Best Attractions in Sudbury to Explore by Bike

From museums to parks to restaurants, The Nickel City is full of fun places easily accessible by bicycle.

If backroad loops, scenic waterfront and bike-friendly dining options are features you appreciate in a destination, Sudbury is definitely for you. Thanks to improved bike lane systems and accessible attractions, Sudbury is quickly becoming one of the province’s best places to plan a cycling trip to.

In Sudbury you can work up a sweat while enjoying both urban attractions and classic riding routes and trails, then unwind over a delicious meal or a session at a spa. Following you’ll find an itinerary for exploring the best Sudbury has to offer by bike.

Getting Around

Sudbury is an incredibly bike-friendly city. In 2016, Sudbury updated their Active Transportation Plan to develop more inclusive cycling infrastructure. Thanks to their efforts, amenities like city-wide bike lanes, bike racks, lockup stations and their Rack and Roll bike transportation program exist and help increase safe and accessible cycling within the city.

1. Start Your Day by Fuelling Up

You don’t want to spend a day exploring Sudbury by bike on an empty stomach. Sudbury has a wide variety of tasty breakfast options to warm you up for your ride.

  • Ride the designated bike lanes to one of Salute Coffee Company’s two locations within the city to try their selection of espresso-based beverages, nutrient-dense smoothies and caffeine-free options. With a focus on high-quality ingredients like free range eggs from local farms and house-made syrups, they offer delicious menu items like their Free Range Frittata, House Granola and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
  • For those planning a longer ride who want a big classic breakfast, make your way to Jak’s Diner and order the Jumbo Jak’s Breakfast or Big Wrap.
  • If plant-based food is your thing, head to Gloria’s Restaurant and order from their vegan menu. Try the Breakfast Skillet, made with the plant-based “Just Egg,” or their Vegan Poutine. For non-vegans, Gloria’s offers a massive breakfast menu. Try their Chicken Waffle or Triple Cheese Breakfast Skillet.
people shop indoors at the Sudbury Market
Visit the Sudbury Market for some local tastes. Source: Michelle Dumont // The Sudbury Market

2. Explore the Downtown

Before heading out on the trails or travelling the bike-designated lanes on the roadways, explore the businesses in Sudbury’s downtown core. Lock your bike at one of the many bike racks and explore the unique shops and scenery the downtown area has to offer.

  • Lock up your bike and take a walk around the Sudbury Market to interact with the vendors who sell locally grown produce, handmade accessories, artisanal soaps, free range meats, foraged mushrooms and more. The market runs outdoors throughout the summer and remains open through the fall and winter at their indoor location.
  • Wander through Bay Used Books to find the next piece of reading material that will keep you company as you reflect on your adventures or take a break trailside. If you have books you're finished with, they even offer a book trading program to give you a discount on your next read.
  • Use the shoulder bike lanes on Paris Street, heading towards Regional Road 80 to reach Ramakko’s to browse their impressive selection of outdoor clothing and adventure gear. Whether you need a new winter sleeping bag, a handheld GPS or hiking boots, their experts have you more than covered. For avid paddlers: check out their collection of canoes, kayaks, paddles and more (you can have them put a boat on hold so you can return with your vehicle to pick it up later!).

3. Go Biking

Sudbury is nestled in the heart of some of Northern Ontario’s most beautiful wilderness. The unique mixture of massive hills, pristine lakes and expansive forests make it an incredibly versatile area to explore. Outside of the downtown core, there is an abundance of riding options to accommodate whichever kind of cycling you are in the mood for. From massive parks with glorious maintained singletrack trails to urban routes that pass through quaint neighbourhoods and border local lakes, there is something for everyone.

  • For a route showcasing the beauty surrounding the city, begin in the downtown area and head east on the designated bike lanes on Howey Drive, tracing the Ramsey Lake Cycle Tour de Sudbury. The iconic 21-kilometre local ride will take you around Ramsey Lake, along designated bike paths and off-road trails, showcasing the beautiful waterfront within Sudbury.
  • If you are in search of high-octane singletrack riding within one of Ontario’s most pristine adventure parks, look no further than Kivi Park. Bike south on Paris Street/Regional Road 80 for 12 kilometres or throw your bike onto your bike rack to reach the network of 55.6 kilometres of professionally maintained trails. Choose from pump tracks, short beginner rides, or double black diamond advanced mountain biking trails. Day passes for the park are $10 and if you get hungry, stop by the Kivi Cafe for a hot drink or a snack. You can even visit Kivi Park during the winter to rent one of their fat bikes for winter trail riding.
  • For experienced road cyclists who love elevation changes, long stretches of highway and small local towns, try your hand at one of the area’s challenging routes like the Grand Tour de Sudbury. This 102-kilometre route will challenge you as you travel through the understated, scenic rural areas of Val Caron, Creighton and Chelmsford.
young girl pets a skunk at Science North in Sudbury
There is a ton of great programming for kids at Science North. Source: Destination Ontario

4. Learn Something New

With so many galleries and museums within the city limits, a trip to Sudbury wouldn’t be complete without taking a few hours to explore these world-class facilities. Thankfully, many of these places are accessible by bike!

