Escape the Usual with Self-Guided Multi-Adventures in Ontario’s Near North

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Step off the beaten path and embark on an extraordinary journey through Ontario’s Near North, a region brimming with untamed beauty and captivating cycling routes. Nestled on the Canadian Shield, North America’s ancient volcanic core, lies the Voyageur Cycling Route. This 645-kilometre route, stewarded by Discovery Routes, features rugged terrain, pristine lakes, meandering rivers, lush forest and rolling hills. The route offers a one-of-a-kind blend of wilderness and urban adventures intertwined with a rich tapestry of human and terrestrial history.

If you’re looking for a unique adventure that weaves together outdoor exploration, history and sport, look no further—Discovery Routes created several self-guided experiences along the Voyageur Cycling Route, including the Old Nipissing Ghost Road and Red Toque Multi-Adventure routes.

Almaguin Community & Economic Development

All these multi-adventures can be experienced in both the summer and the fall. If you’re open to either season, autumn is cooler, has no bugs, even fewer tourists and brilliant colours.


Old Nipissing Ghost Road (77.1 km)

Chris Monette

A hidden gem among Ontario’s Near North cycling routes, the Old Nipissing Ghost Road bike route promises an unforgettable adventure for intrepid cyclists. Traversing remote gravel roads and the Trans Canada Trail, this route takes cyclists on a historic journey through forgotten ghost towns of early settlers and across Ontario’s wilderness.

The route’s unique features lie in its eerie aura, as remnants of a forgotten era emerge from the dense forests and glimpses of the past materialize in the form of dilapidated structures. This bikepacking route brings cyclists on an immersive journey, where they will experience minimal traffic, quaint hamlets and remote backcountry, all while being fully immersed in the raw beauty of the Canadian Shield. With its undulating terrain, scenic vistas and a sense of exploration that pervades every pedal stroke, the Old Nipissing Ghost Road bike route offers a truly unique experience for cyclists seeking a memorable adventure.

Red Toque Multi-Adventure (84 km)

Discovery Routes

For avid cyclists looking to add another layer of adventure to their trip, consider embarking on Discovery Route’s Red Toque Multi-Adventure, a passage once used as a route by Indigenous peoples and fur traders. Through a mix of cycling, paddling and hiking, outdoor adventurers will fully experience the traditional lands and sacred waterways of the Anishinaabe and Métis peoples in Ontario’s Near North. One can expect an impressive blend of natural wonders, including waterfalls, rapids, flatwater lakes, granite cliffs and ancient forests.

Beginning in North Bay, this multi-day route can be completed in a variety of ways, depending on how one would like to break up their trip. From cycling paved and gravel roads to paddling the Mattawa River and hiking along trails once traversed by early voyageurs, there is no shortage of history and adventure.

Want to explore more? Check out more self-guided adventures along the Voyageur Cycling Route.

Adventure Trail Maps

Discovery Routes

The Old Nipissing Ghost Road gravel route and the Red Toque Multi-Adventure are simply two routes amongst many in Ontario’s Near North. For more outdoor adventure opportunities in the surrounding location, consider Discovery Route’s Adventure Trail Map. The Adventure Trail Map includes 53 hike and snowshoe trails, six cross-country ski trail networks and 20 bicycle touring routes.

Embark on an Unforgettable Journey

Chris Mayne

For a purely Canadian outdoor adventure, consider one of Discovery Route’s Near North cycling routes. These hidden cycling routes, largely unknown to most, promise a sense of exploration and discovery, where every bend in the road reveals a new historical narrative and breathtaking scenery. From leisurely rides to challenging gravel trails, Ontario’s Near North invites you to experience the rugged wilderness, all while embracing the province’s rich history and cultural heritage.

This article was sponsored by Discovery Routes

Across the Near North, we have a thriving community of volunteers who provide stewardship for a vast and diverse trails network. As a charitable trails organization, we support community-based trail partners through collaborations and resource sharing to keep growing and improving the trails network.