8 Epic Biking Experiences In and Around Sault Ste. Marie

Whether you're seeking a heart-pumping road tour, a single-track mountain bike expedition, or a leisurely ride along a gravel road or smooth highway, Sault Ste. Marie has endless choices.

Road Cycling

Hiawatha Highlands, "The Lines" and Gros Cap

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Line provide excellent bike routes as well as Landslide Road up to the Hiawatha Highlands. Up Landslide Road to 5th or 6th Line, down the highway and west on 4th Line provides several steep climbs, including People's Road. Old Goulais Bay Road, Brule Road, the road to Crimson Ridge Golf Course, and the site of the yearly Back in Motion Hill Climb, Goulais Ave. Continuing further west to Maki Road and out to Gros Cap (on Lake Superior) can make for a challenging ride. Extend this ride even further by cycling out to Pointe de Chenes before returning on 2nd Line.

Gros Cap

Riding west to the rocky beach and bluffs of Gros Cap on Lake Superior is an excellent and scenic option if you're interested in a 40-50 km out and back or partial loop. Ride Second Line W (550) out and back (not as scenic, but smoother pavement), or make it a loop on the return by turning R(E) on Deans Rd, R(S) on Walls Rd and L(E) again on Base Line. To extend the route, Airport Rd to Pointe des Chenes is a good option. For more hills, northbound offshoots from 2nd Line are good. South on Walls Rd past Base Line is the Muur de Walls: you'll likely want to small ring and stand for it. 

Searchmont Highway, Bellevue Valley / Goulais River

Highway 17 North to the Searchmont Highway (Highway 556 at Heyden) provides about a 100km round trip from Sault Ste. Marie. Highway 556 continues along a hilly route to Searchmont Ski Resort. The adventurous can turn down Highway 552 (near Island Lake) on the way home and enjoy a long downhill run (with little traffic), eventually joining up with Highway 17 North near Goulais River. Slog up the "Mile Hill" on Highway 17 on your return trip to Sault Ste. Marie.

Bruce Mines, Sylvan Valley and Echo Bay

For a round trip of about 130km from Sault Ste. Marie, continue on the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 17) to Bruce Mines, then turn onto Highway 638. This road has little traffic and lots of hills all the way back to its exit at Echo Bay. Complete the ride by riding the final 25 km to Sault Ste. Marie on the Trans Canada Highway.

St. Joseph Island

Highway 548 and an extension using the A Line will provide a full day of cycling on St. Joseph Island. This is an excellent way to tour through the area. Roads are scenic and have little traffic.

The John Rowswell Hub Trail

The John Rowswell Hub Trail is a 25km multi-use non-motorized trail system that connects many significant points of interest including the waterfront walkway, Bellevue Park, Algoma University, Sault College, and Fort Creek Conservation Area.

This trail system provides access to all areas of the City and links together key cultural, historical, and natural areas of the community. In addition, community residents can use the trail as an alternative, environmentally friendly mode of transportation, decreasing auto-dependency within the City.

Mountain Biking

Hiawatha Highlands

Hiawatha is home to some fantastic mountain biking trails in Kinsmen Park. The Crystal has challenging singletrack and fast doubletrack to link together into a great ride. The Hiawatha area provides cycling opportunities for all abilities. Hiawatha Highlands and Stokely Creek are close-by spots for cross-country mountain biking. At Hiawatha, park at the blue Sault Finnish Nordic ski club building. Go across the road to the Pinder singletrack, a twisty and tight trail good for beginners to more experienced riders. The trailhead for the more intermediate Crystal trail is on the far side of the blue building. Both trails are signed. The Algoma Highlands Conservancy trail at Stokely is 10 km of singletrack with the greatest range in elevation around. It has a more technical climb in the first half and mellows after that. If you're an intermediate to advanced cross-country rider, it's well worth doing: www.algomahighlandsconservancy.org

Bellevue Valley

This challenging and scenic trail area is a recent addition to Sault Ste. Marie's mountain biking selection. Beginning after a long grunt up Bellevue Valley Road and up the tower access road, this trail decends about 200 meters over 5 km of difficult singletrack. Experts only!

Outfitters

Algoma Bicycle
360 Queen St., East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Phone: (705)759-3443

Vélorution
162 Old Garden River Road
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
(705) 253-9388

* References - www.saultcyclingclub.ca

About Dionne Elgie

Dionne Elgie grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and has a deep personal love for this city, and like many Saultites, a real passion for the great outdoors. Along with her team at DIG (Digital Intelligence Group)—she works with Tourism Sault Ste. Marie to curate compelling travel stories and collect truly useful tour tips that appeal to both local residents and out-of-town visitors. You can contact Dionne at dionne@digdeep.ca—she’d love to hear from you!

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