Touring - Toronto to Algonquin Park?
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12-01-04, 07:35 AM
I was curious if anyone has done a Toronto to Algonquin Park and what route they took to get there. I'm also curious if anyone has used Highway 11 (Yonge Street?) in that area and how heavily travelled is it beyond Thornhill (farthest I've taken Yonge). I'm contemplating a short tour that would take me up to Algonquin and then down to the Kingston area and back to Toronto for 7-8 days at end of June/beginning of July.
I know Ontario has lots of stuff (Regional Roads, backroads, farmer roads) up to the tip of Lake Simcoe but beyond that... seems rather "barren".
12-01-04, 07:49 AM
I can't tell you very much about the Toronto to Algonquin Park leg of your trip, but I have done a lot of cycling in the Kingston area, and it's fantastic. One of my favourite stop-overs is a 500,000,000-year-old meteor crater at Holleford. See:
From Kingston, follow Lake Ontario to the Glenora Ferry. Take the free ferry to Prince Edward County. You could easily spend several days there exploring country roads (which remind me of rural roads in France), visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park (the white sandy beach goes on for miles), and checking out the many wineries that have been established during the past few years. Highway 2 is the route to take back to Toronto; I believe there are bicycle lanes for part of the way.
12-01-04, 08:00 AM
I've done Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal, Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Amherst Islands a few times.. :D And I've stayed at Sandbanks (book early). :D
I tend to use Highway 2 for those routes as it's direct and not too bad once you're outside of Toronto-Pickering areas
12-01-04, 05:28 PM
i have driven on some of the roads just south of algonquin and they were very nice and not too busy. i would not recommend to take any of those larger roads north to cottage country on or near a weekend! i think i would also recommend to stay south of algonquin and not take the only main road that cuts through the bottom of it as this is fairly busy. by staying south you still see the same beautiful area and miss that traffic.
i would recommend buying local maps to see the roads in more detail. i have mapsource (a product of garmin) downloaded on my computer which helps me plan my routes although it does not always tell me if the roads are gravel or paved. it does give me exact distnaces though! really local detailed maps are the only way.
12-05-04, 01:40 PM
Toronto to Algonguin? I don't think so. Yes you can go up Yonge Steet (Queen's Highway 11) but you will be riding on a heavily travelled highway full of strip malls and fast moving traffic.
I'm going to check this out, but you might be better off starting in Ottawa, our nation's capital, and then heading up the Ottawa river to the top of Algonquin.
I'll check back with you.
12-05-04, 02:08 PM
Hrmm... I was thinking that might be a better route but not sure if I have enough time to bike from Toronto to Ottawa, then to Algonquin and then down to Amherst Island (Kingston Area) and back again to Toronto in a week (Saturday to Monday week -- so 10 days of riding and 3 days of poker).
12-05-04, 05:18 PM
There are a few ways to get it up there if you go on the east side of lake Simcoe. I'd go up hwy. 48 to hwy. 12 get off at hwy. 169 and follow it up to Washago. There is a road in Washago that connects to hwy. 6 (Though it isn't on some road maps.) Follow 6 up to Gravenhurst. Then 17 to 182 to Bracebridge follow 4 to 141. On 141 head towards Utterson, in Utterson turn left at the general store and they road goes right up Huntsville.
I think I got all those numbers right.
Get a road map. There are a number of side roads that mirror highway 11 and highway 48. Most of these are paved and not well travelled. Forget about Highway 11 or 48. Way to busy.
I would like to ride from Toronto to Gravenhurst. I have no problem with a route to Washago, but I'd rather stay off Hwy 11. What map do you have that shows a Hwy #6 to Gravenhurst? ( BTW, is it legal to ride on #11 between Washago and Gravenhurst?)
12-11-04, 05:27 AM
I use Rand McNally's Ontario Provincial Road Atlas book (if you don't want to buy this, then go to the local library -- should have a copy). When I do my tours, I just photocopy the pages I want, highlighter the roads in questions and away I go. I don't think so. It's a multi-lane with exchanges (as per Rand) so to my mind that means a highway like 401, especially since the 11 seems to be a continuance of the 400. There are tonnes of backroads up to Gravenhurst so it shouldn't be to hard to find a nice ride. I've done Toronto to Stouffville.
Once you're outside of Toronto, you can find many nice backroads to ride on that have little to no traffic. Just make sure have some supplies (full water and some food stuff) in case you can't find a local store or something.
12-11-04, 12:30 PM
You list yourself as being in Toronto. Go the the Ontario Travel Bureau in the Eaton Centre to pick up your free copy of the Ontario Recreational Trails Map. Rand McNally is a large multi-national corporation. At least this map offers some local knowledge and shows all the roads.
12-11-04, 02:43 PM
Ontario Travel Bureau in the Eaton Centre
Hrmm.. they closed this year. :( It's now a board game and calendar shop. I usually get their Parks and Campgrounds Guide in the Spring so I'll ask then (once I figure out where the nearest tourist bureau is now).
Checked with the OPP today, bicycles are allowed on Hwy 11 between Washago and Gravenhurst. I didn't inquire beyond Gravenhurst though. I am going to try to ride to my cottage this summer on my 50th birthday. I will go along the east side of Lake Simcoe, Durham 23 to #12 to 169 and then #11 to Gravenhurst.
12-13-04, 12:46 PM
Hrmm.. they closed this year. It's now a board game and calendar shop. I usually get their Parks and Campgrounds Guide in the Spring so I'll ask then (once I figure out where the nearest tourist bureau is now).
You have got to go the the first level at the Eaton's Centre.
Check out the Ontario web site:
220 Yonge St., Level 1
P.O. Box 104
Fax: (416) 314-5901
Monday – Friday - 10am - 9pm
Saturday – 9:30am – 7pm
Sunday – Noon - 5pm
(Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day)
They were closed during the government employee strike last year but I was there several weeks ago and they were open for business giving away free recreational maps. If you want to pay for the maps, go to a bike shop; they are only $3.95.
12-13-04, 02:11 PM
I know where it was. It's not there (they haven't updated the website). I found out on the weekend it moved to the Atrium on the Bay, across the street. I used to hang out there.
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