Come Wander
Cycling in Ontario's Highlands

My first memory of cycling… When I was five years old, I broke my arm. I watched my friend ride her bike down her grandmother’s driveway, pop up over the garden hose that was stretched across it, and thought, “I can do that too.”

As it turned out, I was wrong. I started down the driveway, approached that dreaded obstacle, caught my tire, tumbled to the side, and fractured my humerus bone. Before you ask, no, it was not funny.

It was a fluke accident, a minor tumble that should not have resulted in a broken bone, and ever since that fateful day, I’ve had a slight aversion to cycling. Sure, I continued to peddle my way around town to visit friends as a kid, but I was always much more cautious, and once I got my license, my bike quickly took up residence in the garage.

Recently, I’ve had a change of heart. You see, I have a cousin who loves cycling and is incredibly persuasive. Knowing my fear, she convinced me to strap on a helmet, get back on the bike, and go for a ride. After the initial nerves wore off, I was able to experience exploring on two wheels for what it truly was; an invigorating opportunity to connect with the roadways leading from one memorable moment to the next, transforming a head full of noise to a calm state of mind.

I felt strong, empowered, and in full control of my motion. Each breath of fresh air entering my lungs offered a deeper appreciation for the surrounding naturally beautiful green space. From the satisfaction of reaching the top of the hill to the rush of excitement as you soar down the other side; I felt alive.

I quickly started looking for my next cycling adventure, which resulted in an extensive Google search and the realization that Ontario’s Highlands is an epicenter for cyclists. The gorgeous natural landscapes seem as though they were handcrafted for exploring on two wheels. Whether you are looking to spin tricks and hone your skills at The Construction Yard, challenge yourself along the hilly terrain of the Canadian Shield between Perth and Murphys Point Provincial Park, or defy the odds by completing the Tour de Bonnechere 100km loop; there is something for every niche.

Forest Lea

As you I’m sure you can imagine, 30kms of trails winding through a pine forest offers a tight, technical, rocky and rooty ride. Some go as far as to call this “the best riding in Eastern Ontario..”

Bonus: You can download the map outlining all four loops right to your smartphone!

Cycle Lanark County

Discover both the serene beauty and the complex landscape of the Canadian Shield as you pedal your way past farmlands and rocky outcrops, and through the quaint villages and forests of Lanark County.

Bonus: With 22 routes on the free cycling map alone, you can find a route for any skill level to get your muscles working and let the charming towns along the way welcome you throughout your journey.

As someone looking to get back into the scene (it’s as easy as riding a bike, right?), it is exciting to think of all the options in my immediate area to explore this new pastime, and I’m sad to think of all the time I wasted with my bike in the garage. I probably won’t be taking on garden hoses or jumps anytime soon, but I’m looking forward to rediscovering that fearless five-year-old who loved nothing more than feeling the wind in her hair.

Cycle Lennox & Addington

This trail will get your heart racing! Lennox & Addington’s brand new County Forest Trail offers 127 acres of rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield landscape. Explore six kilometres of logging roads and single track trails designed with bermed curves and elevations.

Bonus: The County Forest Trail is only a short drive to Bon Echo Provincial Park. Hike one of the many trails at Bon Echo and then cycle the County Forest Trail, or vice versa! Fall in love with Lennox & Addington’s outdoors.

Stories

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live […]

With Love, to Lennox & Addington

Known for its pristine wilderness, incredible views and rugged natural spaces, the majestic beauty of Lennox & Addington speaks to the wanderer inside us all. From the craggy peak of Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park to the starry skies overhead, there is wonder waiting to be discovered here, a vivid reminder of how our […]

With Love, to Hastings County

The deep lakes and meandering rivers here are ripe with life, both on land and in the water. This land is known as a region rich with minerals, and we haven’t forgotten how our communities were settled by the gold rush, where miners flocked, eager to delve into the earth to unearth its riches. Thick […]

Go Backcountry

You waken slowly in the early morning, the high-pitched warble of birdsong drifting lightly through the trees overhead. The sky is faintly brightening with the coming of dawn, and the natural world is gradually blossoming to life. Around you there is no trace of human activity, no murmurs of voices, clanging of dishes, or whir […]

An Ode to Summer

A throwback to summers gone past, with inspiration for this year’s adventure.

Just Show Up

Hit the water and take advantage of these easy kayaking and canoeing opportunities in Ontario’s Highlands.

Highway 7 Hikes

Stretch your legs by exploring these nature hiking trails along Highway 7.

Coming Home

Discover the story of Sarain Fox and her journey home to the Ontario’s Highlands, relieving memories of ice fishing and snowmobiling along the way.

Spring is Calling

Hanging around the city when the scents of spring are tantalizingly tickling your nose is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway to the countryside, where baby animals, maple syrup, G-rated fun, and fresh air are calling. Get out of […]

Spring Break

The sun is warm, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing their special warm weather songs. It’s official; spring has sprung. After a long Canadian winter, spring getaways are a time-honoured tradition for families here in the great white north, and haven’t we earned a little fun in the sun? This is […]

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

Fall in Love With Winter

Unique winter experiences in Ontario’s Highlands that will give you something to brag about.

Climb a Wall of Ice

Challenge yourself to reach new heights with an ice climbing adventure at these places across Ontario’s Highlands.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Cycle Through Fall

As cooler temperatures arrive and leaves change colour, discover these top places throughout Ontario’s Highlands to cycle in the fall.

The Best Fall Canoeing

Discover these top lakes and rivers in Ontario’s Highlands to discover the beauty of fall colours from a canoe.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

Batter up!

Get a behind the scenes look into the world of baseball at Sam Bat.

Where Am I?

Climb to new heights at the Medeba Ice Wall and enjoy the unique view from the top.

Where Am I?

Make fresh tracks along premium snowmobile trail, the RAP Tour Loop.

Winter? Bring it!

Discover your love for the season with a classic Ottawa Valley winter.

One Last Ride

Watch JR Alli’s video and see what he discovers when he allows himself to just wander.

An Action-Packed Weekend

Read how Will Tang from Going Awesome Places raced muscle cars and experienced thrills on the rapids with whitewater raftering in the Ottawa Valley.

Whitewater Rafting as a Family

Read about how one family took on whitewater rafting on the Madawaska River and why they can’t wait to do it again.

The Freedom Finder

I’m a Freedom Finder. I wander with speed! I seek out opportunities to make fresh tracks, blaze new trails, and get my adrenaline pumping.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Recharge in the Snow

Disconnect from the everyday with a snowmobile trip through Ontario’s Highlands.

All Terrain, All the Time

Pack your saddle bags and press the throttle for an ATV adventure like no other in Ontario’s Highlands.

Raging the Rapids

SUP Instructor Courtney Sinclair takes her passion for paddle boarding to the whitewater.

Hair-Raising Drives

Explore roads of Ontario with these drives that make you reach for your hairbrush.

Roads Worth Riding

Plan your next motorcycle ride along the hand-crafted roads of Ontario’s Highlands. Wind around vast lakes, to fill up on culinary delights, and converse with friendly locals.