Best Northern Ontario Off-Road Adventures

Jeff McGirr
by Jeff McGirr
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The best way to experience the great outdoors and Northern Ontario wilderness is on two wheels! The north is big and full of endless trails and gravel roads to explore, which makes this area one of the best in the world for riders who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban roads and highways. This is a place where you’ll ride to communities where they count moose, cross boundaries where the water runs in a different direction and find historic sites that date back to the original exploration of Canada.

best northern ontario off road adventures

So where do these recommendations come from? I’m a multi-year competitor and finisher of the Canada’s Toughest Off-Road Motorcycle Race the Corduroy Enduro, simply put I live to ride my one-wheel drive! Point your compass or GPS north and experience one of these great adventures this year!

Through a leg over the seat, flip up the kickstand and let’s shift right into first gear.

best northern ontario off road adventures

#1 Voyageur Multi Use Trail System

This extensive trail system located to the north Mattawa and east of the City of North Bay is an off-road two-wheel paradise. The trail system offers a wide variety of terrain, gifting a challenge for both green off-road bikes and street-plated dual purpose / adventure motorcycles. With over 300km of trails and countless more kilometers of connected bush roads, VMUTS makes a great riding destination. The community of Mattawa is off-road motorcycle friendly with lodges, resorts and campgrounds that will be excited to have you, and best of all green plated bikes are allowed on local municipal roads when accessing the trails. Check out Mattawa Adventure Camp, Le Voyageur Inn, Lazy Rock Resort and Camp Conewango for places to stay or pitch a tent and camp out on endless crownland within the trail system.

#2. Mooseback Trail System

best northern ontario off road adventures

Surrounding the motorsports friendly town of Dubreuilville is the Mooseback Trail System. The town was established as a company town by the Dubreuil brothers in 1961 and although lumber is no longer the economic mainstay, the lumber trails of yesterday remain. This area is rugged with thick blast spruce forests, endless lakes and rivers and of course undulating terrain that is synonymous with the north shore of Lake Superior in the stunning Algoma region of Ontario. The combination of five separate Mooseback routes provides well over 300km of “local” remote motorcycling. For the adventure rider, Dubreuilville provides a great stopping point between destinations such as Hornepayne, Chapleau, Wawa and White River. The local motel/resort here, the Magpie Relay, is known as being one of the most motorsports friendly places you will find anywhere.

#3 Canada Rides

best northern ontario off road adventures

It can be a bit daunting to set out into some of the most remote parts of North America on your motorcycle. After all, there’s more than just bike engines that growl along these routes. This is where CanadaRides comes in! Offering professional GPS route planning, accommodation organization, land/community/tech knowledgeable guides and even satellite GPS tracking so your family can follow along. CanadRides currently has three separate itineraries in Northern Ontario ranging from four days to up to nine days which covers well over 2500km / 1500 miles. This is without a doubt one of the best ways experience the north with confidence. Check out their website and be sure to pre-register as spots for these epic adventures fill up quickly!

#4. AdventureNord

best northern ontario off road adventures

The Pull of the North! When we say AdventureNord, we’re talking big land with big adventure here in the far north of Ontario and it’s all within reach on a dual sport or adventure motorcycle. Comprised of the communities of Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Kapsuskasing, Hearst and Hornepayne, this area delivers seven individual adventure motorcycle tours that will take you through some of the most inspiring terrain! This is the world of limitless adventure with over 3000km of routes ready for you. Endless gravel roads, massive rivers with waterfalls and thriving populations of wildlife like moose, bears and even wolves. Experience endless horizons in AdventureNord.

#5 Sudbury Trail & Adventure Riders Association

best northern ontario off road adventures

One of the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders newest member clubs is STARA – Sudbury Trail & Adventure Riders Association. STARA starts its adventures where the pavement ends. STARA brings together riders interested in trail and adventure motorcycling with the goal to expand the love of two-wheel riding throughout the north. This club has been incredibly active over the last few years, planning events that are fun for the entire family and riders of all skill levels. I think we can all agree as motorcycle riders that sharing our passion with others is two-wheel happiness. For off-road adventure for the entire family in Northern Ontario, check out STARA on their website and on Facebook.

Now that we’ve shifted from first all the way into fifth, It’s time to shift into the final gear and that’s planning the off-road motorcycle adventure you’ve always dreamt about! So, change that oil, install those fresh tires, tune your suspension, fill your tank, and adjust your visor to point north for epic two-wheel adventure! See you on the trail!

best northern ontario off road adventures
Jeff McGirr
Jeff McGirr

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Join the conversation
  • Alaskan18724 Alaskan18724 on Mar 31, 2022

    Some serious adventure, there! Thanks for the armchair visit!

    • See 1 previous
    • Gee S Gee S on Apr 04, 2022

      During my one visit to ride the TransCanada (17) during the middle of summer, the Provincial Department of Highways had decided that it was the perfect time to completely remove the road for repaving.

      This left me with a choice between a 400 mile backtrack or riding 80 miles of gravel and mud.

      Unfortunately, my Adventure Bike was home in the garage, and I rode that section on an 800 plus pound touring bike with 100 pounds of camping gear aboard.

      At the end of the section I needed a coin-op carwash and the better part of an hour to tighten all my fairing sections back up.

      That was Adventure, but not the kind I'd been planning. ;-)

  • Kazjar Kazjar on Apr 06, 2022

    Not a "motorcycle" biker but a "bicycle" biker. But, I do some off road and smaller highway tours around Sudbury in Northern Ontario. Gravel and dirt road north of Capreol to Timmins about 250 km with maybe a 20km stretch of asphalt around Shining Tree is a nice run. Backroad bicycle route from Sudbury to Little Current is picturesque especially if you do old railway bed between Espanola and Little Current. Another Favourite is Sudbury to Kilarney.