While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, getting out for a few hours (or days) on a bike can be a perfect weekend getaway. Whether your a casual cruiser or a hardcore cyclist eager to see what’s outside of the GTA, here are some routes and treks of various lengths to get you in gear!
Pan Am Path
Newly created and mixing the urban flair of Toronto with creative art projects, the Pan Am Path spans approximately 84 kms. It incorporates portions of the Waterfront and Humber River Trails into its route. Not exactly an arduous affair but a trail that would definitely make for a fun day out.
Finch to Keswick
The shores of Lake Simcoe marks the halfway point of this nearly 130-km ride through Aurora and Richmond Hill. What makes this bike ride a test of stamina at times are the increases in elevation, at times nearing 350 meters.
(Photo by Darren Smith via Flickr)
The Zoo Loop
Although just over 40 kms, this roughly three-hour trek is a relaxing route. The Toronto Outdoor Club’s website describes it as “some of the most spectacular cycling in the city.” West Hill and Port Union are the points east which are hit but the Rouge Park area is the most integral and scenic portion of the ride.
(Photo by Stefan Ogrisek via Flickr)
Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (Downtown)
It won’t test your endurance but this innovative annual event since 2010 sees you pedalling your way from Allen Gardens to Christie Pits. The event, slated for Sept. 13 this year, includes three “pedal-powered” concerts at these locales and Grange Park. The Strumbellas, Gentleman Reg and the Wilderness of Manitoba are some of the artists who have participated over the years.
Toronto to Montreal
Not for the weak or weary, this 600-km stretch goes through some main roads but primarily back roads. Ontario’s gorgeous Waterfront Trail is the main route most cyclists use on this while Quebec’s Route Verte is equally enjoyable. Obviously a multi-day affair but the rider should be able to get to Montreal the same day once entering Quebec. Cycling Magazine describes the trek as “a journey worth taking.”
(Photo by amazing_podgirl via Flickr)
Finch to Nashville
Don’t worry, this route doesn’t lead you to the Grand Ole Opry! Instead the nearly 82-km journey covers the rural area north of Toronto and especially Kleinberg, home of the McMichael Art Gallery. It’s known as a challenging trek but it takes you just east of Bolton and south of Nobleton and King City. The elevation increases near the homestretch, which accounts for its difficulty at times.
(Photo by aliweb_gt via Flickr)
Toronto to Niagara Falls
This route might take a day or two depending on your stamina but regardless it is a majestic path. The Waterfront Trail will get you most of the way Westbound while the Niagara River Recreational Trail will take you to the final destination. From the downtown Toronto core the trek is approximately 160 kilometres. A stop into the wineries around Niagara is another appealing asset the route has.
(Photo by Alex Ranaldi via Flickr)
High Park to Toronto Island
This half-day (two or three hour) adventure (depending on your route) consists of joining the Martin Goodman trail south to the waterfront before connecting into the Waterfront Trail. From there catch the ferry across to Toronto Island and take advantage of some of the island’s various bike trails and paths. It might not seem like a great adventure when one begins around Toronto’s High Park, but it provides a relaxing ride during the hazy, lazy summer.
(Photo by Maggie & Rick via Flickr)
Cherry Beach/Tommy Thompson Waterfront
Ample parkland and beachfront is what makes this 25-km trek worth a morning, afternoon or early evening bike ride. The ride also has very little challenging features or steep rises in elevation. Instead, it offers plenty of scenery and a mix of trails and paths, both paved and unpaved.
(Photo by Randolph Croft via Flickr)
Toronto to Lake Wilcox
A 65-km route from Finch Station through to Richmond Hill’s Lake Wilcox, this is known as an “Easy Stroller” by the Toronto Bicycling Network. The route veers through Vaughan and Richmond Hill and is a decent stretch of cycling without leaving the GTA.
(Photo by Farbmeister via Flickr)