The Georgian Bay Coastal Loop is an Adventure You Won’t Forget

by Sponsored

Imagine a motorcycle tour along white sand beaches, turquoise waters, towering bluffs, rock cuts, a ferry crossing, spectacular views and plenty of twists and turns. You might be inclined from that description to think of the stunning Lake Superior Loop, but no, what we are talking about is much closer to home (if you live in the GTA) but equally impressive; welcome to the Georgian Bay Coastal Route (GBCR).

A perfect three-day unforgettable two-wheel experience that will deposit 1,350 km (840 miles) on the odometer as it leads you along the shores of Georgian Bay.

Although the route can be travelled in either direction, starting in Toronto in the morning and riding clockwise worked best for us. We enjoy the beautiful Bruce Peninsula and arrive in Tobermory in time to board the MS Chi-Cheemaun Passenger Ferry bound for South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. The ferry ride that lasts for two hours is one of the journey's highlights.

Once on the Island, the route follows Highway 6 North, but Manitoulin Island is a worthwhile motorcycling destination in its own right, and if time allows, there are many quiet country roads to explore. Follow the road as far west as it will take you to Meldrum Bay, and be sure to stop in at Bridal Veil Falls, perhaps Manitoulin’s most well-known tourist stop.

There are plenty of options for overnight accommodations, whether you prefer being by the beach, away from the crowds, or staying in a lodge, campground or cottage; check out for more information.

After a long day, we head to the Anchor Inn Hotel in Little Current, where we drop our bags in our comfortable rooms and enjoy the tasty food at the pub on the ground floor. Little Current is popular with the boating crowd, making for a festive summer vibe. We spend the evening unwinding with samplings from local craft brewers Manitoulin Brewing Co and Split Rail Brewing Co.

Day two starts with some history as we depart Manitoulin Island via Little Current Swing Bridge, one of the only swing bridges in Canada.

Highway 6 North, we are in for a treat. The road winds through towering white rock walls of the La Cloche Mountains, revealing stunning landscapes of hills, water channels, and shimmering white rock at every turn. It's like a scene straight out of a postcard.

Located on the northern shores of Lake Huron, the La Cloche Mountains are primarily made up of white quartzite, a unique type of Canadian Shield. Interestingly, striking the rock in this area produces a bell-like sound that can be heard from a distance. Perhaps the reason why French explorers named the place "La Cloche," which translates to "bell" in French.

As we turn into the second half of our journey along the Georgian Bay Coastal Route, the road turns inland but is no less interesting.

While in Sudbury, visiting the Big Nickel (Dynamic Earth) and taking the mine tour is highly recommended. A tradition for many is to enjoy lunch at the Hungry Bear near the French River and stroll on the bridge over the French River at the French River Provincial Park.

We end day two in Parry Sound. We partake in a delicious meal by the waterfront, pick up some post-ride refreshments at Trestle Brewing and park the bikes for the night at the Best Western.

On day three, homebound, we hop on the bikes and tick off a few kilometres before making a coffee stop in the picturesque setting of Honey Harbour. The highlight of this tour is the visual diversity of the Georgian Bay Coastal Loop. The north offers breathtaking cliffs and the stunning blue waters of Georgian Bay, while the south boasts charming cottage communities and the opportunity to discover white sand beaches, big and small, including Wasaga Beach, the world's longest freshwater beach.

All good things must end as we leave the Georgian Bay Coastal Loop behind and turn south for home. And what a ride it was, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, towering bluffs, rock cuts, a ferry crossing, spectacular views and plenty of twists and turns.

We sure are lucky in Ontario to have so many motorcycle touting opportunities to choose from. That said, the Georgian Bay Coastal Loop might deserve a spot at the top of your next ride list.

This article was written by Martin Lortz.


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