Ontario paved/unpaved roads?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Mtraikov, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Mtraikov

    Mtraikov Been here awhile

    Sep 17, 2016
    hey everyone, im in Rochester New York for college. Trying to make the best out of it by exploring the surrounding areas!

    I want to go riding in Ontario for an overnighter. Anyone have any gpx files or resources they can share where I can find gravel roads, 2 track, season limited use roads, and twisties??

    Any help is appreciated!! I ride a Cagiva Gran Canyon
  2. soberjoe

    soberjoe Been here awhile

    Jul 24, 2014
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Jbone11 11 could definitely help you out - send him a pm

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Long timer

    Jan 4, 2011
    Back Home Wintery Ottawa, Bleh!!
    Gotta be honest, Mtraikov, unless you're riding/driving a ways from Rochester, there aint much around that part of Ontario. Real flat... To get to anything remotely interesting, your closest bet is the area just south of Collingwood... about 4.5 hrs from Rochester. There are some ok route up there, but its limited as there is a lot of private property around there. But the good stuff starts just north of Peterborough...in and around the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, which is roughly the same distance but requires a transit of Toronto.... unless there's a ferry from Rochester to Toronto I am not aware of.

    If you intend to get into the good stuff around Peterborough, I can hook you up with some roads and trails to explore. But if Southern Ontario is as far as you want to go, you'd be better off heading south or south east.

    Let me know.
  4. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

    Oct 15, 2008
    here you go - mostly paved stuff below:

    To be able to plot any of the roads or routes below into your GPS, try using a free program called TYRE, that uses the Google Maps platform to build your routes and then allows you to export them into your Garmin or TomTom GPS device: http://www.tyretotravel.com/

    A few notes: Google Maps occasionally updates, and so some of the links below may not work - if you find something not right, please let me know and I'll correct it.

    This is by no means a complete list however it does contain a wealth of the best roads north and to the east 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. Have fun, but represent motorcyclists well.

    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. As of 2016 it's getting a little bumpy, but still good. There is also an Esso Gas station where it meets Hwy118
    Peninsula Rd/#632 - when the pavement is in good condition, this is great fun to ride. It becomes much tighter and more technical in the north section. A huge portion of it has been freshly repaved as of 2016
    Aspdin Rd#3 - 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.
    Hwy141 - 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 (including the 518 and Ravenscliffe Rd from below) 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:
    Hwy518 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.
    Chetwynd Rd 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.
    Ravenscliffe Rd 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.
    McDougall/Hurdville Rd 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.
    Hwy520 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 Dorse and Minden.
    Livingstone Lake Rd is a 27km stretch of road that is pretty twisty and hilly. While paved, it has no centre line and has very little traffic on it, because after 27km, it actually ends at a series of dirt roads that can lead you to other awesome dirt roads and ATV trails. So as far as being a paved road, it becomes an out 'n back totaling 54 km of goodness. As of 2016 there were two small sections of gravel on it for road repair, but they are easily passable on street tires.
    Kawagama Lake Rd is right beside the Livingstone Lake Rd mentioned above and is the same type of deal. It's 17km of paved road, but with better pavement and faster corners. It's 17km long before it turns into a dirt road, so it makes for a nice 34km out 'n back.
    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.
    Kushog Lake Rd - Lot's of twists, hills and a few blind corners thrown in for good measure - very close to Carnarvon off Hwy35.
    Horseshoe Lake Rd passes by the Minden Wild Water Preserve which is a great place to stop for a break and take in the rapids and the area. The road itself is also more interesting than the section of Hwy 35 it runs parallel to and it can also be much less busy than the cottage traffic on Sunday afternoons along Hwy 35.
    Deep Bay Road is a good road to either end or begin your route in this area. It has relatively good pavement and many nice corners throughout. It can also be a much better alternative to avoid the cottage traffic of Hwy 35 when coming home on Sunday afternoons.
    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 south Algonquin roads: these roads are quite popular with riders for good reason.
    Northey's Bay Road - runs east/west and is very close to the bottom of the 507. The pavement is in pretty good shape and there are a number of really tight turns and hills along this route. Well worth checking out and makes for a good connecting road to the 507.
    Hwy507 - runs north/south between Buckhorn and Gooderham - 38km of fast sweepers and decent pavement.
    Glamorgan Rd aka Buckhorn Rd #3 - connects nicely with the Hwy507 between the Hwy503 and the Hwy118. I like it better than the 507, because it feels like the turns are a little tighter and the pavement is good.
    Hwy118 - nice smooth curves and rolling scenery, This 166km 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). Overall it has excellent pavement, balanced with nice scenery and fast sweepers.
    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.
    Loop Rd - This is a U-shaped road that starts and ends along Hwy 118. It has fast sweepers and excellent pavement, where along it's path it intersects with Essonville Line, Elephant Lake Rd and South Baptiste Lake Rd.
    Elephant Lake Rd / Peterson Rd #10 - if this road is clean you won't be disappointed. At 34km long, it runs between Maynooth and Harcourt and has an excellent combination of fast sweepers, moderate curves with some scenic elevation changes. It's pretty much the best road to help link up with the east gate of Algonquin park, if you are coming from the south.
    South Baptiste Lake Rd - this road is a good way to link up between Hwy 62 and Loop Rd, very close to the above mentioned Elephant Lake Rd. The best part of this road is the remarkable ride along the shore of Baptiste Lake. It's an excellent spot to stop and take in the amazing view.
    Hwy60 - 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.
    Lower Faraday Road - this is a great road with stretches that are quite tight and technical following nice scenery along the way. It has pretty good pavement and it's a great way to travel between Bancroft and the south.
    Hwy620/504 combo - this is loop that can be linked up with Lower Faraday mentioned above and the Hwy28. It has a few really tight turns and great scenery.
    Peterborough north route: Here's a route including all the roads north of Peterborough with a run around Haliburton Lake Rd and Harburn Rd, because they are so 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.
    Siberia/Kartuzy Road - 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.
    Opeongo Road - 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, and/or you can take this route and link it up with some of the roads south of Algonquin Park (above) or south of Calabogie (below)

