Mattawa to Massey: A Photo Epic

Thanks to the Voyageur Cycling Route and the Waterfront Trail, the cycle touring outlook in Northeastern Ontario has never looked brighter.

As the popularity of cycle touring explodes, Northeastern Ontario finds itself in an exciting position, with not one but two official cycling routes in the works that traverse the length of the region’s southern reaches.

Part One is the Voyageur Cycling Route, from the shores of the Ottawa River in Mattawa to Sudbury. Part Two is the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, which heads west to the Spanish River in Massey and beyond, making up 300-plus km of country roads, lake side stops, and cycle-friendly communities that will have cycle tourers planning trips for years to come. Over the past season, a lucky few have put rubber to the pavement, all in the name of research. The following 20 images offer a glimpse into the journey.

Let the fun begin. With the Ottawa River as the backdrop, Mattawa bids us goodbye.
 
 
It doesn't take long to leave the hustle and bustle of town behind.
 
 
Empty country roads all day long.
 
 
This happens to be in Bonfield, but there are plenty of opportunities along the route to dip your toes in a cool northern lake.
 
 
North Bay, Ontario: take a break or stay a while.
 
 
Early start to the day at
Sturgeon Falls.
 
 
Big sky, big space as we roll west.
 
 
Lunch stop at Lavigne Tavern.
 
 
Splitting rock walls, so Northeastern Ontario.
 
 
Morning along Highway 64: the road might be lonely, but with good company you’re never alone.
 
 
 
Roadside attraction at the Boreal Winery.
 
 
So long Sudbury, thanks for the good time.
 
 
Today's crop of adventure road bikes make easy work of the variable road surfaces along the route.
 
 
In Northeastern Ontario, traffic is dependent on how many friends you bring.
 
 
The Waterfront trail is a variable surface route; pavement, gravel, and even wood can be expected.
 
 
Another beautiful morning as we depart Espanola.
 
 
You can never tire of the empty country road.
 
 
Mixing lunch with history.
 
 
As the sign indicates, you have arrived.
 
 
The Chutes Provincial Park is a spectacular reward to another awesome day on the road.
 

There's no better way to experience a region than from the seat of a bike. You set you own pace and stop when and where it suits you. It’s all about the sights, the smells, and the people you meet along the way; and now, thanks to the Voyageur Cycling Route and The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the cycle touring outlook in Northeastern Ontario has never looked brighter. But don't take my word for itgo see for yourself.

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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