The Great Canadian Ride: Scenic & Challenging Motorcycle Routes

Canada - best motorcycle riding routes
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Riding into Adventure: Canada's Must-Do Motorcycle Routes

Canada is a beautiful and diverse country with endless possibilities for motorcycle riders. Whether you are looking for scenic routes that take you through picturesque landscapes, or challenging routes that test your skills and endurance, Canada has something to offer for every rider. 

From the rugged wilderness of the Dempster Highway in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, to the scenic Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, or the challenging Trans-Labrador Highway in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can find routes that will take you through breathtaking scenery, while testing your riding abilities. 

Whether you are an experienced rider looking for a new challenge or a beginner looking to explore the beauty of Canada, there's a motorcycle route that's perfect for you.

Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

Safety should always be a top priority when planning a motorcycle trip. Riders should always wear appropriate gear, including a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing.

It's important to check for potential hazards, such as wildlife and adverse weather conditions before heading out.  Your motorcycle should also be in good working condition, and don't forget to pack some tools, spare parts and a travel first aid kit. 

Prepare for Your Ride - Always Check Road Conditions

It's important to note that the difficulty level of these routes can fluctuate depending on various factors such as the season, weather, and road conditions. Before planning a trip, it's crucial to check the current road conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. Unpredictable weather and poor road conditions can greatly impact the level of difficulty of these routes.

Gallery of images!!!!

A Day Trip or Weekender for All Riders

The Thousand Islands Parkway, Ontario

For those seeking a scenic and enjoyable motorcycle route, the Thousand Islands Parkway in Ontario is a must-ride. This route, spanning approximately 80 km along the St. Lawrence River, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse wildlife. Whether taking a day trip or weekend getaway, the Thousand Islands Parkway is a great way to explore the unique charm of the Thousand Islands region.

Riders will have the opportunity to discover the many small islands that make up the Thousand Islands region, each with its own distinct natural beauty and historical significance. Along the way, the possibility of encountering a variety of wildlife such as deer, foxes, and eagles adds an extra level of excitement to the ride. The road is well-paved and well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels. With so much to see and explore, be sure to make multiple stops along the way to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the region.

Popular stops include:

Boldt Castle: Located on Heart Island, the castle is a historic landmark that was built by George Boldt in the early 1900s as a summer home for his family. The castle is open to the public and offers tours of the main building, the yacht house, and the power house.

Gananoque: This charming town is known as the "Gateway to the Thousand Islands" and it's a popular stop for visitors to the region. The town offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and accommodations.

Rockport: This small village is located on the St. Lawrence River and it's known for its scenic waterfront and parks. Visitors can take a stroll along the waterfront, visit the local marina, or take a boat tour of the Thousand Islands.

Thousand Islands National Park: The park is located on several of the small islands in the Thousand Islands region and it's a great place to hike, camp, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Visitors can take a boat tour of the park to explore its many islands, coves, and bays.

Ivy Lea: it is a small village located at the northern end of the Thousand Islands Parkway, it's a great place to stop and take in the views of the St. Lawrence River, and it's also home to several marinas, boat rentals, and parks.

Scenic Motorcycle Routes in Canada

The Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

The Route

The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is a motorcycle rider's paradise. This scenic route takes you through the heart of the Okanagan region, offering unparalleled views of lakes, mountains, and vineyards. The route starts in the city of Kelowna and takes you through the towns of Vernon and Penticton, ending in the beautiful town of Osoyoos. The roads are well-paved and well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Scenic Highlights

As you embark on this journey, you'll be treated to some of the most spectacular views in Canada. Imagine cruising along the shore of Okanagan Lake, with the crystal-clear water to your left and the rugged mountains to your right. The Okanagan Valley offers a unique blend of natural beauty and culture, with scenic highlights such as the Myra Canyon Trestles, the beautiful vineyards of the Naramata Bench and the picturesque town of Osoyoos. Along the way, you can also stop at one of the many wineries and sample some of the best wines the region has to offer.

If you're a motorcycle rider looking for a scenic and enjoyable route, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is an absolute must-ride. This route combines natural beauty, culture, and wine in a perfect blend that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to come back for more.

The Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

The Route

The Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec is a motorcycle rider's dream come true. This scenic route takes you through the heart of the Gaspe region, offering unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, rugged coastline, and picturesque villages. The route starts in the city of Matane and takes you through the towns of Gaspé, Percé, and New Richmond, ending in the charming town of Carleton-sur-Mer. The roads are well-paved and well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Scenic Highlights

As you embark on this journey, you'll be treated to some of the most spectacular views in Canada. Imagine cruising along the rugged coastline of the Gaspe Peninsula, with the Atlantic Ocean to your left and the lush forests to your right. The Gaspe region offers a unique blend of natural beauty and culture, with scenic highlights such as the Forillon National Park, the picturesque village of Percé, known for its iconic Percé Rock and the beautiful Baie des Chaleurs. Along the way, you'll also discover charming villages such as New Richmond, known for its rich maritime heritage and Carleton-sur-Mer, known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor recreational opportunities.

If you're a motorcycle rider looking for a scenic and enjoyable route, the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec is an absolute must-ride. This route combines natural beauty, culture, and coastal charm in a perfect blend that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to come back for more.

Challenging Motorcycle Routes in Canada

For motorcycle riders looking for a more challenging and adventurous experience, Canada offers a variety of routes that will test your skills and endurance. These challenging routes take you through rugged wilderness, steep grades, and rough terrain, offering a unique and thrilling riding experience.

The Viking Trail, Newfoundland

The Route

The Viking Trail in Newfoundland is a challenging motorcycle route that takes you through some of the most rugged and remote landscapes in Canada. The route starts in the town of Deer Lake and ends at L'Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is approximately 480 km long.

Scenic Highlights

The Viking Trail is a true test of a rider's skill and endurance. The route includes steep grades, winding roads, and rough terrain, making it a challenge for even the most experienced riders. The route also includes a stretch of gravel road that can be challenging in bad weather conditions. Along the way, riders will be able to take in the natural beauty of the region, with views of the ocean, mountains and forests, but also will be able to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the province.

The Viking Trail is not a destination for riders looking for a leisurely ride, but for those who want to experience the true wilderness and want to challenge themselves. It's also worth noting that the weather in this region can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and snowfall making it even more challenging.

The Yellowhead Highway, British Columbia and Alberta

The Route

The Yellowhead Highway is a challenging motorcycle route that spans through British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The route starts in the city of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and ends in the city of Yellowhead, Alberta. It is approximately 1,770 km long.

Scenic Highlights

The Yellowhead Highway is a true test of a rider's skill and endurance. The route includes steep grades, winding roads and rough terrain, making it a challenge for even the most experienced riders. Along the way, riders will be able to take in the natural beauty of the region, with views of mountains, rivers and forests, but also will be able to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the province.

The Yellowhead Highway is not a destination for riders looking for a leisurely ride, but for those who want to experience the true wilderness and want to challenge themselves. It's also worth noting that the weather in this region can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and snowfall making it even more challenging. The road conditions can also vary, with some sections of the route being well-paved and well-maintained, while others may have gravel and mud, making it a challenging ride.


The Yellowhead Highway is a motorcycle route that runs through British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The route starts in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and ends in Jasper, Alberta, and it's approximately 1,800 km long. The Yellowhead Highway is known for its challenging terrain, with steep grades and winding roads, making it a popular route for experienced riders.

The Yellowhead Highway takes riders through some of the most beautiful and rugged landscapes in Canada, including the Coast Mountains, the Cariboo Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains. Scenic highlights of the route include the towering peaks of Mount Robson, the lush forests of the Bulkley Valley, and the beautiful lakes of the Cariboo region. Along the way, riders will also discover historic towns such as Valemount, Blue River, and Jasper, each with its own unique character and charm.

The Yellowhead Highway is a challenging route that requires a high level of skill and preparation. Riders must be prepared for unpredictable weather, steep grades, and winding roads. Services and amenities along the route can be limited, making it necessary for riders to be self-sufficient.

The level of difficulty for the Yellowhead Highway can be rated as a 4 out of 5, this route is not recommended for riders with little experience and it's only suitable for experienced and adventurous riders who are prepared to face the rugged terrain, unpredictable weather and limited services.

The Top of the World Highway, Yukon and Alaska

The Route

The Top of the World Highway is a challenging motorcycle route that spans through the Yukon and Alaska, Canada. The route starts in the city of Dawson City, Yukon and ends in the city of Tok, Alaska. It is approximately 370 km long. The Top of the World Highway is not a destination for riders looking for a leisurely ride, but for those who want to experience the true wilderness and want to challenge themselves.

