Ontario's Best Twisties

Where to turn when you need an adrenaline boost. Check out the best twisty roads in Ontario.

Think back to your first motorcycle riding experience. You slowly let out the clutch, the bike rolls forward, and you’re on your way. Then you realize you have to turn around. That awkward moment of balance, throttle, clutch where a mistake means the clunk of a stalled engine. But succeed, and you are rewarded with a rush of adrenaline that will have you hooked on the turn forever. Now we all crave that magic formula of lean angle, throttle, traction, fear, and thrill which, when executed correctly, might just be motorcycling nirvana.

The excitement of the turn is a common thread shared with many activities found on snow, on water and even air–but none of them have the infinite variations on the turning theme that motorcycling does. From blasting berms on dirt and dragging knees on racetracks to the sideway drifts of speedway, gravel, pavement and even ice, all is possible on our favourite two-wheel wonder.

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Every time I swing my leg over my bike, no matter the plan—be it a quick afternoon spin or a multi-day adventure—the underlying objective will always be the search for that beautiful yellow diamond sign with a squiggly line and a number below. To me they might as well be smiley faces, the bigger the number the wider the grin—because you know as good as one turn can be, imagine a hundred.

Exploring far away new roads is not always an option, so when time is limited I do have a few go-to favourites where I can get my lean on.

Best Twisties in Ontario

5. Southwood Rd., Muskoka

Length: 26 km 

This might be the most well-known motorcycling road in cottage country. Its 26-km length is wall to wall turns. The section through the Torrence Barrens is particularly spectacular.

Twist and turns aplenty on Southwood Rd., Muskoka

4. Calabogie Rd. and Centennial Lake Rd., Ontario Highlands

Length: 91.5 km

Zig-zagging through the wild side of Ontario's Highlands, this day trip favourite makes riders in the east end of the province a lucky bunch.

The Ontario Highlands offer epic scenery and plenty of fun

3. Highway 560, Northeastern Ontario

Length: 138 km

Turns and solitude, this is as remote as it gets. You will find both gas and traffic in short supply. The only fuel guarantee is at the Hwy 144 turn off and in New Liskeard so this one requires a bit of planning. Click here to learn more about riding in the north.

Plan ahead when riding the remote Highway 560.

2. Highway 129, Algoma

Length: 189 km

Following the shores of the Mississagi River, Highway 129 is as visually spectacular as it is fun to ride. It’s part of the Grand Algoma Tour, one of the most renowned motorcycle touring loops in Ontario, so be sure to pencil in a weekend and enjoy the ride.

The Grand Algoma Tour is one of the most beautiful and fun rides around. 

1. Highway 518, Muskoka

Length: 60 km

Sandwiched between Huntsville to the east and Parry Sound to the west, there are no worries about gas, places to stay or where to stop for lunch here. It’s not uncommon for me to ride this road in both directions in a day, but ask me about the scenery and I couldn’t tell you; this road is so good, I've never really found the time to look around!

Loads of amenities and lots of challenging twists on Highway 518 through Muskoka

These roads might be at the top of my favourite pile for now, but there are thousands of kilometres of roads in Ontario, so there must be plenty more where these came from. If you happen to come across a particularly special set of twisties or perhaps you are already harbouring that secret, please unburden yourself, leave a comment, share the information. My bike and I will be happy to verify your claims.

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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