Canada is known for its enormous coastline, where forests plunge into fjords and icebergs bump into rocky outcrops. It’s also known for having the world’s largest freshwater lakes, dotted with islands. It’s no wonder ferries in Canada transport almost as many people each year as planes and trains. So if you have an electric bike, take advantage of your efficient mode of transport, jump on a boat, and cycle around one of Canada’s top 10 best islands to bike!
Gabriola & Saltspring
Ok, ok, ok, so the Gulf Islands are plentiful and it is hard to pick favourites. Salt Spring and Gabriola islands are equally great for electric biking. Gabriola is opposite Nanaimo and you can rent a bike from Pedego Nanaimo and ride all the way there and back. Saltspring Island is served by two ferries, so take your pick of where to load your bike. Both islands are full of artists, farmers and hippies, and provide beautiful beaches, seaside stops and the best islands to bike.
Denman and Hornby go together because you have to ride your electric bike onto ferry to Denman Island, then pedal along pretty pastoral roads, to reach Hornby ferry. There’s only one road on Hornby that winds past a bakery, fruit stands, a quaint wooden community centre and ends at the mountain bike trails along Mt Geoffery Escarpment. Helliwell Cliffs are another great place to explore by bike and avoid the gridlocked parking at the peak of summer at Tribune Bay.
Rent an electric bike from Pedego Vancouver or drop your Pedego in for a service before heading to Bowen Island, because Colin is an island biking expert. From the best spots to ride to for a picnic, to the sunset views for sipping G&Ts, the Pedego Vancouver bike mechanic knows them all. His soft spot for Bowen means he is over there often in the summer. It’s an easy ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove.
When it joined Canada in 1949, Newfoundland became Canada’s fourth-largest island (the first three are in Nunavut). For that reason, we’re not suggesting you ride around the whole island… although an electric bike would certainly help with the hills! There are plenty of great places to ride that capture the essence of Newfoundland, such as the Irish Loop past Chance Cove, through the barrens which begin near St. Vincents and end near Cappahayden. No one knows headwinds like Newfoundland, and an electric bike takes the pain out of pedalling into a howling sou’wester. Or ride the Newfoundland T’Railway from Channel-Port aux Basques in the west to St. John’s in the east. Take in breathtaking coastal views in Gros Morne National Park, a world heritage site with trails that have views of the Long Range Mountains and glacially-carved fjords.
Prince Edward Island
It isn’t possible to ride over the bridge to PEI, but once you get your electric bike onto the island, you can ride it everywhere. From Charlottetown to Mt. Stewart, along the Cabot Route, to Greenwich and through the Tyne Valley are all top rides. You’ll pass fields of strawberries and potatoes, see lobster boats at work, and catch a glimpse of the famous Green Gables from the comfy saddle of your bike. If you need to pick up a Pedego on your trip across to this gorgeous part of Canada, stop at Pedego Fredericton in New Brunswick.
On an electric bicycle, there’s no need to sweat on the steep climb from the ferry wharf, and it won’t matter if you circumnavigate the island counter or clockwise. The pleasant 24km ride takes you past beaches, campsites, craft stores and charming landscapes. The ferry is free for cyclists and kitesurfers. Be sure to taste some of the island’s famous ciders, and the poutine isn’t bad either.
Ride a 28km loop following the Lake Erie shoreline all around Pelee Island. The route travels quiet country roads, through farmland, vineyards and natural areas, half paved and half unpaved. From the bike, you can access beaches, forests, sand dunes, marshes and alvars found nowhere else in Canada. Look for rare water snakes, salamanders and spotted turtles at Fish Point and Lighthouse Point nature reserves. Stop at Pelee Island Art Works, a collective with over 70 local artists, and Pelee Island estate, Canada’s first commercial winery.
Quadra Island lies between Vancouver Island and the mainland. It literally creates the passage that all ships sailing to Alaska take: Seymour Narrows. You can ride across to Quadra on BC Ferries from Campbell River, and keep your eyes peeled for orcas and humpbacks on the 15-minute crossing. Crossing from Quathiaski Cove to Heriot Bay is a pleasure, and you can keep cycling to the wild north of the island past Hyacinthe Bay to climb Chinese Mountain. After this, you might want an electric mountain bike! On the southern tip of the island, you can cycle on paved roads to the Cape Mudge lighthouse and the island’s only winery. And there’s a fantastic First Nation museum at Cape Mudge with friendly staff if you can spare enough time to do it justice.
If you find yourself on the outside looking in when the popular (and often sold out) Manitoulin Passage Ride comes around in June, there are plenty of other opportunities to get out and explore Manitoulin Island by bike. Manitoulin Islands Cycling Advocates have four scheduled departures for their Alvar Treasure Rides in 2019. These all-inclusive guided tours are a perfect way to experience the local charm and hidden gems of the world’s largest freshwater island and a destination that is quickly becoming one of Ontario’s hubs for cycling.
