Bike Trips in Canada

BEST Bike Trips in Canada

Here are what I think are 10 of the best bike trips in Canada – all personally tested. The bike rides described below take you from British Columbia to Newfoundland with lots of great choices in between.
Enjoy a variety of landscapes on all of these bike trips in Canada including west coast and east coast scenery, the Rocky Mountains along with the beauty and steep hills of Cape Breton Island. Quebec is one of the best spots to enjoy an extended bike trip in Canada – largely because of their incomparable Green Route network. They have more than their fair share of superb multi-day bike trips in Canada.  

Gulf Islands bike trip – a fun way to explore the islands

Cycling the Gulf Islands is a treat. You have a number of islands to choose from, all with their own personalities. You need a week if you want to properly cycle all of them, even more if you want some side trips. (Download a full guide to cycling the Gulf Islands here.)

Victoria and the Gulf Islands are known for their mild temperatures, sunny days and low rainfall, especially in summer. Really!

Look for dedicated bike paths on Vancouver Island and mostly quiet side roads in the Gulf Islands, though Salt Spring Island in particular can get busy. Frequent ocean views and the drama of the mainland mountains are a bonus.

Off the bike, there are plenty of diversions – visiting artist’s studios, wine tasting, farmers markets, spas, dining and enjoying picnics on one of the small beaches easily accessed by bike. Or rent a kayak for a half or full day. Maybe you’ll be lucky and have some close up encounters with whales, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and seabirds.

Kettle Valley Railway – one of the best bike trips in Canada

The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) is an abandoned railroad track that winds across the Okanagan and Similkameen region in southern BC. It offers over 800 km (497 mi) of mountain biking trails (as opposed to road biking).

While the 80 km section from Myra Canyon near Kelowna through to Penticton is one of the most popular, there are loads of sections that can be strung together to form an amazing multi-day trip.

Here’s a list of places to stay along the Kettle Valley Railway. There aren’t many options, and what is available fills quickly. Plan accordingly.

Banff to Jasper – one of the more difficult bike trips in Canada

The 290 km bike ride between Banff and Jasper is one of the most impressive bike rides in the world. The route runs parallel to the Continental Divide so mountains are always in sight. For the experienced and fit cyclist, it offers challenging hills and epic downhill rides.

Typically done over four to five days, the cycling is on highways – the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise all the way through to Jasper. Luckily, big trucks are banned on the Icefields Parkway – and both sections of highway have wide shoulders.

Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie bike trip  

Niagara Falls, quiet riverside paths, museums, world-class wineries and an abundance of orchards guarantee that the cycling along the Niagara River Recreation Trail is anything but average.

Its 25 km one way to Niagara Falls and another 29 km to reach Fort Erie. You can actually cycle a 195 km loop and return to Niagara-on-the-Lake via Port Colborne, Thorold and Jordan. 

 The cycling is lovely from May until October. You can rent bikes in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. There’s a Bike Train from Toronto to Niagara Falls so it’s easy to make it into a weekend getaway. There are loads of places to stay. Pack a change of clothes and a credit card – and take off.

Eastern Townships, Quebec – a top bike trip in Canada especially in fall

Within spitting distance of Montreal, Quebec’s Green Route travels through the Eastern Townships on a total of 225 km of signed trail and road. If you head out with just a couple of panniers, you have the flexibility to stay in some of the small towns before returning to your starting point.

Magog, a pretty town located not only on the Green Route but on Lake Memphremagog, is a great base for it allows you to cycle two different out and back sections of the Green Route; either head west for Granby via Mont-Orford National Park or east to Danville via North Hatley and Sherbrooke.

Not only is the cycling superb, the Eastern Townships offer the foodie a wide choice of locally made cheeses, apples, pates, Brome Lake duck, maple products and even wine – a winning combination if there ever was one.

Blueberry Route bike trip around Lac Saint-Jean, Quebec

The Blueberry Route, part of Quebec’s Green Route, takes you around Lac Saint-Jean (northeast of Quebec City) on 256 km of dedicated bike trail and signed roads.

Typically it takes three to four days to complete the loop. The route takes its name from the blueberries that grow wild in places thanks to ideal growing conditions provided by a huge forest fire that happened decades ago.

Look for roving ambassadors, ready to answer questions or help with any problems you encounter along the route. I cycled it solo over three days and never tired of the lush canola fields or the picturesque towns – all seemingly dominated by pretty churches.
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