  • Pop into the Art Gallery of Sudbury to explore their rotation of unique and evocative exhibits highlighting works from local and international artists.
  • Be sure to make time to visit Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction, Science North. Learn about the importance of natural ecosystems, interact with advanced technology exhibits or catch an adventure documentary in the IMAX cinema.
  • History buffs or those fascinated by railway design will want to make the extra effort to bike to the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre. Book a private tour to travel through time in a heritage home built in 1916 while learning about the railroad industry in Northern Ontario.
The Big Nickel attraction in Sudbury
Bike to see the most famous attraction in Sudbury. Source: Destination Ontario

5. See Some of the City’s Best Sights

There are many outdoor attractions in Sudbury that are easy to get to on your bike. You won’t want to miss these highlights.

  • Ride the Rotary Park Trail, a 2.9-kilometre trail, connecting the downtown core to New Sudbury. Along the way, make a stop at the New Sudbury Lookout, a raised platform offering a stunning panoramic view of fields, river and forest.
  • Ride south in the designated bike lanes of Paris Street to Bell Park to see the sculpture that pays homage to Sudbury’s mining history, walk along the Jim Gordon Boardwalk, and take a break at the William Bell Gazebo. Bell Park is Sudbury's largest municipal waterfront park and offers calming views of the city’s Ramsey Lake.
  • You would be remiss if you travelled to Sudbury without taking in one of its most notable tourist attractions. Head southwest on Regional Road 55 to make the 5-kilometre ride from downtown to the Big Nickel so you can feast your eyes on the world’s largest coin, a 9-metre replica of a 1950s nickel, and the largest piece of change you will ever stumble upon.

6. Grab Dinner or Drinks at One of Sudbury’s Local Establishments

There is no greater satisfaction than sitting down to enjoy a well-earned meal or drink after a long day of hard pedalling and fresh air. Sudbury is home to a super selection of locally produced beer, spirits and great eats.

  • Stop by Stack Brewing to sip one of their gold medal winning La Cloche Belgian blonde beers on the patio, or if it’s a rainy day, sit inside and eat some of their house-made comfort food.
  • If you are looking for vegan or vegetarian options, head to The Laughing Buddha to try their signature Buddha Bowl; a health-conscious, hearty meal to replenish you after a day of riding. The Laughing Buddha is also known for their fantastic non-alcoholic cocktails and fresh ingredients.
  • For spirit lovers, visit the Crosscut Distillery to experience their warm, modern atmosphere, while trying one of their signature moonshine-based cocktails. Crosscut Distillery is a great example of one of Sudbury’s unique craft alcohol makers, and offers inventive artisanal drinks.

7. Recharge in Preparation for Your Next Day of Riding

In a city with so much to do and so many places to visit by bike, it can be easy to overexert yourself. Spend quality time recharging your batteries so you can soak up all the attractions Sudbury has to offer.

  • Ride north of Sudbury for an hour, passing through the small community of Garson, to make your way to the Touch of Heaven Nordic Spa & Retreat. The spa offers luxurious suites, spa packages and a self-guided Nordic circuit that is sure to replenish and rejuvenate you.
  • If cold plunges are your cup of (iced) tea, take a quick swim in the crisp waters of Ramsey Lake to centre yourself while relieving muscle soreness.
  • Stay in town at the Travel Inn, Towneplace Suites or Rodeway Inn, each of which have been named bike-friendly accommodations by Ontario By Bike.
  • If you are looking to stay somewhere more secluded, stay at the beautiful Lohi Lake House on Lohi Lake. Park your car for the weekend and bike the 17 kilometres into town before returning home to make use of the water access and sauna.

Local Bicycle Maintenance

Whether you’re a distance rider or a leisurely lakeside coaster, it’s always good to know there’s a shop nearby that can help you with your supply and repair needs.

Visit the knowledgeable crew at Sessions Ride Co. to address any issues your bike may have, stock up on bicycle accessories and to peruse their extensive inventory of bikes. Be careful though, you might just end up leaving with a new bike.

For clothing needs, outdoor gear and friendly customer service for your ride, visit The Outside Store. For high-end full-suspension mountain bikes, hardtails, road bikes and everything in between, visit Adventure365, a full service bike shop that even offers rentals at Kivi Park.

Start planning your trip to Sudbury, one of Ontario’s best destinations for cyclists looking to experience an area rich in culture and attraction.

About Marshall Veroni

Marshall Veroni is a poet, songwriter and outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time travelling Canada in one way or another. With a background in creative writing, he is dedicated to immersing himself in small-town Ontario to cover outdoor adventures, music, the arts, food and travel. 

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