridge and offers a public beach for relaxing along the way.
Parry Sound offers the opportunity to experience the rugged shores and windswept pines of Georgian Bay. There are many perfect spring routes that travel start and finish in the town of Parry Sound. Try the 70 km route to the community of Mactier, or head north-west to the scenic community of Snug Harbour, which is nestled directly on the shore of Georgian Bay. Looking for a shorter route? Head to the Nobel beach, a 25 km out and back route that offers the opportunity to brave a refreshing spring swim at the halfway point. Parry Sound’s Rotary and Algonquin Regiment’s Fitness Trail offers the perfect family ride, with a beach and playground to enjoy along the route.
Shake off winter and celebrate the coming of spring by hitting the pavement across cottage country this spring. Enjoy open roads, challenging terrain and scenic lake vistas, all from the saddle of your bike. Be sure to explore this website for many more routes throughout the region.