Scenic Highlights

The Top of the World Highway is a true test of a rider's skill and endurance. The route includes steep grades, winding roads, and rough terrain, making it a challenge for even the most experienced riders. Along the way, riders will be able to take in the natural beauty of the region, with views of mountains, rivers, and forests, but also will be able to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the province.

The weather in this region can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and snowfall making it even more challenging. The road conditions can also vary. Some sections of the route are well-paved and well-maintained, while others are gravel and mud, making it a challenging ride.

Additionally, the remote location of this ride means that there may be limited services, so it's important for riders to be prepared for any eventuality.

Scenic and Challenging Motorcycle Routes in Canada

For motorcycle riders looking for a combination of scenic beauty and a challenging riding experience, Canada offers a variety of routes that will test your skills and endurance while also providing stunning views. These routes take you through rugged wilderness, steep grades, and rough terrain, offering a unique and thrilling riding experience. From the majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies to the rugged coastline of the Gaspe Peninsula, these routes offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Route

The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is a motorcycle route that offers a perfect blend of scenic beauty and challenging riding experience. Spanning 298 km, this route takes you on a journey through the heart of Cape Breton Island, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, forests, and mountains.

Starting and ending in the quaint town of Baddeck, the trail loops through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where the Atlantic Ocean, forests, and mountains converge to create a breathtaking landscape. The well-paved and well-maintained roads make it an ideal route for riders of all levels. 

Scenic Highlights

The Cabot Trail offers a perfect blend of scenic beauty and cultural heritage. Scenic highlights of the Cabot Trail include the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from the cliffs of Cape Smokey and the stunning vistas from the Skyline Trail. Along the way, riders can also enjoy the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands, such as the lush forests, sparkling lakes, and cascading waterfalls. The route is also rich in cultural heritage, with many historic sites and small fishing villages to explore. If you're looking for a scenic and enjoyable route, the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is an absolute must-ride.

Level of Difficulty

While the Cabot Trail offers an enjoyable riding experience, it does come with some level of difficulty. The level of difficulty for the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia can be rated as a 2 out of 5.

While the route includes steep grades and winding roads, it is well-paved and well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels. The weather can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and fog making it challenging, but it is not considered an extremely challenging route. The route includes steep grades and winding roads, and the weather can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and fog making it challenging. The route also includes some gravel sections that are challenging in bad weather conditions. 


Additionally, the route also includes some gravel sections that can be challenging in bad weather conditions, however, it is a scenic and enjoyable route and the level of difficulty is low.

Overall, the Cabot Trail is a must-ride for anyone looking for a scenic and challenging motorcycle route in Canada.

The Icefields Parkway, Alberta

The Route

Embark on a journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies with the Icefields Parkway motorcycle route. Spanning 232 km, this route takes riders from Lake Louise to Jasper, offering unparalleled views of glaciers, lakes, and mountain ranges. Known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, the well-paved and well-maintained road is suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Scenic Highlights

Experience the stunning views of glaciers like the Athabasca Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, and take in the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies, including the crystal-clear waters of Peyto Lake, the rugged peaks of Mount Temple, and the picturesque valleys of Bow River. The route also takes you through the Columbia Icefield where you can take a tour on an Ice Explorer and stand on the surface of a glacier.

Level of Difficulty

While the route offers an enjoyable riding experience, it does come with some level of difficulty. The route includes steep grades, winding roads and unpredictable weather, heavy rain and fog. Additionally, the route also includes some gravel sections that can be challenging in bad weather conditions. Overall, the level of difficulty for the Icefields Parkway can be rated as a 3 out of 5. A must-ride for anyone looking for a scenic and enjoyable motorcycle route in Canada.

The Sea-to-Sky Highway, British Columbia

The Route

Experience the diverse beauty of British Columbia on two wheels with the Sea-to-Sky Highway motorcycle route. Spanning from Vancouver to Whistler, this route offers a unique blend of coastal and mountain views, with scenic highlights such as the Shannon Falls, the Stawamus Chief, and the Sea to Sky Gondola. Along the way, you'll also discover quaint towns like Squamish known for its outdoor recreational opportunities and the beautiful alpine village of Whistler, known for its world-class skiing and outdoor activities.

Scenic Highlights

As you ride along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, you'll be greeted by some of the most spectacular views in Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to your left and the rugged mountains to your right. This route is suitable for riders of all skill levels, with well-paved and well-maintained roads, making it an enjoyable and memorable ride.

