Everything Michigan Riders Need to Know About Riding in Ontario

The rider's guide to Canadian motorcycling—right across the border from your home state.

There comes a time in every rider's life when the backroads of their home state don't cut it anymore—when they start putting up maps on the walls of the garage and making plans for something... big.

If this is you, the time is now to start committing to those big plans. To expand your riding destinations, and get outside of your comfort zone. To experience something new, thrilling, and eye-opening.

To help you out, we've prepared the ultimate guide to expanding your horizons into, where else? Ontario, Canada—right across the border. These six places are highly recommended for the adventurous Michigan rider:

Crossing the Border from Michigan into Ontario

It might seem like a completely different world, but Ontario and Michigan share a lot in common. Our riding seasons are very similar, we speak English, and we all love the open road. And getting into Ontario might be the easiest part—with four easy access entry points at Detroit, Port Huron, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay, this might be the easiest international trip you've ever taken. We've created a list of quick tips for smooth passage and check out our ultimate guide to crossing the border into Canada

Top Motorcycle Routes in Ontario for Michiganders

OK, so you've made it across the border—where do you go? It all depends on what you're looking for. We have all kinds of routes: short, long, inland, coastline, technical or easy cruising—check out our top choices for Michigan riders below.

1. Ride Lake Superior (RLS)

Open roads on Ontario's longest ride. 

Ontario's Bucket List Ride Ride Lake Superior is also Ontario's longest ride, perfect for riders with a week or more. And the greatest of the great lakes never disappoints, with motorcycle-specific parking, amazing views of Lake Superior and incredible food and hotels throughout the route. We highly recommend doing this tour clockwise for the best possible scenery.

2. Manitoulin Island Tour

Experience Indigenous culture on Manitoulin.

Manitoulin Island is a pretty special place, loved by riders for its quiet roads and quaint towns. It's the world's largest freshwater island—so large it has its own lakes within the island. Riders can expect good eats, friendly locals, and beautiful scenery, and the ride to the island includes a pretty awesome ferry trip where motorcyclists are first on and first off.

3. Georgian Bay Coastal Route

Rocky coastlines and some of Ontario's most scenic roadways.

One of Ontario's longest-running motorcycle routes, the GBCR takes riders around the shores of Georgian Bay. This includes the same ferry ride as the Manitoulin Island Tour, but takes riders through incredible rock cuts and over the waterways of the French River, Espanola, and Sudbury. You'll get a great sense of what Northern Ontario is all about on this route.

4. Grand Algoma Tour

The Soo to Wawa on your bike is bucket list material. Do not miss this one. 

If you're looking to combine a highly scenic tour with a highly technical one, the Grand Algoma is for you. This incredible route includes the mind-blowing eastern coastline of Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa, then takes riders through a rip-roaring curve fest in the Mississagi River Valley. 

5. Algoma ADV Loop

The Algoma ADV is great anytime, but in the fall it really shines. 

If you're more of the adventurous type, looking to add a little dirt to your tour balanced with some scenic road riding, the Algoma ADV is just the thing for you. Enjoy the scenery of Lake Superior, then dive deep into the forests and mountains of inland Algoma for some thrilling backcountry riding. 

6. Ride the Highlands

Ontario's most technical riding is perfect for sport-tourers or those who love the thrill of riding back-to-back twisties. There are also some killer places to eat on any one of the signature routes. You can even order a free map here.

Top 30 Motorcycle Roads in Ontario

If you just want to cross off the best roads in the province, and aren't interested in a route, we have a list of our 30 favourite roads—but there's always more, so don't hesitate to get off the beaten path!

All Motorcycle Routes in Ontario

There are literally dozens of motorcycle routes in Ontario—the ones above were chosen based on their proximity to Michigan and the rigorous process they've gone through to be approved and included in this article. However, if you're willing to explore, and go a bit further, here's a list of every known route in the province. You can also review our recently released list of the top routes for 2020!

Trip Planning Resources

There are some pretty great resources for planning your trip to Ontario—on top of the articles, maps and websites listed above, we also have a fully customizable trip-planning website that allows you to download directly to your phone or GPS. Check out GoTourOntario.ca for all the information you could ever possibly need for the trip of a lifetime. 

Videos of Motorcycle Routes in Ontario

One of the best ways to get familiar with a riding destination before going there is by watching videos, to make sure it lives up to the hype. We've got you covered—here's a list of videos people have made of their rides to Ontario, just to get you in the mood!

Motorcycle Events in Ontario

Ontario is home to thousands of motorcycle events throughout the year—from manufacturer shows, to charity rides and rallies, to the world's largest one-day motorcycle event, Port Dover's Friday the 13th, you'll always find something to ride to, no matter when you're here. Check out our full list of motorcycle events, and don't hesitate to plan your trip around one!

Repair Shops and Dealers in Ontario

While we sincerely hope you never need it, we want you to know you're covered—there are plenty of repair shops, dealers, and even a few motorcycle rental places throughout Ontario.

This is it! Ontario's guide for Michigan riders—if there's something we haven't answered or you need help planning your trip, please reach out to us on Facebook!

About Mike Jacobs

Mike is an avid Northern traveller, having spent years traversing its backroads, and visiting its remote lodges and fun cities by car, RV, motorcycle, and boat. There's always something new to discover in the North and Mike never shies away from the next great adventure. Mike is the chairman of the board for the Tourism Technology Company.

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