The Best Cycling Roads in Canada

Pro Review

Bow Lake near Icefields Parkway, Banff, Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada. By TRPhotos /Shutterstock.com

Canada is known for its beautiful scenery and lush untrodden forests filled with a picturesque landscape. There is genuinely no better way to appreciate this domain than on a bicycle. Whether you are a recreational cyclist looking to take in the sights at a leisurely pace enjoying ice cream rest stops, or a full-on road warrior ready to lay down the watts, Canada has roads that are prime for adventure. Explore rails to trails as well as the training grounds of many professional Canadian cyclists – most routes are lined with shops and local flair that will immerse you in local culture the and give you a taste of each towns distinct flavor. So get your frame pump and maple syrup gels ready, because you’re going to hit the Canadian roads.

The Beaver Valley: Grey Road 13 Flesherton to Meaford, Ontario

Those who enjoy pristine views of the Canadian countryside coupled with challenging riding will love Grey Road 13, which will take you from Flesherton to Meaford through beautiful Beaver Valley. Perfect for all skill levels of riding and handling, the ride has many small shops and stops along the journey. Home to the annual Centurion cycling race, the region has become a training ground for racers and recreational cyclists alike.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn and Suites, Collingwood, ON for a bike-friendly atmosphere offering free hot breakfast, free WiFi and an indoor heated pool.

Grey Road 13 goes right by Mount Baldy in Ontario’s Beaver Valley. Photo by Reimar / Shutterstock.com

Confederation Trail, Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island’s railway was abandoned in 1989, and subsequently transformed into a walking and cycling trail in the summer and a snowmobile trail in the winter. Traveling over beautiful rolling hill scenery, quaint villages and broad bay seascapes, the Confederation Trail is Prince Edward Island’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail. Its 435 km of smooth limestone trail boasts gentle gradients that never exceed 2% climbing or descending and breathtaking landscape with approachable terrain make this trail a gem for both seasoned riders and beginners alike. The Main Trail starts in Tignish at kilometer 0 and ends in Elmira at kilometer 273. While exploring all that the trails have to offer, you’ll come across food, service, and shops, all which are easily accessible along your journey.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn Charlottetown, PEI for quick trail access and bike-friendly service, located close to many outdoor attractions and a variety of restaurants.

The walking and biking trail, the Confederation Trail, that runs the length of Prince Edward Island. Photo by V J Mathew / Shutterstock.com

Viking Trail / Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Yes, you read that right:Viking Trail. Newfoundland’s Viking Trail travels along the edge of Trans Canada Highway 430 by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and offers remarkable views of The Gulf, many fishing villages and once in a lifetime scenery on the road throughout Gros Morne National Park. Take your camera and look for 22 species of whales, including minke, sperm, blue, and orca whales, and the world’s largest population of humpbacks. Also on route, savor the pebbled beaches and sea stacks – amazing large rock formations that line the coast and trail. This is where Europeans first set foot in North America a thousand years ago; they were the Norse Vikings, and their first landing spot was at L’Anse Aux Meadows, on the northern tip of the Island. Today this is one of the world’s most culturally significant historical sites, and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1972.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn Corner Brook, NL offers incredible views of the Bay of Islands, and is ideally located near the city centre, making it a fantastic option for families and cyclists alike.

The Viking Trail, or Highway 430, at Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada. Photo by David P. Lewis / Shutterstock.com

Alberta’s Icefields Parkway, AB

If you’ve read about Alberta’s Icefields Parkway, you already know that it is a show stopper. One hundred ancient glaciers, turquoise mountain lakes, and cascading waterfalls line the roadway. Most riders enjoy the trip from Jasper to Banff, though the mountains do offer some challenges with grade inclines averaging 2% – 6%. This trip is recommended for riders with a medium fitness level, but supported riding for a beginner would be perfectly okay. The full trail stretches an astonishing 300 km and runs between the historic towns of Jasper and Banff. The Parkway follows three major river systems and passes by jaw-dropping scenery filled with lakes and wildflowers. Along the route, two mountain passes – Sunwapta and Bow – take you up to elevations above 2,100m for breathtaking views of the Columbia Icefield.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn & Suites, Edson, AB for the quickest access to the Parkway after a good night’s rest and a free hot breakfast in the morning before your ride.

Bow Peak and Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada. Photo by Sean Board / Shutterstock.com

Battleford Trails, Saskatchewan

Forty kilometers north of Battleford Park on Highway 4, is a 5 km bike-exclusive trail, which should be checked out by anyone staying in town. The trail begins and ends at the nature trail parking lot and offers winding trails through parkland forest and shaded bluffs. The Battlefords Provincial Park offers water taps and a seasonal convenience store for visitors, along with free entry to the park on a bike for day use. For those touring or looking for road miles, Highway 4 from North Battleford to the provincial park has seen much improvement in the last year with resurfacing and shoulder rumble strips in place for most of the way and it’s excellent for steady scenic riding. Battleford Park itself offers both beginner cycling and more advanced sectors of trails through its trademark forested groves as well as along Jackfish Lake.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn & Suites, North Battleford, SK for professional service, cozy accommodations and a delicious free hot breakfast in a bike-friendly service and atmosphere.

n the shores of Jack fish lake sits Battleford Provincial Park in Saskatchewan. Photo by DCBPresents / Shutterstock.com

Kettle Valley Railway, BC

The Kettle Valley Rail – known by many as merely the KVR Trail and the Columbia & Western Rail Trail is the most extended rail trail network in British Columbia, extending from Hope to Castlegar. A once bustling and busy railroad system, the now decommissioned tracks are home to an expanding rail-to-trails system that spans over 650 km of connected pathways throughout the region. On the journey through the Kettle Valley riders take in historic abandoned railway corridors and scenic views previously unseen by anyone outside of a boxcar. This corridor is one of the most dynamic routes in Canada, with some awe-inspiring scenery and spectacular views.

Where to stay: Comfort Suites, Kelowna, B.C. in the heart of the Okanagan Valley for the best home and bike-friendly service.

Train trestle on the Kettle Valley Railway near Kelowna, Canada. Photo by Tomas Nevesely / Shutterstock.com

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  • Mike Gasher says:

    I agree re the Confederation Trail. Tried it once on my road bike, but eventually left it for the roads instead.

  • Mike Gasher says:

    The Icefields Parkway is incredibly beautiful, but there’s far too much traffic and distracted drivers. I wouldn’t be my choice for a ride.

  • Jo Lunn says:

    Re the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff…the sponsored link to the Comfort Inn in Edson puts you 160k/100miles east of Jasper. Not exactly the “quickest access to the Parkway after a good night’s rest and a free hot breakfast in the morning before your ride”! Stay in Jasper.

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