Your summer vacation and cycling tour may already feel like a dim view in your rearview mirror. The great thing about cyclists is we’re always planning and researching our next adventure.
We’re fortunate in Canada to be surrounded by so much natural, spellbinding beauty. To experience different regions of Canada by bike has got to be the best way to immerse yourself in the vast topographic and cultural diversity this country offers. When you’re on your bike you’ll enjoy true local flavour.
The routes here are arbitrary choices. There are hundreds more that are equally good and likely even better. These routes are provided to wet your cycling appetite, get you going on your own research and feature regional rides. If you’re planning a trip to central Canada or the maritime provinces you may wish to incorporate some cycling in. Some of these routes are short, easy rides. Some are more challenging.
THE GULF ISLANDS, B.C.
The Gulf Islands, made up of over a dozen large islands, are situated in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and mainland B.C. Each island has it’s own unique flavor. The southern Gulf Islands are known for pristine wilderness.Check out BC Ferries for routes to the islands, and between islands, because you’ll definitely want to do some island hopping. You should allow yourself a full week to ten days to experience the natural beauty here. There’s a diverse population of artisans, farmers, winemakers and other interesting types living here, making exploration even more fun. You’ll find many dedicated bike paths and quiet side roads with spectacular ocean and mountain views.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Alberta and B.C.
This is a challenging 300 km. ride that begins and ends at Castle Mountain Junction, situated close to the B.C./Alberta border. This is where roadwork began to create a pass through the Rockies, known as The Great Divide. On this route you’ll get to explore three national parks and three mountain passes. Kicking Horse Pass is a particularly challenging climb. The road shoulders are narrow so be careful of those vehicles approaching from the rear. You’ll enjoy amazing vistas in Banff and Lake Louise. If you’ve never seen the Rockies up close this could be the ride for you.
GATINEAU HILLS, Quebec
If you do this 110 km ride from Ottawa to Gatineau Park, you have to do it in the autumn. The brilliant foliage is well worth the ride. You take the Alexander Bridge out of Ottawa, leading you right into Quebec. A short ride takes you into Gatineau Park which offers cyclists a 30 km loop. It’s an enjoyable, easy ride and there’s nothing wrong with easy. While you’re in the area don’t forget to pick up some of that legendary maple syrup.
FUNDY TRAIL SYSTEM – New Brunswick
This 215 km road route starts and ends in Moncton. You’ll ride through Fundy National Park and Rocks Provincial Park. Both parks offer expansive ocean vistas, beautiful beaches and waterfalls. Hopewell Rocks or ‘Flower Pot Rocks’ is one of New Brunswick’s top attractions. The rocks have been carved over time by the world’s highest tides. Trees have rooted on the tops of the rocks and in coves. Plan to spend some time here to experience the tides, sand dunes and geologic formations.
PEI NATIONAL PARK – Prince Edward Island
This is a short and easy 35 km ride. You’ll access some of Canada’s best beaches and enjoy the red sandstone cliffs and the towering sand dunes. PEI, Canada’s Home of Confederation, is only 5660 square km. Vancouver Island is 32,134 square km, so you get an idea of how very small this island is. The topography is easy and gently rolling. A biker’s dream. There aren’t too many vehicles on the highways so you can keep on riding after PEI National Park with ease, if you choose. Explore those little fishing villages. They’re colorful. A stop at any coffee shop will fill you with the flavour of the island.
We’d love to hear about your favourite route. Drop in and talk to us at Russ Hayes at either our Victoria or Sydney locations if you’d like to talk about your next cycling adventure. Chances are one of us has the same dream or has ridden the route you’re contemplating.