North Bay’s 5 Best Road Rides

by | Jun 3, 2021 | Cycling, Guide, Outdoor Adventure, Spring, Summer

Discover urban trails, provincial parks, and historic
communities in the north’s friendliest city for cyclers!


The Near North is full of interesting landscapes, fascinating history, and unique communities. North Bay’s most experienced riders, known informally as the Gateway Breakaway Cycling Club share some of their local favourites suited to newcomers to the sport and recreational riders right up to the most seasoned veteran. Check out their club site on Strava to connect.


Kate Pace Way and Kinsmen Trail

Kate Pace Way, North Bay; Kinsmen Trail, North Bay

Wind, water and wanderlust—the perfect way to experience an intimate connection to the Gateway of the North is through pedal power. The Kate Pace Way, North Bay’s original bike path, gets top honour when highlighting great places to ride in the city. The envy of northern communities near and far, the Kate Pace Way is a 12+km paved pathway winding leisurely through the city’s core, and curving around the east end of the bay. If the sun is shining, the path will be buzzing with energy as families and friends bike together and connect at North Bay’s lively waterfront. The Kinsmen Trail connecting to the “Paceway” near the waterfront offers another 7km path along Chippewa Creek through the heart of the city. If you’re seeking a unique experience, check out North Bay Fun Rentals at the waterfront, and try their multi-seat bicycle!

Whether you’re seeking a closer connection to nature or want to experience the energy of the waterfront, you’re sure to find something to invigorate your senses and lift your spirits while exploring these trails.


Corbeil Circle Route

Kate Pace Way, North Bay; Nipissing Manor near Corbeil. Once home to the Dionne Quints, it is now a senior’s home.

Local Gateway Breakaway rider, Todd, recommends the Corbeil Circle as a good route for those wanting to spread their wings, get in some additional road miles and still not be too far from anything. The route takes riders on a trip through time in the villages of Callander and Corbeil featuring some of the historical sites connected to the Dionne Quintuplets while offering small town personality and hospitality. Callander’s waterfront has a bike stand with basic tools near the splash pad and offers an unobstructed view of Callander Bay. A handful of local eateries are sure to tempt your taste buds. Our recommendation is 1886 Lake House Bistro, known for its popular patio and they are Bicycle Friendly certified!

A cautionary note when traversing the Highway 11/17 bypass area—while cyclists are prohibited on the bypass itself, you can follow Twin Lake Road to the north end where a small gate stops vehicular access to Progress Road, and allows you to connect back to the route.


Lake Nipissing South Shore

Paved shoulders on Hwy 654 in Callander make the ride smooth; Voyageur Cycling Route in Callander

Looking to ride rolling hills on wide paved roadway shoulders and some of the finest pavement in the area, while experiencing the lifestyle and spirit of Lake Nipissing? This ride taking in Lake Nipissing’s south shore is for you! Sprawling countryside, wild northern forests, and Ontario’s third largest freshwater lake are some of the highlights of this ride just south of the bay.

Venturing north off the highway will bring you closer to Lake Nipissing’s rocky shoreline with its wind-swept pines and occasional beaches, where a dip in cool northern waters soothes the soul. Sections of this route are part of the Trans Canada Trail which features a breakaway wilderness trail through wetlands and forested areas.

Don’t miss the Callander Bay lookout just south of the Village of Callander with a stunning vista of Lake Nipissing’s Callander Bay.

Lake Nipissing’s South Shore has long been a magnet for avid anglers chasing the one-that-got-away. There are plenty of lodges and cottage rentals dotting the shoreline, and as more people discover (and rediscover) cycling, these small family-owned businesses are evolving and welcoming cyclists to their small piece of Northern Ontario’s splendour.

To add a little grit to this ride, one can head west on Highway 534 out of Nipissing Village and make your way to Restoule Provincial Park. If you choose to go to the park, be forewarned as the last 10km to the park entry presents some short steep climbs that will test even seasoned riders.


Voyageur Cycling Route – North Bay to Bonfield

Lake Nosbonsing (Bonfield); Lake Nosbonsing Road near Callander

A lesser known route (yet one not to be overlooked!), is the North Bay to Bonfield section of Ontario’s newest long-distance cycling route: the Voyageur Cycling Route. Road cyclists are a common sight along the road between Callander and Astorville. A steady sweeping uphill at the east end of Lake Nosbonsing will get your legs burning with the just reward of a fast roll along the northwest shore of the lake. The quieter country roads leading to Bonfield have pavement that is a little less smooth but allow an opportunity to push yourself over the gentle rollers while feeling the quiet peace of the rural countryside. The deep blue sparkling waters of Lake Nosbonsing are irresistible, and you’re guaranteed to feel fresh and cool after taking a swim.

Astorville and Bonfield both have outdoor bike stands at their lakeside parks if you need to do a quick tune-up before heading back to North Bay.


Voyageur Cycling Route – Sturgeon Falls to Monetville

Rest Stop on Lake Nipissing’s West Arm off Hwy 64; Mashkinonje Provincial Park

If you’re keen to explore the outskirts of North Bay, head west of the city, and connect onto the Voyageur Cycling Route in Sturgeon Falls. This section of the Voyageur Cycling Route takes riders southwest, along quiet country backroads through agricultural lands and past the site of the 2019 International Plowing Match. The culture and languages of West Nipissing will connect you to both Indigenous and French heritage through art, food, and events offered in the area.

You’ll notice a change in the landscape as you approach the west arm of Lake Nipissing to that of granite ridges and expansive wetlands. Grab a takeout lunch from the friendly folks at Lavigne Tavern and savour it on the shores of Lake Nipissing’s west arm just south of Lavigne at the rest stop on Highway 64. A must-see for nature lovers are the spectacular hiking trails at Mashkinonje Provincial Park. The park is “non-operating” so the only facilities in the park are the trails.

Whichever route you choose, you’re bound to return home refreshed, invigorated and ready to plan your next adventure on two wheels. See you on the trails!

About Katrina Violette

Katrina Violette is the Trails Tourism Marketing Manager for Discovery Routes, a trails and cycling advocacy organization based in North Bay. She runs a small organic vegetable farm with her family in Chisholm, Ontario and enjoys an outdoor lifestyle.

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