The newest routes – and the best spots to fuel up after your ride
Cycling is quickly becoming the sport of choice in communities across Northeastern Ontario. With expansive forests, quiet country roads and glorious Canadian Shield to spare, hopping on a bike and hitting the trails is a great way to experience the best of the region. And local riders know it. Local clubs are creating new routes and carving out single-track like never before.
Whether you’re looking for a new spot to take your fat bike for a spin this winter, or making a list for your spring mountain bike adventure, these trails are definitely worth a look. Adding to the experience are the local restaurants catering to the bike community and culture. Serving up giant portions of homemade goodness, these cozy spots are rider magnets for that well-deserved post ride meal.
Introducing the brand new Three Towers Trail Network: Five kilometers of fast, winding and twisting trails for mountain bikers of all ages and skill levels. Completed in Summer 2021, the North Bay Mountain Bike Association has worked hard to create an exciting ride encompassing the best of the Canadian Shield. This two-way trail rolls over rock slabs, teeters on rock skinnies, climbs steep rocks, and floats around natural bedrock berms. There’s also a fun skills pump track at the trailhead to practice. And this is just the beginning! There are more trails to come in the next few years.
Another reason to ride in North Bay is the Northern Ontario winner of Ontario by Bike’s Best Bicycle Friendly Business. On the shores of Callander Bay on Lake Nipissing, 1886 Lake House Bistro welcomes cyclists to their dining room – even dressed in riding gear. With an emphasis on local, their classic bistro and comfort food features seasonal, fresh ingredients – and the best burger in Callander Bay. They’ve got safe on-site bike parking, a bike staging area, and a large patio. And it’s only a quick ride from the Kate Pace Way, a 12km paved trail connecting Callander to downtown North Bay.
In North Bay, certified bike-friendly establishment The Raven and the Republic has racks outside for bike parking, live music, local Gateway City Brewery beverages and excellent nachos.
If you need to fuel up before hitting the trails, Terry’s Place is a family run diner that has been serving up breakfast poutine and fluffy pancakes since 2006.
Sudbury has as many bike trails as it does roads! New additions to the map are a constant at Walden Trails Park, the premiere mountain bike destination in the area. This trail network is expanded year after year by dedicated volunteers – mountain bikers who know what riders want. Recently a new downhill flow trail and table tops have been added to the fun. There are also new trails this year at Nickledale Conservation Area, mostly intermediate but there are a few black diamonds in the mix.
New is a relative term, and if you haven’t been to Sudbury in a few years you may not be familiar with Kivi Park, an all-season, multi-sport recreation area on 300+ acres of Canadian Shield overlooking Long Lake, with an impressive 15.4 km world-class biking trail network. There are plans for trail expansions in the works over the next few years, so year-over-year there should be new terrain to explore.
The Dog House Sports Bar and Eatery is the spot for wings and a pint after a ride, or try the award-winning Spacecraft Brewery. Big on local, the menu includes famous perogies from Perogy Princess, sourdough bread from Regency Bakery, and meatballs from Giacomo’s.
For gravel riders, the 83km Voyageur Trail from Bonfield to Mattawa is a journey through Indigenous history and natural wonders.
Part of the 645km Voyageur Cycling Route, this former trading route traverses four heritage waterways. Follow the blue Voyageur signs through rolling hills and quiet country roads. The highlight: a 12m high waterfall at the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area.
If you’re not in a rush to get back, plan to stay a night in Mattawa and enjoy the hospitality of the historic Le Voyageur Inn. With indoor bike storage, clean and comfortable rooms, and a delicious restaurant featuring Thai and Canadian cuisine, this Main Street landmark makes a delightful stop to refuel and relax before hitting the trails back to Bonfield.
Early pioneers swore they saw twinkling lights, but the region is known for steep out-of-this-world climbs. In the Remi Lake region, you can stitch together seven different trails adding up to over 35 kms of double track (gravel or mountain bike). Mount Remi is a steep 3.5 km climb while the 3 Park Loop is a rolling 8.5 kms. From the Twin Lakes campground, ride beside the Villeneuve Pit overlooking an eroded basin from the Ice Age. The region also includes shorter trails including the Bonner Loop (6.5 km) that passes by a tree plantation regenerating the Boreal forest.
Della-Pieta is a favourite for grandma’s carrot cake and the Elvis burger (bacon and peanut butter!)
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With names such as The Big One (a full 25.4 km connecting mostly green and blue trails), Da Full Gauntlet (7.1 km), and the Singletrack Sufferfest (11.6 km), Timmins has some formidable mountain biking options. Situated around Charlebois Lake, the network recently got two new black diamond trails, Nadon (2 kms) and JVC (500 meters). For gravel riding, the 45km community network joins four conservation areas – Gillies Lake, Mountjoy, Hersey, and White Waterfront.
Siva’s Family Restaurant has been serving classics like Salisbury steak, fish and chips and meatball poutine to hungry outdoors enthusiasts for 23 years. Their bottomless beverage refills are sure to keep you hydrated.