Whether you’re into adventure tourism, city riding or taking a self-guided spin around town, Ontario offers a tour for every type of rider.
Fat Bike Group Guided Adventure, Bracebridge
LIV Outside offers adventures for every season, but our favourite might just be fat biking. Named for the bikes’ extra-wide tires, which are between four and five inches wide and have a lower tire pressure than traditional bikes, this style of cycling allows riders to traverse surfaces traditional bicycles can’t handle, like sand and snow. Guests can opt for group or private guided tours that can be geared toward fat biking newbies. In the colder months, guides lead visitors through the province’s first groomed winter bike park, which features single-track trails through winter pine and hardwood forests. But come spring, cyclists can access a six-kilometre loop which starts off simple then provides heart-pumping two-wheeled challenges. Tours usually run about two hours, but fat bike enthusiasts can book longer tours, which gives them time to access the nearby Trans Canada Trail.
The details: Guests must be 12+. Groups are limited to 12 people; private tours require a minimum of four participants. Helmets are mandatory. Organizers also recommend bringing a small backpack stocked with goggles or sunglasses, a water bottle and snacks. Note: There are no toilet facilities available on site.
The cost: From $50 per person.
Sip & Cycle Tour, Prince Edward County
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County Wine Tour, the company behind this six-hour guided experience, is a family affair. Co-founders Erin Bury and Genevive Savundranayagam work with Bury’s parents, Henry and Sharon, to share stories about their town and this evolving wine region with visitors. The tour starts in the small town of Wellington and plots a circular route northwest along the Millennium Trail to the village of Hillier and nearby vineyards. It’s paved, which makes for a smooth ride as participants pass by farmers’ fields and through tree groves with stops at four wineries for tastings. Guests experience 12 wines at four of five county vineyards: Trail Estate Winery, Grange of Prince Edward Winery, Broken Stone Winery, Closson Chase Winery and Karlo Estates Winery. But it’s not just scenic views and handcrafted libations; guests also get plenty of Instagram fodder with stops at Chetwyn Farms, an alpaca farm just outside Wellington, and North America’s largest drystone bridge.
The details: Choose from one of two daily time slots. Guests must be 19+. Groups are limited to six people and guests can expect to cycle approximately 20 kilometres; each bike includes a basket that can hold four bottles of wine.
The cost: From $150 per person, including helmet and bicycle rental, water, snacks and wine tastings.
Bikes & Bites Tour, Ottawa
When Maria Rasouli founded Escape Bicycle Tours in Ottawa, her goal was to encourage people to spend time on two wheels and learn more about Ottawa. But the company has since expanded from solely sightseeing through clever partnerships with other small businesses. Its roster now includes tours focused on gardens—a must-try during the annual Tulip Festival—boats, wellness and, of course, food. The latter is a 3.5-hour hybrid tour that’s co-produced by C’est Bon Gourmet, an Ottawa cooking school and food tour company. It begins on a hybrid comfort or e-bike near Parliament Hill. From there, the group takes a leisurely 14-kilometre journey along dedicated bike paths beside the Rideau Canal. At Lansdowne Park, guests park their bikes and walk to the Aberdeen Pavilion, home of the Ottawa Farmers Market. Expect to learn more than you can imagine about Canada’s favourite tree product—maple syrup—and taste the city’s best grilled cheese sandwich, among other notable sweet and savoury snacks.
The details: Guests must be 6+. Bike and helmet rental, water bottle and food samples are included in the cost.The cost: $99.00 per person (ages 13+); $89.00 per person (children ages six to 12).
Motorcycle the Niagara Parkway, Niagara
Two Great Lakes—Ontario and Erie—bookend this ride, which takes motorcyclists through the Niagara region on what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” This 55-kilometre stretch of two-lane highway showcases the region’s history, museums and attractions—of which there are many. Niagara Parks has even erected over 100 plaques and markers along the Niagara Parkway to commemorate historical events and interesting people, turning what’s typically an hour-long drive into an unhurried afternoon of exploration. Beginning in Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll see historic sites such as the former headquarters of the British military, the site of the Battle of Chippawa and the Laura Secord homestead. When your wheels bring you to the Niagara Escarpment, take a moment to park at the lookout just north of Queenston Heights for Insta-worthy shots of the region, then wander through the 40-hectare Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, where it’s possible to stop and smell the garden’s 2,400 roses. Horseshoe Falls is another idyllic stop. It’s best enjoyed from Queen Victoria Park, where there’s plenty of parking and picnic areas. Continue to the end point of the parkway in Fort Erie, where Old Fort Erie provides more War of 1812 facts and artefacts.
The details: This doesn’t have to be a motorcycle journey. If you prefer non-motorized wheels, the Niagara River Recreation Trail adjacent to the parkway offers walkers and cyclists a dedicated 56-kilometre path.
The cost: Free!
CONTENT FROM GLOBE CONTENT STUDIO
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUGUST 20, 2021
as part of the Great Taste of Ontario Special Report