Trends come and go in the cycling world, but idyllic rail trails, challenging gravel routes, and rugged mountain bike trails never go out of style. Locals have known for years that Ontario’s Highlands is a cyclist’s paradise, with all of the above and then some.  

Whatever bike routes you are searching for, we have it. And they’re likely peppered with local gems to explore, like backroad breweries, chip trucks galore, quaint general stores, and plenty of overnight options.  

The secret is officially out: Ontario’s Highlands is the place to be for cyclists of any type. 

Gravel and Rail Trails 

With the added benefit of wider tires and all the comforts of your standard road bike, gravel bikes are becoming a popular choice for the bike that can do it all. If you have an appetite for adventure, check out these gravel routes and rail trails in our neck of the woods. 

Bikepacking Routes 

Exhilarating by day and uber-relaxing by night, bikepacking takes backcountry riding to the next level by combining it with an overnight camping stay. Load up your bike and get ready to sleep under the stars on these Ontario bikepacking routes. 

Mountain Bike Trails 

The Canadian Shield’s rocky terrain coupled with the rolling hills of Ontario’s Highlands makes for some of the best mountain biking in southern Ontario. 

  • Forest Lea: Traverse the technical single-track trails ranging from six to 25-kilometre long located deep in the forests outside of Pembroke. Stop in for a post-ride drink at Square Timber Brewing Co.   
  • Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride: Get in some downhill riding with the handy lift service offered in summer. With on-site rentals this is also a good spot for beginners. Don’t leave without grabbing a bite at Rhubarb on the Hill!   
  • Bennie’s Corners: Ride 11 intermediate trails at this trail system just outside of Almonte and then refuel with vegan treats and coffee from Keepers Coffee in Pakenham. 

Fat Biking Trails 

Many of the mountain bike trails in our area transition into playgrounds for fat bikes in the winter months. Here are a few that we recommend for your next adventure. 

  • Glebe Park Trails: Haliburton Mountain Bike Club’s Glebe Park trails are available for fat bikers in winter. Restore your energy levels with filling Mexican fare from Poquito Loco.   
  • BORCA Trails: Beachburg Off-Road Cycling Association’s (BORCA) trail system includes trails that runs alongside the Ottawa River. Stay at the Whitewater Inn and ask owner Cindy which trails are her favourite. 
Cycle Haliburton