    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.
    Hwy #511 - a great road with little traffic and fast sweepers throughout. It's kind of like the 507 of the east.
    Tatlock Rd - If you are heading to/from Ottawa and want a good route to take to get to/from the 417, then Tatlock road is a twisty, well paved road that leads off the 511. Very nice!
    Hwy #508 - there is some excellent cornering on this road and breathtaking scenery. While you can take this road east all the way to the Trans Canada Hwy, the best curvy section is west of Calabogie.
    Hwy #509 / 506 - more excellent roads with some great twisty sections and amazing scenery. This can be a nice twisty way to connect Hwy7 in the southeast to the Hwy 41 in the west
    Buckshot Lake Road - A sweet road to connect Plevna off the 509 and Denbigh off the 41.
    South Lavant Road - An excellent road to connect up the 511 and the 509 - decent pavement with nice curves and scenery throughout.
    McDonald's Corners Road - This is another great road to connect the 511 to the 509. which is a little further south of the above mentioned South Lavant Road. More great scenery, pavement and curves here.
    Ardoch Road - This is a good road to connect different parts of the 509 together. Nice curves with very little traffic.
    Flinton Rd - 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, especially in the area to the south, which is below Sharbot Lake and above Sydenham.

    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.
    Hwy129 - 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.
    Hwy 556 - 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
    Hwy 556 - this paved section between Sault Ste Marie and Searchmont Resort is a great road of fast sweepers with a few tighter twists. This road is an out 'n back unless you want to ride the next 80km section of hard packed gravel which leads to Hwy129
    TransCanada Hwy17 - 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.
    TransCanada Hwy17 - 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.


    Ontario Trails:

    Quebec and Canada:
    http://www.motorcyclepei.com/ (Prince Edward Island)
    http://www.capebretonhighlands.com/maps/index.htm (Cabot Trail)

    United States:
    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.
    This ride covers the Eastern States - about 15 of them
    Here is another ride report with other roads mapped out leading towards Barber Museum and along the Natchez Trace in Mississippi.
    http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/upload/blrimap-2.pdf *(Skyline Drive / Blue Ridge Parkway)
    http://www.minisonthedragon.com/the_roads.php (Deals Gap and area)
    http://clawofthedragon.com/maps.html (Virginia twisties)
    Candubrain, BoGaRa, DyrWolf and 4 others like this.
  5. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

    Jun 27, 2007
    Great White North
    Just came down Southwood Rd this afternoon. In addition to all of the above, there's some significant potholes that would swallow a small car :lol3
    Not to mention the little snowstorm north of Barrie. One would be well advised to ride it more slowly in one direction before going full-out on the way back.
  6. Mtraikov

    Mtraikov Been here awhile

    Sep 17, 2016
    YOU ARE THE BEST! wow thank you for the plethora of information.
  7. boatboy

    boatboy n00b

    Oct 28, 2018
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

    The south end of Southwood Rd is less than 1 km from our cottage. I had my KLR at the cottage for the summer so got to ride Muskoka a lot. #13 is like a new road everytime you ride it. I swear someone takes a shovel or two of sand and throws it down on some of the blind corners. Fantastic area to ride, just watch the sand!!
  8. iceman73

    iceman73 Adventurer

    Jan 22, 2016
    Somewhere in the woods of Ontario...
    I ride with Shane occasionally and we both belong to several of the same forums.
    He is a provincial treasure and an amazing ride leader!
  9. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

    Oct 15, 2008
    Lucky you - that's a sweet place to have a cottage. How's Southwood Rd looking right now?

    Thanks bud - hope to ride with you again one of these days.
    iceman73 likes this.
  10. FreddieVFR

    FreddieVFR n00b

    Jan 10, 2015
    Rode it east to west a couple of weeks ago. some parts are pretty messy: remnants of earlier flooding?
    Also, some pothole repair, the kind where the Road dept relies on car traffic to tamp down the patches.
    Otherwise, a good challenging road.