The Best Ebiking Routes in Ontario

Use these ebike-friendly locations to your advantage and get out there.

Ebikes are allowing a whole new demographic of riders to explore on bikes. For some people, ebikes enable them to ride with their younger, or perhaps more fit, friends or children. At the same time, many people are also rediscovering the joy of riding after years of not owning a bike.

And for those with physical limitations, ebikes are truly a revelation that allows them to keep exercising and enjoying the outdoors.

Whether you want a long smooth route with few stops, or a rocky, rooty joy ride, Ontario has tons of epic rail trails and existing trails that are welcoming to ebikers.

two cyclists ride through a forest trail at Hiawatha Highlands
Find kilometres of fun at Hiawatha Highlands. Photo: Sault Cycling Club

Sault Ste Marie

The John Rowswell Hub Trail loops around the city and is a relatively flat and easy 24 km. Starting from the boardwalk on the St. Marys River, the Hub Trail meanders through the city’s downtown and into the northwest corner through the Fort Creek Conservation Area, which features impressive views of marshlands. Stop to see interpretive plaques and the historic St. Marys Rapids, which were created in the wake of the glaciers of the last Ice Age, over 3,000 years ago. The rapids were also a gathering place and famous fishing area for Indigenous Anishnaabe people, who still refer to the area as “Bawating”—the place by the rapids.

For mountain ebikes, the Hiawatha Highlands offers 36 km of ebike-accessible trails, ranging from green to black levels of difficulty. Trails such as the Old Highway are easy double-track through the forest, while you can experience tight and twisty fun on the more technical trails like the Wolf Tree. Note: Some trails, such as Anymel, are not ebike friendly. Check the entire trail system before riding. Ebikes on the Hiawatha are only accessible if in pedal assist mode.  No other types of speed control such as handlebar throttles allowed. The ebike must follow the Government of Ontario ebike specifications and not exceed 32 km/h.

STAY: The Mountainview Lodge has tons of personality—including a Red Caboose cabin.

EAT: The Taj Indian Cuisine is delicious and affordable.

SHOP: Hollywood Electric rents ebikes. Also check out Velorution near the Hiawatha Highlands trailhead.

View from a bike of autumn forest
Fun at Hersey Lake. Photo: Yves Viel

Timmins

Located just off Highway 101, ebikers are welcome to discover an immense 55 km network of crushed travel and mud trails that link a multitude of conservation areas and unique historical points in Timmins. The Mattagami Region Conservation Authority manages this beautiful network of trails that includes 8 unique sections. The Bridge to Bridge is a favourite that traverses the banks of the Mattagami River. In the 1970s, 60 homes were relocated to accommodate the expanding floodplain; you can still see the old Eacom mill across the river. Back during the log boom, spruce, pine and fir were hauled in from the river shores. Birdwatchers also love the chance to see Great Blue Heron and more.

The Scout Lake Road trail is another great gravel path (4 km) with marshes and marigolds in the spring that make for a nice adventure. Also, be sure to check out the cherry blossoms on the east side of the hospital. The Rainbow Lake lookout is a good stop for lunch with a sheltered wooden platform that juts out into the water.

Check Trailforks for access as a few trails in the network are not accessible to motorized bikes.

STAY: Centrally located, The Best Western Premier Northwood Hotel is a favourite of cyclists

EAT: Siva’s Family Restaurant has it all, and lots of it, including pasta, burgers and smoothies.

SHOP: Canadian Tire in Timmins sells bike accessories and ebikes.

two cyclists ride at the Walden Mountain Bike park near Sudbury
Find your fun at Walden Mountain Bike Park. Photo: Rory Lepage

Sudbury

Sudbury ebike riders are lucky. The Rainbow Route, part of the Trans Canada Trail, offers an amazing 93 km of paved or crushed gravel bike routes that traverse dozens of bridges, forests and lakeside views. If you want a nice, long ride without interruption, park at Moonlight Beach Road and ride west, hopping from island to island and eventually back to Bell Park near downtown. Choose from a handful of beaches, or plan your ride to attend an outdoor concert.

