Why Your Next Romantic Getaway Should be a Cycling Tour

Sharing a road or trail ride with your special someone is the perfect way to make a deeper connection.

If your idea of a romantic getaway includes you, your partner, and your bikes, these Northern Ontario and near north cycling itineraries are sure to get you in the mood.

To make the most of your time together and ensure you keep on the same path—literally and figuratively—we’ve compiled advice from couples who love their bikes almost as much as each other.

When planning your ride, seek out quiet back roads or doubletrack trails where it’s safe to ride side-by-side—it’s a wonderful chance to reconnect with your partner. “We tend to talk quite a lot when we ride,” says Karen Duff, a southern Ontario-based personal trainer, mountain bike coach and founder of Fit4Adventure. “That transfers to everyday life. The passion shared together for cycling can help you deal with life off the bike.”

So, where to go? Read on for five of our favourite couples’ destinations, plus check out Ontario By Bike for even more romantic cycling locales.

Esker Lakes Provincial Park

Two people's legs and bare feet looking out of a tent at a lake.
Romance is a post-ride lakeside snuggle.

Basing at Esker Lakes Provincial Park, about 37 km from Kirkland Lake, road-riding couples can explore little villages surrounding the park by day, and the park’s dozens of glacier-formed kettle lakes in the evening.

Camping couples will also appreciate the park’s isolation. Chantal Leclerc, an avid cyclist from Toronto who escapes to the north with her husband whenever she can, suggests biking to a secluded site on Columbus Lake, near the park’s southern boundary. “It is a romantic spot to watch a sunset, have a fire, and go skinny-dipping if you’ve scouted well,” she says.

In July and August, bring a bucket for blueberry picking. And for more substantial dining, Kirkland Lake has many cozy eateries: Crabby Patty’s Diner (51 Fourth St.) serves monster breakfasts, including Canadian peameal bacon; The Fed (4 Day Ave.) is the local watering hole for classic pub fare; and Plum Blossom Bakery Café rewards cyclists who make the 74-km round trip from the park with their famous maple tarts, decadent desserts, and fresh, micro-roast coffee.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Two people riding on bicycles side by side on a road in the forest.
Romantic rail trail riding in Algonquin Park. 

For decades, couples have celebrated honeymoons and anniversaries at Algonquin Park. Many base their romantic retreat from the Couples Resort, a five-star resort and spa just outside the park’s eastern boundary on the shores of Galeairy Lake and the Madawaska River. With a private outdoor hot tub, Jacuzzi, and fireplace in every room, it can be hard to leave. Fortunately, daily five-course breakfast and dinner provide ample fuel for a plethora of trail, gravel, and road rides right out the door.

From the resort, take the gravel Abandoned Line Trail into Algonquin and connect with the park’s Old Railway Bike Trail at Rock Lake Campground. This 16-km rail trail follows the abandoned bed of the historic Ottawa, Arnprior, and Parry Sound Railway, opened in 1896 and decommissioned in 1959. Relatively wide and flat for most of its length, the Railway Bike Trail is perfect for leisurely side-by-side riding on gravel, mountain, or fat bikes. If you need to rent rides, Algonquin Outfitters’ Lake of Two Rivers Store is conveniently situated near the trail’s midpoint.

Couple sitting on a small bridge over a calm lake.
Enjoy carefree couples’ time and lake views.

Avid mountain biking couples can get their fill of rocks, mud, and hills on the stacked loops of the Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail, accessible from Highway 60 at km 23 (adjacent to Canisbay Campground). And for a quickie, the Byers Lake Trail offers a 13-km intermediate trail ride, with some tricky roots and rocks in the southern portion of the park.

For couples who love scenic gravel and road riding, head east from Whitney on the multi-use Madawaska River trail (part of the Renfrew County ATV Club’s “Logger’s Loop” trail system) to the hamlet of Madawaska, and then circle back along Highway 60 for a challenging 40-km loop. En route, stop along the trail for a refreshing dip or picnic beside the cascading falls of the Madawaska River.


Mountain bikers ripping through a forest trail.
Rugged trail rides await couples in Kenora.

Greek cuisine, sophisticated yurts, and rugged trails make Kenora an unexpected couples’ retreat.

Nothing says love like sharing a little pain—Kenora’s 25 km of mountain biking trails twist through boreal forest and over slabs of Canadian Shield, making suspension a must here.

Before hitting the trails, cycling couple Tara Nolan and Rich Auger insist a brief conversation is key: “You should discuss the pace ahead of time,” advises Nolan. “Is one partner okay if the other is naturally faster and boots ahead—or is the point to ride together and the faster one should adjust accordingly?”

Once you’ve found harmony on your bikes, Minaki Yurt Adventures makes a great place to stay just 45 km north of Kenora. A 20-km private trail system begins right on the doorstep of their cozy yurts—for a romantic rustic getaway, we recommend the intimate Lakeside Yurt on the shore of Camp Lake—and there’s an outdoor stone pizza oven and wood-fired sauna on site.

Plan to eat at least one meal at the iconic Plaza Restaurant in Kenora, where the Adamopoulos family has been serving Mediterranean classics such as gigandes (butter beans) in tomato sauce and homemade tzatziki since 1969. Opa!

Haliburton Highlands

Black and white photo of a young couple standing beside their bikes.
One of many peaceful backcountry lakes on the Hurtin’ in Haliburton course. Photo: @8hoursofhurtin

A little competition brings couples together. In mid-September, the 8 Hours of Hurtin' in Haliburton event challenges riders with a 27-km course on undiscovered gravel roads looping through the Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve. Completing as many laps as possible as a team of two (Duo) relay-style is a great way to impress your loved one.

For their wedding anniversary, Heather Morrison and husband Brent teamed up against another couple. “We decided to enter as a team so we were guaranteed to see each other at the end of each lap—a chance to check in and make sure we're both having fun, no bonking or mishaps.” They also did a lap together—just for kicks.

The Morrisons then sampled Haliburton’s superb network of on-road and trail cycling routes to turn the one-day event into a weekend getaway. Ontario By Bike also has a ton of great resources for planning rides in the Highlands.

If you and your partner can’t get enough trail riding, plan to stay on Eagle Lake at Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa, a luxury adult resort featuring lakeside accommodation and private cottages. Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride is just across the road—this hill is home to several Ontario Cup mountain bike races, with over 23 km of fast and flowy downhill and cross-country trails.


Woman standing on the shore of a lake at sunset with a campfire in foreground.
Catch a romantic sunset over Remi Lake. Photo: @hikingabeautifullife

So named in the 1960s for the mysterious twinkling lights seen by local loggers (possibly the Northern Lights? Or were the men delirious with lust?), today the little town of Moonbeam—complete with roadside UFO—makes for a perfectly out of this world couples’ getaway.

Thanks to an injection of new government money, Moonbeam Nature Trails branch out north of town to the shores of Remi and Bonner lakes, covering a total of 35 km on seven paths. The jewel of the trail system is a nearly 11-km-long paved path that touches both lakes before reaching René Brunelle Provincial Park

Stay in one of the park’s three lovely, lakeside campgrounds—or treat your special someone to a lakefront cabin stay—and enjoy easy hiking, swimming, canoeing, or kayaking (rentals at the park), fishing, and watching a romantic sunset on Remi Lake.

Head into nearby Kapuskasing to dine where many couples have celebrated anniversaries. Le Kaprice in downtown “Kap” offers fine Italian dining with rural Ontario charm.

Pedal Together

Sharing a road or trail ride with your special someone is the perfect way to make a deeper connection. Why not surprise your partner with a romantic cycling getaway? Pick from one of the tours above and go pedalling together.

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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