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Canada's Bucket-List Rides and Routes

Canada's Bucket-List Rides and Routes

Riding motorcycles can be a fun alternative to being cramped in the car on a cross-country road trip. Who likes being cramped in a box of metal for hours at a time singing with the radio or listening to Uncle Bob snore in the back seat? Taking your motorcycle out on the open road may be the best chance you have of truly enjoying the great outdoors.

You want to make sure you are prepared for these types of trips, having a plan, a backup plan, and then the backup plan for the backup plan (and so on). Motorcycle safety is also something to keep in mind if you take to the open road. If you haven’t refreshed yourself on some of the standard safety measures, you might want to do so. Also, make sure you have made the transition from storage to the road for a ride-ready bike.

Choosing the Best Routes in Canada

There are roads and there are motorcycle roads. Sure, everyone likes to wing it from time to time, jump on the motorcycle and see where life takes us. For a short-term trip of only a few hours, this might be feasible, but you need to have some type of plan on the route you plan to take for longer trips.

Planning ahead of time helps you maximize your time and sightseeing and lets those not going with you know where you are during each phase of the trip. You can’t always rely on your phone and/or GPS to get you out of a rut. There will be times where you won’t have service, and there is no way that navigation or contact with the outside world is possible.

Different factors can cause inconsistency with GPS:

  • Not enough satellites
  • Satellite position
  • GPS drift
  • Lost signal
  • Multipath Error
  • Signal obstruction - this is the most common, especially when dealing with large buildings, trees, tunnels, and other interference with the GPS receiver

To eliminate the unpleasantness that comes with a faulty GPS, you may consider going “old school” and carrying a map with you. Consider it a “just in case” type of insurance policy on the road when you are miles from civilization.

So now that you have an idea of preparation, where should you go? Canada is full of beautiful scenery that the avid motorcycle enthusiast can appreciate. Let’s break it down by category so that you can find the right places to ride.

The Best Scenic Route

Pacific Rim Highway (BC Highway 4) - British Columbia

Image source: gov.bc.ca

The BC Highway 4, west of Port Alberni, is known as the Pacific Rim Highway and offers motorcycle riders twists, turns, and excitement. The ride goes through Sutton Pass, which opens a view of snow-covered mountains and a canopy of giant Douglas firs.

Sea-to-Sky Highway (BC Highway 99) - British Columbia

Image source: HelloBC.com

Aptly named thanks to the climbs and descents, and ocean and mountain views, the Sea-to-Sky Highway snakes through Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and all the way to Lillooet. While the section between Squamish to Whistler offers the best sea and sky views, the stretch between Pemberton and Lillooet is the best for motorcycle riding - the twists and turns, descents and 20-kilometre per hour hairpins.

Glacier Trail - Alberta

Hands-down one of the most scenic motorcycle rides not just in Canada, but of all the world. Start from the crystal clear, glacier-fed waters, this 400km ride encompasses stunning vistas, huge and never ending mountain views, waterfalls, wildlife, glacial lakes and the Columbia Icefields, running through the towns Banff, Lake-Louise and Jasper.

Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie, Quebec

Image source: QuebecMaritime.ca

This scenic motorcycle ride loops around the huge and equally legendary Gaspé Peninsula, packing contrasting landscape and fresh sea air, and an effervescent Eurovibe. In fact, National Geographic Traveler included this region one of  Canada’s 50 Places of a Lifetime.

The Cabot Trail - Nova Scotia

Image source: NovaScotia.com

The Cabot Trail measures almost 300km’s in length and completes a loop around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island, and features some of the most dramatic riding roads you’ll ever ride. Enjoy the elevation changes and curves carved into a rugged coastline in and out of the Cape Breton Highlands.

The Best Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Spots

Some of the best places for camping and adventure when traveling by motorcycle are National Parks. National Parks across the Canada make a great spot to hike, camp, sightsee and provide extreme experience when traveling by bike. These are only a few examples – the opportunities are endless when it comes to the natural beauty and adventure of the great outdoors.

  • Banff National Park – Alberta
  • Fundy National Park – New Brunswick
  • Yoho National Park – British Columbia
  • Forillon National Park – Quebec
  • Prince Edward Island National Park – Prince Edward Island

The Best Off-Roading Route

Image source: AllTrails.com

Every now and then, motorcycle riders like to stray from the well-beaten path. When that happens, they find some of the best places in Canada to ride and see the most beautiful scenery. These riders also get to showcase their skill on some of the more extreme paths.

  • Concession Lake – Ontario
  • Calabogie Dirt Bike Route – Ontario
  • Bear Skulls – Manitou Mountain Conservation Reserve
  • Black Bay Loop – Ontario
  • Ganaraska Oak Ridges – Ganaraska Forest

The Best Street and City Routes – For the Sites

Checking out the sites on your motorcycle doesn’t always mean escaping to forests and National Parks. Sometimes, it can just be hopping on your bike and visiting the big city to see what sites are there. Some of these cities go without any explanation needed, and others might be a hidden jewel you never knew existed.

  • St. John's Newfoundland
  • Montreal and Quebec City, Quebec
  • Charlottetown, PEI
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

The Best Tracks

Image source: RacingCircults.info

Sometimes you don’t want to go sightseeing but merely quench the need for speed. Canada does not disappoint when looking for some of the best tracks that cater to motorcycles.

  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Bowmanville, Ontario
  • Calabogie Motorsports Park – Calabogie, Ontario
  • Shannonville Motorsports Park – Shannonville, Ontario
  • Atlantic Motorsport Park – Mill Village, Nova Scotia
  • Erie Ramblers Motorcycle Club – Wheatley, Ontario

Honorable Mention: Oddly Entertaining Stops and Trails

What would a “best of” list be without the honorable mention section? Searching for the best routes has introduced us to some relatively interesting sites and routes that you might find worth adding to your list.

The Frank Slide - Alberta

Image source: FrankSlide.ca

Over a century has passed since the Canadian town of Frank was destroyed by a large portion of Turtle Mountain that slid down and onto the town. Today, this is still the deadliest rockslide in Canada’s history and can be seen from the Crowsnest Highway, which passes right through the disaster site.

Giant Easter Egg - Alberta

Image source: theStar.com

Located in Vegreville, Alberta, the Vegreville egg is a Ukrainian Easter Egg (pysanka) commemorating the area’s early Ukrainian settlers. This egg is over three stories tall and is the second-largest in the world (behind Ukraine’s). There are over 2,000 perfectly equilateral triangles, 500 different star patterns, and more on this impressive sculpture.

Giant Viking Statue - Manitoba

Image source: GlobalNews.ca

Found in Gimli, Manitoba, a massive sculpture commemorating Vikings can be found to remind those of the Icelandic ancestry that fills the area. Travelers and the natives get to appreciate the rich cultural history with the giant Viking in place.

Keeping Track of the Sights

You can’t always have your camera out while you are on the road – this is true in both automobiles or on a motorcycle. Most places have banned cellphone use while operating a vehicle, so what do you do if you want to make memories of all the sights?

Install a dash cam on your motorcycle. It seems like a relatively easy solution, right? Whether you plan to explore the provinces of Canada, BlackboxMyCar has the solution that will meet your needs and budget.

When you decide to take a trip in the North American hemisphere, you won’t want to miss an instant (and it can also increase safety). Ordering and installing your motorcycle dash cam makes it easy to make memories, be safe, and protect your investment (your motorcycle) in the process.

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