Daytrippin' in Historic Kingston

I've been an avid rider for many years now, and have explored numerous scenic places both here in Ontario and in upstate New York with dreams of venturing much further. For motorcyclists, Kingston is the home base for a daytripper's paradise.

My riding buddies who have been my “motorcycle mentors” have opened up my eyes to the great rides around the Kingston, Ontario area with many weekends (can there ever be too many?) of hitting the open road in exploration of what the region has to offer. Kingston is an ideal destination for anyone interested in riding trips anywhere from a few hours to a day or two in length.

From winding roads through magnificent scenery, to great festivals and events, waterfront restaurants and charming patios, Kingston is a beautiful place to be. In case you've never been to the region, or just aren't familiar with the specific riding routes available, we've prepared the following six routes with you in mind:

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Photo Credit: Suzy Lamont


Click on each of the routes below for maps and more info!

1. The Loyalist/Sydenham Route

For the history buff who enjoys scenic and relaxing motorcycle riding, the Loyalist/Sydenham route offers plenty. Take the Loyalist/Sydenham Route to enjoy the scenic tour of the City of Kingston and Loyalist Township boundary. This route ventures through the historic town of Bath and circles back through beautiful Napanee, photographic Wilton, rural Odessa and South Frontenac before returning to Kingston.

2. The Wine Route

If you're passionate about wine, then head east on the Loyalist Parkway winding your way along the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario to Prince Edward County. This route lets you explore an abundance of winding roads past quaint craft and artisan cheese shops and of course, plenty of wineries! Discover the sights, collect some memorable stories, and a few bottles of Ontario’s finest wines for you and your riding buddies to enjoy after a spirited day's ride!

3. The Land O'Lakes Route

Breathtaking is the best word to describe the Land O’Lakes Route. If you enjoy pure motorcycle riding surrounded by incredible scenery and lots of lakes, then take this route through the picturesque northern routes of the County of Frontenac, and you won't be disappointed. This tour will take you through scenic Yarker, Enterprise, Kaladar, Tamworth and Mountain Grove. These breathtaking country views are the perfect solution to a long week in the city.

4. The Rideau Heritage Route

Take the winding, narrow roads through the Canadian Shield and enjoy the historic region of locks and dams created over 175 years ago by Colonel John By. Along the Rideau Heritage Route you will experience natural beauty and history first-hand and of course, a few twisties here and there. Some say the Rideau Heritage Route is the most scenic of Kingston’s motorcycle routes, with winding, narrow roads that take you through breathtaking cottage country and the quaint towns of Westport and Sydenham as well as Frontenac Provincial Park. You can be the judge, as I love them all!

Riding The Glenora Ferry on the Wine Route

5. The 1000 Islands/Great Waterway Route

If you love to ride, but also have a bit of a hankering to hit Ontario’s waterways, this could be the perfect combination. Lovely scenery along the Thousand Islands Parkway makes this route special. Take the 1000 Islands/Great Waterway Route for a breathtaking tour of this scenic region in Eastern Ontario. This route will take you through historic communities such as Gananoque, Brockville and Athens, not to mention alongside the eponymous Thousand Islands.

6. The CanAm Route

Here is a chance to meet up with our country cousins south of the border and explore the winding U.S. routes along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Your journey begins with a ride on the Wolfe Island Ferry, which docks in downtown Kingston and “ferries” you to Wolfe Island. Make your way to the other side of the island where the Horne’s Ferry will take you to Cape Vincent for the start of a day trip of great rides along the U.S. Seaway trail. Don't forget to bring your passport!

The season is just getting underway and I for one can't wait to get out there. Book a room at one of Kingston’s many motorcycle friendly Hotels, Motels or B&B’s for a night or two and start your magical history tour of the great rides around Kingston. As I always say, it’s a riders dream and it all begins in historic Kingston, a welcoming, charming location invaded by visitors and citizens alike. I hope to see you on the road around Kingston this summer! For more information on Kingston’s motorcycle routes visit:

About Chris Whyman

Chris Whyman is a tourism professional from the Kingston region, not to mention an avid and experienced rider and Kingston’s official Town Crier.

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