Level of Difficulty

The Sea-to-Sky Highway offers a good balance of scenic beauty and challenging parts. The route includes steep grades, winding roads and unpredictable weather, heavy rain and fog, making it a little bit challenging. Overall, the level of difficulty for the Sea-to-Sky Highway can be rated as a 2 out of 5, making it an absolute must-ride for any motorcycle rider looking for a scenic and enjoyable route.

The Trans-Labrador Highway, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Route

Embark on a journey through some of the most remote and rugged wilderness in Canada with the Trans-Labrador Highway motorcycle route. Spanning approximately 1,100 km, this route takes riders from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Labrador City, testing the skill and endurance of even the most experienced riders.

The Trans-Labrador Highway is a true test of a rider's mettle, with rough gravel and mud roads, steep grades, narrow and winding roads, and the possibility of encountering wildlife. The weather conditions can also be unpredictable, with heavy rain, snow and fog making the ride even more challenging. Services and amenities are limited, making it necessary for riders to be self-sufficient. This route is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are looking for a true wilderness adventure and want to challenge themselves.

Scenic Highlights

Scenic highlights on the Trans-Labrador Highway may be limited due to the ruggedness of the terrain and unpredictable weather but the route offers a true wilderness experience. The views of the remote forests, lakes, and rivers can be breathtaking.

Level of Difficulty

The level of difficulty for the Trans-Labrador Highway can be rated as a 4 out of 5. It's a challenging route that is not recommended for riders with little experience and it's only suitable for experienced and adventurous riders who are prepared to face the rugged terrain, unpredictable weather and limited services.

The Dempster Highway, Yukon and Northwest Territories

The Route

The Dempster Highway in the Yukon and Northwest Territories is a challenging motorcycle route that takes you through some of the most remote and rugged wilderness in Canada. The route starts in the city of Dawson City, Yukon and ends at Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The road is unpaved and often rough, making it suitable only for experienced riders.

Scenic Highlights

The Dempster Highway is 740 km long and takes you through the Arctic Circle, offering spectacular views of mountains, tundra, and glaciers. However, this route is not for the faint of heart, as it poses many challenges. The road is unpaved and often rough, with gravel and mud, making it a challenge for even the most experienced riders. The route also includes steep grades and rough terrain, as well as the possibility of encountering wildlife. The Dempster Highway is a true test of a rider's skill and endurance. It's also important to note that the weather in this region can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and snowfall making it even more challenging.

The Dempster Highway in the Yukon and Northwest Territories is a challenging motorcycle route that takes you through some of the most remote and rugged wilderness in Canada. The route starts in the city of Dawson City, Yukon and ends at Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The road is unpaved and often rough, making it suitable only for experienced riders.

The Dempster Highway is 740 km long and takes you through the Arctic Circle, offering spectacular views of mountains, tundra, and glaciers. However, this route is not for the faint of heart, as it poses many challenges. The road is unpaved and often rough, with gravel and mud, making it a challenge for even the most experienced riders. The route also includes steep grades and rough terrain, as well as the possibility of encountering wildlife. The Dempster Highway is a true test of a rider's skill and endurance. It's also important to note that the weather in this region can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and snowfall making it even more challenging.

Level of Difficulty

The level of difficulty for the Dempster Highway can be rated as a 5 out of 5. The route is not recommended for riders with little experience, and it's only suitable for experienced and adventurous riders who are prepared to face the rugged terrain, unpredictable weather and limited services.

Conclusion

The freedom and adventure of riding a motorcycle allows you to truly experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this great country. Whether you're looking for a scenic ride or a challenging adventure, Canada offers a wide variety of motorcycle routes to suit different tastes and skill levels. 

From the scenic routes like the Cabot Trail and the Icefields Parkway to the challenging routes like the Dempster Highway and the Trans-Labrador Highway, there's something for everyone. Scenic and challenging routes like the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the Top of the World Highway offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventure.

References 

Reputable sources for motorcycle routes in Canada, such as travel guides, government websites, and motorcycle magazines. Include information from local motorcycle clubs, tour operators, and riders who have experience with these routes.

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About the Author, Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an avid motorbike rider and has been riding since his early teens. He enjoys spending most of his spare time combining riding his motorcycle with hiking and exploring new places.

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