The Walden Mountain Bike Park has 15 km of singletrack mountain bike trails; the best option for ebikers is Dialed in, which is a series of trails linked together. Mostly blue and green skill level, the big push to a 244-m hill in the middle, which means you have tons of time to warm up. The beauty of this trail is how it weaves through the dense birch forest without interruption.

STAY: Centrally located, The Moonlight Inn & Suites has kitchenettes for hungry cyclists.

EAT: The Fromagerie is a trendy charcuterie spot with loads of fun spreads for sharing.

SHOP: Sessions Ride Co. has all you need to keep you moving.

two cyclists ride up the Laurentian Escarpment
Conquer tough at the Laurentian Escarpment. Photo: Ontario Discovery Routes

North Bay

The trails in the Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area are a dense mountain biking network; be prepared to stop often as the loops mean you’re often heading into an intersection. Located near downtown North Bay, the elevation is moderate (around 100 m) and you’re never far from your car.  The view over the ski hill is a great stop for a rest before looping back in again.

The North Shore has 5 km of technical mountain biking trails. There are tons of loops and it’s exceptionally maintained by a few retired teachers. It’s the kind of trail you can put your head down and go. Expect to climb with many steep sections and lookouts. Highlights include the Alta Via ridge to get a view of Trout Lake, Lake Nipissing and the outlying community of Callender.

For more subdued, gravel-style riding on backcountry roads and trails, the Ahmic Lake loop includes 40 km of mixed gravel and paved surfaces. Be prepared to kick the ebike into assist mode as the hills can be long. A highlight is riding on the Old Nipissing Road section to see remnants of former pioneer homes from the 1850s.

STAY: With a great location and free breakfast, The Marriot is a cozy choice.

EAT: Fifty’s Diner is good ole’ fashion breakfast eggs to burgs and fries.

SHOP: Cycleworks has recently added a fleet of ebikes if you’re looking to try or buy one.

bike parked by trailhead and sign for Moonbeam Nature Trails
Enjoy quiet Northern Ontario views on the Moonbeam Nature Trails. Photo: Reilly Hefferman

Moonbeam

Imagine 29 km of quiet trails in remote Northern Ontario. The Moonbeam Nature Trails have tranquility along with some cool picnic spots and historical sites. From downtown Moonbeam, you can ride the 11-km paved section to Rene Brunelle Provincial Park and stop at the lookout on the West shore of Balsam Lake for lunch and the lakeside views.

For a historical romp, the 9-km-long Nursery Loop has a formidable hill in the middle of the ride; luckily, you can kick your ebike into high speed for some help. A highlight of this ride: cycling beside a field of transplanted trees, which were carefully selected to preserve their species in prime habitat.

STAY: The Comfort Inn is centrally located and includes free breakfast.

EAT: Drive 20 minutes on Highway 11 to Kapuskasing for Chez Lizette that serves fries on pizza!

SHOP: O’Reilly’s Sports is two hours south in Timmins, but it’s on your way to Moonbeam and can help with service and bike parts.

two women ride bikes down the Haliburton County Rail Trail
Take it easy on the laid-back Haliburton County Rail Trail. Photo: Thom Lambert

Haliburton

The  Haliburton County Rail Trail is about 34 km of crushed gravel and pavement along a former railway line. It all makes for a smooth, comfortable, long and quiet ride, passing through marshes and alongside a few rapids. Kinmount is a cute town with an old train station and sawmill museum. Here, the trail merges into the Victoria Rail Trail, which extends another 85 km. Highlights include giant wetlands in Sturgeon Lake and the many heritage bridges.

The K & P Rail Line (Kingston to Pembroke) has an out and back section that is doable in a day at about 28 km, with a stop in Calabogie. The full trail is the largest rail trail in Ontario at 180 km. The wetlands and solitude are its main features, as well as giant rockcuts through limestone. The moss-covered slabs feel prehistoric.

STAY: Watch a concert, sip a beer and stay at the exceptionally cool Sharbot Lake Country Inn.

EAT: The Maple Avenue Tap & Grill in Haliburton has a hungry man breakfast and amazing burgers.

SHOP: Algonquin Outfitters has several store locations in and around the Haliburton Highlands region.

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.

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