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 Murphy’s 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!

Heritage Bikes and Rentals

Take advantage of insider knowledge of the area when you rent a bike from this community focused bike shop in Perth. Grab a map to bring along on your journey and ask for staff recommendations for local rides – they love to share their knowledge and have suggestions for any type of rider.

Bonus: Whether you’re newer to riding, just getting back in the game, or even just want some backup, you can upgrade to an e-bike for a little extra boost along your journey.

Valley Cycle Tours

Whether you choose the one-day or multi-day package, the guided or self guided option, or want to contact Cindy personally to craft up a custom route just for you, exploring the Ottawa Valley on two wheels has never been easier.

Bonus: One of their routes ends with a tour and tasting at the Whitewater Brewing Co. Now that is my kind of cycling!

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.

Stories

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.

Highway 7 Hikes

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

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.

Just Show Up

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

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.