Find Excellent Places to Bike Near Elliot Lake

Pedal through pristine nature near Lake Huron’s North Channel.

Located midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, Elliot Lake is a quaint and quiet outdoor playground near Lake Huron’s North Channel. Among its wealth of adventure opportunities are some amazing cycling surprises.

The area has long been known as the home of one of the most challenging courses on the Ontario Cup mountain bike circuit, and the local scene is presently getting even better. The trails in and around Elliot Lake are going through a rebirth and renewal. As of 2022, local movers and shakers were discussing the unveiling of a series of multi-use trails. Stay tuned.

The ski hill at Mount Dufour in fall with colourful foliage
Satiate your need for speed on the trails at Mount Dufour. Photo: Richard Boose, Northern Exposures Photography

Mountain biking

As the site of past Ontario Cup Mountain bike races, the trails at the Mount Dufour Ski Area have made a name for themselves as being swoopy and fast. Officially called the Mount Dufour/Fire Tower Trail Network, the 13 kilometre network contains three black trails, four blues, and three greens.

For downhill lovers, the Rock n’ Roll trail involves 200 metres of descent and takes an average time of 37 minutes to complete. Can you beat it?

The terrain can be fast at times, with many rooty and rocky descents. It’s advisable to scout out the features before attempting. The trails include many family-friendly trails, but the black diamond trails are some of the province’s most technical, and fun!

Beginning at the Fire Tower Lookout, the intermediate trail called Tall Paul leads to a panoramic view of the city below. It’s a downhill trail, but watch out for the drop off. Locals say only Paul, the builder, attempts this drop. The rest walk!

View of the Deer Trail Touring Route in fall under cloudy skies near Elliot Lake
Take on the challenge of the Deer Route. Photo: Richard Boose, Northern Exposures Photography

Road Riding

This region is full of lakes, rivers, and provincial parks, perfect for creating bikepacking loops and camping overnight with your bike.

The Deer Trail Touring Route is a 180-km paved and gravelled route that is perfect for taking on a multi-day challenge or a one day in-and-out ride. The triangular route winds through Elliot Lake, Blind River, and Iron Bridge.  The ride is a classic route through wilderness—get the camera ready. In fact, the 100-kilometre ride between Elliot Lake and Iron Bridge follows the Kindiogami River for almost half the route, with frequent viewpoints that are sure to slow your progress. Overnight accommodations are available in Iron Bridge, Blind River, and Elliot Lake, with overnight options at the north end of the route available at Laurentian Lodge and Mississagi Provincial Park.

If you’re looking for more adventure, The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail runs through this region. This is an epic road cycling route that offers lots of info and ideas for lengthy or lingering road trips in the region.

Whitewater rapids on Serpent River, near Elliot Lake
The beautiful sights near Elliot Lake are neverending. Photo: Richard Boose, Northern Exposures Photography

Bike Shop

Canadian Tire sells bike tubes and bike tube patch kits in Elliot Lake, but for more gear head to either Velorution in Sault Ste. Marie or Sudbury’s Sessions Ride Company.

Post-Ride Eats

For everything from pasta and burgers to prime rib, The Fireside Classic Grill is a local favourite.

When you are craving a fried egg and bologna sandwich, and other classic Canadian diner fare, Mum’s Place Restaurant serves up big portions.

For stone-baked pizza and fish and chips, Georges Restaurant is a newer kid on the block that’s worth checking out.

Aerial view of Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in fall
Take a break from cycling and take a hike in Sheriff Creek. Photo: Richard Boose, Northern Exposures Photography

Off the Saddle

Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is a secluded spot to hike for a view of turtles and possibly moose, as well as unique wetland plants such as water lilies, wild sarsaparilla, and yellow loosestrife.

The region is also home to some white sand beaches including Spruce and Spine beaches for swimming and picnicking.

To extend your trip, include a trip to Little White River Provincial Park or Mississagi Provincial Park to enjoy some of the region’s best and well-marked hiking trails, including the strenuous 22-km McKenzie Trail which runs through the Stag Lake Peatlands.

Along the road riding routes, you’ll find gems such as Bells Falls in Bellingham. For a real treat, the Strawberry Fields Farm just west of Iron Bridge is a delicious stop.

About Melanie Chambers

Melanie Chambers is a writer and university instructor living in Toronto. Ever since cycling from Holland to Spain in 1996, Melanie has penned stories about her amateur athletic challenges such as cycling 105 uphill kilometres in Taiwan's KOM Challenge road race and hiking Northern Africa’s highest peak. As an editor and instructor, she has conducted writing workshops around the globe. Locally, she’s provided workshops at the Alice Munro’s Writers and Readers Festival and Western University’s Homecoming. When she’s not on the road, she teaches food and travel writing courses at Western University.

Recommended Articles

Ontario Bike Law

Know your rights and responsibilities.

Bike Rental and Shops

Where to rent or buy bikes in Ontario.

Gravel Grinders

Ontario’s best gravel riding events in 2024.

Mountain Bike Races & Events in Ontario

Find out when these experiences are running in 2024.

E-Biking Bliss

Everything you need to know about riding your electric bike in Ontario

Ultimate Guide to Road Cycling Events

Discover Ontario's best races and events in 2024.

Best Bikepacking Routes

11 unforgettable trip options in Ontario.

Ride the Best Bike Parks in Ontario

Choose from pump tracks, jump parks, and downhill mountain biking.

Camp & Bike

12 bike-friendly campgrounds in Ontario.

Best Ontario Cycling Events

Road biking, mountain biking, BMX, cyclecross and more.

12 Best Ontario Parks for Bike Rides

Find out what makes these parks so great for cycling.

A Complete Guide to Cycling in North Bay

What to check out at this up-and-coming cycling hot spot.

Ontario Bike Clinics & Lessons

Improve your cycling skills and learn something new.

Go Now

The only things missing from Manitoulin Island are you and your bicycle.

Ride Gravel

Ontario's 9 best off-road adventures on two wheels.

Sudbury by Bicycle

See everything the city has to offer, on two wheels.

Best Fall Bike Rides

Make the most of this incredible season.

Bike Trails for the Whole Family

5 places to ride in Ontario.

Mountain Biking Lake Laurentian

Ride and experience Sudbury’s best riding.

Are You Up for the Challenge?

8 best 100-km bike routes in Ontario.