Riding with the "INN" Crowd

The scenery and twisty's of the park's Highway 60 is the big draw but there's much more to see and do...if you take the time.

No matter whether you are a brand spanking new beginner rider (Kat), a seasoned road warrior (Mike J) or even a group discovering Ontario, (Planet D), at the end of the day, we all have to hang up our helmets and gloves somewhere.

We have in our travels, found that many of the B&B and Inn owners across the land, are actually bike enthusiasts as well.  

Enter Ryan Cole, the Innkeeper/Owner at Sir Sam's Inn and Waterspa, located just outside Haliburton, Ontario on Eagle Lake (part of the Ride the Highlands loops). Ryan loves motorsports and has been riding his bike all over this part of Ontario since 2007 when he first got his licence.

When asked what his favourite day-loop was? He responded with "how about we go for a ride and I'll show you", so we did.

We met at Robinson's General Store in Dorset to get our trip underway. Now thankfully our bags were already fully packed or there might have been a bit of a shopping detour. Robinson's is famous for all kinds of neat things from trendy cottage-wear to unique packages of soups, dips, BBQ sauces, and just about everything you can think of. It actually has the distinction of being voted "Canada's best Country Store".

From Dorset we headed straight north on Hwy 35 to it's end at Dwight, and then continued east along Hwy 60 bound for the West Gate of Algonquin Park.


Twenty Kilometres into The Park, riding the great roads that slice though the ever-changing Canadian Shield like modern day voyageurs on our iron canoes, the Algonquin Art Centre was our first stop. None of us had ever actually gone inside and we were glad we did. The works of art on display were quite impressive in this world class art gallery that features the artwork of Canada's foremost wilderness and wildlife artists.



In the short 23 km from the Art Centre to our next stop, the Visitor Centre, we all were looking at the landscapes a little differently. Even on the cold, damp, grey day we had chosen for this trip, we could clearly see how this wonderous landscape was the influence in the artwork we had just viewed.




The view from the observation deck at the Visitor Centre was art in itself but the warmth of the indoors drew us into the interactive museum. It's packed full of the park's natural and human history and it features a theatre presentation which tells the story of the History of Algonquin Park. You can also get a bite to eat there as well!


Just outside the East Gate of the Park, lies Whitney, ON which is built on both sides of the Madawaska River. One side is home to the Mad Musher restaurant and just over the bridge is a MacEwan gas bar.


From Maynooth to Wilberforce, the trip went off the beaten path taking the roads less travelled by the general tourist traffic. We were treated to a goldmine of twists, turns, hills and spectacular views. TIP: Peterson, Elephant Lake and Loop Roads to Essonville Line to Hwy 118


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Sir Sam's Inn & Waterspa, our destination for the night lies just North of beautiful Haliburton but to get there you take the 118 through Haliburton to Eagle Lake Road and head West. After we checked in, we had an after-ride beverage with Ryan in Gunner's Pub and then he showed us all around this fabulous historical Inn and introduced us to some of his super staff.

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The dinner offerings in the Twin Fires Dining room were fabulous and the dessert choices topped the meal off perfectly. There was something offered for every person's different taste.

After Dinner we decided to visit the waterspa. Following a chilly day of riding, it's 8 therapeutic stations and a constant temp of 94 degrees were very welcome! The spa is really something that you should enjoy for hours on end. Each station has it's purpose and the whole experience is very soothing and enlightening. There are even lounges on the upper deck for further relaxation. There are a myriad of massage treatments available as well.

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Aside from being next to Sir Sam's ski hill and right on the OFSC B-trail stakeline for the winter-lovers, other features offered at this spectacular venue are Tennis Courts, Outdoor Pool, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing, Wind Surfing, Pedal Boats, Waterskiing and Boat Cruises on Ryan's pride and joy "The Lady Hughes".

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Although every room has it's own wood burning fireplace, we opted to go outside and enjoy the lakeside bonfire. 

It doesn't get much better than hanging out with friends, riding bikes, touring through nature's wonders and ending the day at a fabulous Inn. Hat's off to you Ryan and your amazing staff for making our stay with you top notch!

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About Rick Sauer & Marni Smith

Rick "Nutter" Sauer is a certified motorsports junkie who volunteers his time with his local snowmobile club and provincially with the OFSC. During the other 3 seasons his passion is cruising around on his current iron, a 955 Triumph SuperSport.

Marni "DooDette" Smith is a longtime snowmobiler and volunteer. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the OFSC. In the off season and when she’s not selling real estate, you can find her riding the highways and biways of Central and Northern Ontario on her Katana.

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