Best beginner bicycle tours in Ontario
Bike tours are also an excellent way to intimately discover a region. Guides often stop to reveal some history or local legends that you’d never hear otherwise. Touring through some of Ontario’s most iconic and beautiful regions will ensure a memorable visit.
If you aren’t an avid cyclist—or if you’re an all-out beginner—the tours below will make for an enjoyable time, allowing you to make the most of cycle touring without overexerting yourself.
Niagara Wine Tours International will take you on a tour through the first capital of Upper Canada, before Ontario was a province, in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The Victorian homes and buildings are impeccably restored. The tour pace is leisurely and the terrain is flat. The best part is visiting wineries that were some of the first in the region, including Between the Lines Winery and Reif Estate Winery.
Led by local hosts, tours include some history about the region. Tours run alongside the Niagara River, country roads, orchards and vineyards. You can choose a tour including a hearty lunch or a wine and cheese pairing. If you’re new to cycling, local guides will help with fitting you to the bike before the ride.
Find more bicycle tours in Niagara-on-the-Lake and throughout the Niagara region.
Sandbanks Vacations in Prince Edward County
Sandbanks Vacations has a guided classic wine tour through Prince Edward County wine country. The Sip & Cycle Bike Tour, about 20 kilometers long, starts at noon and runs until 6 p.m.—the end time varies depending on how many wineries you visit (typically it’s about four).
Bring your camera as the first stop is the Chetwyn alpaca farm to see the furry creatures.
The route is a soft gravel ride along the Millennium Trail which spans 49 kilometres and traverses mostly rural country roads and towns. You will also bypass towns including Picton, Wellington, Bloomfield and Consecon. If you need a bike shop along the way, Bloomfield Bicycle Co. is a unique hippie enclave.
Find more bicycle tours in Prince Edward County.
Grab your passport because cycling through Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods feels like you’re crossing borders.
From Chinatown to Little Italy and eclectic Kensington Market, Toronto Bicycle Tours include many cool spots. The company has many tours including touring the funky and relaxing Toronto Islands or an entire day tour including 15 neighbourhoods.
The tour routes are flat and e-bikes are available. The company provides helmets, snacks and a guide. Family and custom tours are available if you want to keep it just in the family.
Kingston By Bike offers a three-hour guided tour. The local guide provides a wealth of great information about Kingston, which was at one time in contention for the provincial capital.
Learn about the architectural styles and military structures such as the Martello Towers and Fort Henry. Cycle past the Kingston Penitentiary, now a tourist attraction; the first maximum security prison in Canada endured riots, fires and hostage takings. When you get tired, the tour stops on the Waterfront Pathway for a snack of some chilled local fruit.
Madawaska Valley Cycling in Eastern Ontario
Madawaska Valley Cycling offers custom bike tours for beginners with a certified coach. Tours range between 15 and 35 kilometres in length.
The Bonnechere Valley route is a good example of their tours which cycles through quaint villages, along quiet roads, and past local coffee shops, square timber barns, highland cattle and Fourth Chute Falls at the Bonnechere Caves. Visit in September to see the cute baby bats! Or, come in August for the Tour de Bonnechere bike race. If you want to ride with a group, local cyclists meet every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in June, July and August at the McRae Lumber Company site.
The Pakkotinna is a hiking, ATV and mountain bike trail that enters the Long Lakes region of the Bonnechere Valley and Escarpment. Tour company owner Robert Hamilton says the wide double track trail is good for riding side by side and socializing. The terrain is also a combination of dirt, loose gravel and sandy sections through the forest. The views are quite serene along the route beside large remote lakes and expansive marshes.
Crazy 8 Barn & Garden in Southwestern Ontario
Located on the north shore of Lake Erie, Crazy 8 Barn & Garden was once a popular rest stop for cyclists riding across the country. Now, the retail shop is focused on cycling tours of their own. Tours do not include bike rentals so you must bring your own.
The tours start from the barn located outside of London, or nearby the Chatham-Kent or western Elgin County regions. The tours are small groups (eight or fewer people) and travel at a "social pace"—usually for about 20 kilometres—which means you can chat and meet new people. All kinds of bikes are acceptable—gravel, road, mountain and e-bikes are welcome.
Tours include routes to blueberry fields, breweries, barn quilt shops (where you can buy handmade quilts), farmers’ markets, ice cream shops, bakeries and local favourites. Some tours include light refreshments and gifts, such as a tulip bouquet. You can buy things along the way and return later to pick them up.
Born to Ride Bicycle in Central Ontario
Based in Barrie, Born to Ride Bicycle has many tours, bike rentals, custom tours, learn to ride workshops and daylong bike tours throughout Central Ontario. The tours are a mixture of paved and gravel terrain, or entirely dirt for the mountain bike tours.
Each tour—and there are dozens, maybe hundreds—takes in the sites of the region. The Huronia Beach Tour meanders up a climb overlooking the valley in Southern Georgian Bay (30 kilometres long), while the Western Wetlands Tour near Orillia stops in Coldwater, a quaint village with Victorian style homes and a Georgian style library made from fieldstone.
Tours also include riding along some of the province’s most attractive waterways and lakes including Wasaga Beach and Lake Couchiching. For the adventurers, one tour includes a flight over Georgian Bay and another visits the Elmvale Jungle Zoo.
Changing Gears Adventures based in Goderich
Local cyclist Vicky Rao is the knowledgeable guide for all Changing Gears Adventures tours. The Goderich to Guelph rail trail (called the G2G) is the main trail for all tours.
Half-day trips include a section of the trail, either near Guelph or Goderich. If you choose Goderich, the trail passes along Lake Huron and over the spectacular Menesetung Bridge with expansive views. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can string together three days to complete the 132-kilometre trail in one direction.
For something entirely different, Vicky also offers night riding. The Eyes to the Skies Night Tour is a one-of-a-kind night riding tour with an astrophotographer where you can identify your favourite constellations looking through a telescope at a local observatory. Lights are provided as you safely ride through the dark, then stop to gaze up at the nighttime sky. And, monthly, Vicky offers a full moon ride.
For cyclists who like to stop and take in the sights, the Food and Flower Tour is a colourful way to sample the tastes of the region.
Last updated: September 7, 2023