Go Bicycle Touring in Canada

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Canada is the second largest country in the World by. It consists of 10 provinces and three territories and is 9.98 million square kilometers, second in size only to Russia. It was formerly inhabited by First Nations Peoples, before being discovered by John Cabot in 1497. The War of 1812 was fought for control of Canada, between the British – and a relatively young and fledgling United States. The British defeated American forces with the help of many of Canada’s First Nation’s Peoples. In 1867, Canada gained independence from Great Britain and is now a member of the Commonwealth.

33586567_4cd86fbe0b_zFrom a cycling touring perspective, some consider Canada to be one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The Rockies are a quite spectacular sight, the infamous Coquihalla Pass in British Columbia signals the top of the Rocky Mountains. Central Canada is home to it’s Capital of Ottawa, and a little further West there’s the prairies, where you can (apparently) watch your dog run away for days.  To the East, you have infamous trails such as the Cabot Trail – named after Canada’s founder, John Cabot. Prince Edward Island offers a circumnavigation route that’s filled with potatoes, red sand, and beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean on all sides.

Bike Tours in Canada

Popular Bike Tour Destinations In Canada

  • Ontario’s Niagara Wine Country is full of luscious vineyards and glorious views, it is dotted with many cycling paths that allow for road and touring cyclists to really put their foot down. It is also a region which holds one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls are definitely a highlight of any trip to Ontario, with one side of the Falls being on Canadian soil, the other is on US soil.
  • The Icefields Parkway lies in British Columbia, and is home to spectacular bodies of sky-blue water, untouched wilderness, and incredible mountain ranges. The Icefields Parkway stretches 200 miles between Jasper and Banff, and traverses the Rocky Mountains, a glorious sight and a must-see. There are many tough climbs along the Icefields Parkway, some reaching up to 7,000 feet. You are rewarded, however, with a view of the Columbia Icefield – the largest conglomeration of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies.
  • British Columbia’s islands are an incredible place, far from the back-drop of the city of Vancouver, they play host to gravel trails and snow-capped mountain peaks, fjords meander throughout the islands, with ferries connecting each island. This remote location gets you away from the busy city of Vancouver on Canada’s West Coast, and out into the wilderness of the far-West of the country.
  • The Cabot Trail is one of the must-do bicycle tours in Canada, tucked away in Nova Scotia on Canada’s East Coast, and only reachable by car, or ferry, it promises glorious vistas of the ocean as a reward for punishing climbs. Camping is widely available in some spots, although since the trail is quite remote in some places, prepare to wild-camp. Such a trek is intended for the intermediate to the advanced cycle tourist.
  • La Route Verte in Quebec, has just been restored and is one of the best bicycle touring routes in the entire country. Stretching almost 5,000 kilometers, it’s surfaces vary depending on where you are on the trail, and it is suitable for all types of cyclists. It’s also dotted with vineyards, so there’s a chance to soak in Quebec wine as you cycle through what is a world-renowned bicycle touring route, tucked away in Quebec.

There is perhaps no cycling destination as well known as the Cabot Trail. Legendary among cyclists, this loop was named Bicycling Magazine’s must-see, and Cape Breton Island was named continental North America’s best island destination. Stunning coastlines, nesting eagles, rewarding climbs and incredible descents – this is a cyclists dream. 

This is a great bike ride and the ultimate theatre lovers tour – the classical Stratford Festival and Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw Festival along with summer theatre at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre Port Dover and Showboat Festival Theatre Port Colborne.

The relaxing atmosphere of “the Island”, as the locals fondly refer to it, will touch your spirit as soon as you land here. You will quickly appreciate why a bicycle is perfect for exploring both the beaches and farmlands.

Facts About Canada

  • Canada harvests icebergs! Every Spring, massive chunks of ice break off glaciers in Greenland and make their way down to Newfoundland, where entrepreneurs are harvesting chunks of them for unique products such as wine, vodka, beer, and even skincare products.
  • Canadians built a UFO Landing Pad in St. Paul, Alberta in 1967. It was officially opened when, then Minister for National Defence flew in and landed (by helicopter, not spacecraft) to officially open it.
  • Canada has built highway overpasses in Banff National Park, in order to keep it’s animals safe. These overpasses cost millions of dollars each, but are used by bear, lynx, cougars, moose, deer, wolves, coyotes, and a great deal more.
  • Alberta, in the Canadian mid-West, has a National Park (Wood Buffalo National Park) that is larger than Switzerland.
  • Vancouver Island is home to the annual bathtub race, the first one started in 1967, and today the “bathtubs” go head to head – or tub to tub – in a 90 minute course that’s held always in the last weekend of July.
  • The Canadian town of Gander, in Newfoundland, is also the name of a crater on Mars, the 39 kilometer crater was named after Gander due to the town’s pioneer work in space avionics.
  • Canadian’s invented the Canadarm – an integral part of a space craft during mankind’s quest to discover space, it entered service with NASA in 1981, and remained in service for thirty years, before being retired in 2011, after completing the final Space Shuttle Program’s final mission.
  • A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to London Zoo in 1915, a young boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short), and his love for the bear inspired “Winnie the Pooh”, written by his father, A.A Milne.
Photos by Leigh Hilbert, palindrome6996 and Kevin Dooley.