Goodbye Summer and Good Riddance: It's Time to Ride

With a bit of planning, chasing fall colours can become a memorable fall moto tour of Ontario. Where do we start, you ask? Go north, of course.

Goodbye summer, welcome fall. Don't get me wrong, good times were had on those long summer days. I love the warm mornings and evenings that allow us to cover big miles in comfort and the camaraderie of fellow riders along the way, happy to share their tails from the road. What I can do without are the heatwaves that leave you drenched with sweat under your riding gear, the traffic on the highways, crowds in restaurants and the struggle to find a hotel room for the night. 

Hello September, let the fall riding season begin. Yes, the days are getting shorter, and yes, you might need an extra layer in the morning and evening, but the landscape is about to transform to its most brilliant self, and you can have most of Ontario all to yourself. On paper, the peak colour season is not that long but considering it starts in the north and makes its way south, with a bit of planning, chasing fall colours can become a memorable fall moto tour of Ontario. Where do we start, you ask? Go north, of course.

North Shore of Lake Superior

No point beating around the bush; the stretch of Highway 17 from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa is one of the top rides in the province. Add fall colours to the rugged landscape and swoopy road, and it's a must-do. 

With no shortage of trees, Ontario's Algoma region is an autumn windfall. Ride the Deer Trail loop and stop at the Elliot Lake lookout tower for a grand fall colour view. For the adventurous, the Island North Tour takes in the twisty Highway 129, St Joseph Island and Highway 556, and it's spectacular. But 80 km of gravel along Ranger Lake Rd might be best for the ADV bike riders.

A bit of Ontario and a bit of Quebec

In Northeastern Ontario, the Lake Temiskaming Circle Tour will satisfy your fall colour cravings. Travel north along Highway 11 from North Bay to New Liskeard, then return along Highway 101 on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. At 450 km, you can do it in a day, but there are many options to turn it into more. Be sure to stop in at the lookout tower in Temagami for an unforgettable fall colour display. Want more, Manitoulin Island, Highway 6, 144 or how about a day ride around Lake Nipissing?

Roll the Highlands

Stretching from the east side of Algonquin Park to Ottawa and south to Lake Ontario is the moto riding paradise known as Ride The Highlands, best known for its lack of straight roads. There are six routes to choose from, ranging from a day trip worth 260 km to 1000 km. With a landscape of forest and water, fall here never disappoints. Best advice, set up a basecamp and stay awhile because one day won't do.


It doesn't have to be far to be good; just a couple of hours north of the GTA, the area known as Great Canadian Wilderness, aka Muskoka, has a perfect mix of forest, water and twisty pavement. The fall moto experience in Muskoka is as easy as hopping on one of the preplanned routes that take in the best roads in the region and let the leaf piping begin. Muskoka is also home to one of the best roads in Ontario—check out #5 on this list.

Fall riding season is here; the days are shorter and the morning crisp, but the experience is exceptional. Ontario is blessed with the fall season's most precious commodity, trees and plenty of them, and yes, you don't have to go far to experience the spectacle. Still, with a bit of planning, you can stretch Ontario’s fall colour tour into the best riding season of the year.

About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle. Whether he is covering adventure motorcycling, kayak fishing or family oriented outdoor pursuits, his passion for capturing the beauty of nature and the people that partake in it, is evident in his work. His photos and articles have appeared in magazines such as Ski Canada, Explore, Bike, Mountain Life, Couloir, Kayak Angler and Family Camping, as well as in calendars, catalogs and brochures.

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