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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting your kicks on Ontario's best motorcycle routes

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 22/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Get your motor runnin'
   Head out on the highway
   Lookin' for adventure
   And whatever comes our way
-- A biker favourite from the song Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf

   Get your kicks along some of Ontario’s best motorcycle touring roads to experience “epic rides.”
   From “Riding the Edge” to cruising Ontario’s South Coast and hanging out in “Dover” for Friday the 13th, riders can hear that “heavy metal thunder.”
Bikes and motorcyclists are a common sight in Port Dover, not just on Friday the 13th. (Jim Fox photo)
   One of the finest spots for scenery and inhaling clean air is Algonquin Provincial Park.
   That’s why it remains the number one choice in the “Top 10 Roads” survey by Explorers’ Edge regional tourism organization.

   The top routes are updated annually to “ensure motorcyclists have an enjoyable touring experience in the wilderness,” said James Murphy, executive director.
   The motorsports touring information helps motorcyclists navigate Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound on day trips or extended rides, he said.
   It maps out a “Big Loop” covering almost 1,000 kilometres of wide open and winding roads including those in iconic Algonquin Park and a “Small Loop” stretching 620 kilometres and excluding roads in the park.
Scenic vistas are abundant along Highway 141 between Rosseau and Windermere. (Explorers’ Edge)
   This is useful for those wanting to experience that “epic ride” on routes with spectacular scenery, rolling hills and “enjoyable twisties,” Murphy said.

   This year’s Top 10
   And, now in order from the top down, here are the best routes for 2015.
   - Highway 60 through Algonquin Park: On this tour through the Canada’s oldest provincial park, the pavement is great and there are many places to take a break, such as Lake of Two Rivers for its nice little beach.
   - Highway 522: This quiet road in the Loring-Restoule area off Highway 69 north of Parry Sound is backcountry touring at its finest. En route to Trout Creek in the Almaguin Highlands, there are gentle rising and falling hills, plenty of lakes and a little waterfall.
   - Highway 141: A connector between Rosseau and Windermere, this route features fresher pavement, descending radius corners and a most iconic turn at Bent River.
   - Highway 35: This windy roller-coaster of a road whips around lakes, plunges through deep rock cuts and goes to the top of Dorset’s Lookout Tower. It’s a connector to the Lake of Bays area and Dwight.
Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park is called one of Ontario’s top rides for motorcyclists. (Explorers’ Edge)
   - Highway 520: Starting in the scenic village of Burk’s Falls near the Screaming Heads’ sculptures and Midlothian Castle, this route is packed with vistas including snack time in Magnetawan.
   - Highway 632 – Peninsula Road: This is Muskoka’s iconic touring road from Rosseau to Port Carling. It is essentially riding a ridge between two lakes on a technical road best for sport touring bikes.
   - Muskoka Beach Road: Connecting Gravenhurst and Bracebridge, this is a great start to riding in the region after leaving Highway 11 with a canopy of trees over all the curves.
   - Muskoka Road 3 – Aspdin Road: This is a quick connector between Rosseau (where you’re likely to see bikes parked outside Crossroads Restaurant) and Huntsville with tight corners and plenty of pine groves.
Let's ride! (Ontario Tourism)
   - Ravenscliffe Road: This connects Sprucedale and Huntsville that has a “little bit of road wear” as the second half turns into Stisted Road.
   - Tally-Ho Swords Road: A shorter route with good pavement, light traffic and an escape from major highways, it connects Orrville and Rosseau and is “as picturesque as it gets.”
   For more details: RideTheEdge.ca

   South Coast, Dover rules
   - This season’s Cruise the Coast Motorcycle Map shows the “rider-approved routes and biker-friendly stops linking places such as Port Maitland, Port Dover, Long Point, Port Stanley, Wheatley, Woodstock, Point Pelee and Point Edward.
There are several guides available to riding Ontario’s best motorcycle touring roads. (Ontario Tourism)
   It covers Haldimand, Norfolk, Elgin and Chatham-Kent, Windsor-Essex and Oxford County along with Middlesex and Sarnia-Lambton. To download and more: cruisethecoast.ca
   - It’s been a tough year for bikers heading to Port Dover for the Friday the 13th frolics as there have been no dates since March.
   The massive motorcycle event, attracting up to 100,000 visitors, will happen next in November and then May of next year. pd13.com
Get your motors running (Ontario Tourism)
   - Ontario Tourism helps motorcyclists on their way with pre-planned routes and customized itineraries along with an online trip planner.


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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