To celebrate the opening of Pedego Kawartha Lakes’ second location in Lindsay, Ontario, we’ve selected three great bike rides in the Peterborough region. All of these rides are sections of the TransCanada Trail (“The Great Trail”). For the 53.8km that The Great Trail runs east to west through the Kawarthas, cyclists enjoy a relatively flat, 3 metre wide, hard packed limestone trail with plenty of stops along the way. Pop into the new Pedego Kawartha Lakes store at 66 William Street in Lindsay, or the original store in Bobcaygeon, to rent an electric bike and see how much fun it is to ride these trails.
Note: we couldn’t do this without help from dedicated Pedego owner Karen Lambert Fields. She read our last post on 10 best bike trails in Ontario and was quick to suggest some of her favourite Kawartha and Peterborough rides that didn’t make it in. She’s ridden all over, takes great photos, and shares her love of Pedego electric bikes. Thanks Karen!
Rotary Greenway Trail
This lovely rail trail runs along the eastern bank of the Otanobee River from Peterborough to Lakefield, past Trent University. The southern half paved trail and the northern half limestone gravel. The full trail from Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough, through to Lakefield is about 20km. It was built by the Rotary Club of Peterborough and it passes through parks and ecosystems which are home to a variety of wildlife. Interpretive signs describe the ecology, flora, fauna and history of the area. This is Rex Fields on the London Street Bridge in Peterborough.
Lang Hastings Trail
This 30km section of the Great Trail (TransCanada) runs east from Peterborough to the Lang Pioneer Village, where it crosses Indian River, and continues along the Trent River to the town of Hastings. There are wonderful historic and bucolic scenes on either side of the trail, such as a grist mill, dairy cows, orchards and barns. Different days, or has Rex swapped his Pedego below?
The Omemee rail trail is a popular 35 km bike ride from Lindsay into Peterborough. It is crushed gravel and easy riding out of Lindsay towards the Omemee River.
It crosses the 200m long Doube’s trestle bridge, which allows you to ride easily across vegetation and streams of the Buttermilk Valley. Here is Karen on a sunny day crossing the trestle bridge.
To connect with other Pedego riders in Kawartha Lakes, or visit the store’s Facebook page.
From farms to conservation land, wineries to waterfronts, Ontario is a fantastic destination for bike tourism. Whether you are taking weekend trips from Toronto, or spending the whole summer touring the lakes, you’ll experience a huge variety of riding. Single track, double track, converted rail trails, gravel roads, multi-use paths and bike shoulders, there is a great variety in every itinerary.
Going by electric bicycle is a great way to see even more of Canada’s second largest province. Just ask any Pedego owner if they ride more since buying an ebike! And, if you need more than 10 rides this summer, grab Ontario By Bikes’s 2019 riding guide. If you need an electric bike, visit Pedego Kawartha Lakes or Pedego Prince Edward County: rent for a one-off adventure, or buy one forever.
WALTER BEAN TRAIL, WATERLOO
This 35km return trip starts at Schneider Park and runs along the old Grand Trunk Railway Line to Cambridge. Enjoy river views, historic mills and one of Ontario’s prettiest downtowns filled with lovely stone architecture.
STURGEON LAKE, KAWARTHA LAKES
Make Kawartha Lakes your destination for some spectacular lakeside riding, following County Road 24 out of Bobcaygeon along Sturgeon Lake. There are a selection of secondary roads intersecting the Trent Severn Waterway and lock stations. Pedego Kawartha Lakes rents bikes for this route (and the next one)
KEN REID CONSERVATION AREA, LINDSAY
A great ride for novice and intermediate riders is in the Ken Reid Conservation Area a 5km ride north of Lindsay along the Victoria Rail Trail. The 10km trail network is relatively flat with many rest areas and water features on the southern arm of Sturgeon Lake. Even better, the whisper quiet motor on a Pedego won’t interrupt the birding. Visit Pedego Lindsay for maps and bikes.
COUNTY ROADS 18 and 16, MORRISBURG
For riding on paved shoulders, the County Roads 18 and 16 provide a 40km lollipop route including the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. The flat agricultural lands spanning the horizon call to mind The Netherlands, as does the joy of cycling on the road instead of driving a car.
PRESCOTT RUSSELL RECREATIONAL TRAIL, ST EUGENE
The 72km Prescott Russell Recreational Trail stretches from St-Eugène in the east to the village of Hammond in the west. For those looking for a recreational overnight trip, ride from Vankleek Hill to Plantagenet along the trail. Overnight in Plantagenet before pedalling the paved shoulders north and east along the Ottawa River back to Vankleek Hill for a 76km loop.
MILLENNIUM TRAIL, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Acquired by The County from the Canadian National Railway in 1997, the Millennium Trail is a re-purposed abandoned rail line that was converted into a multi-use recreational feature for the enjoyment of County residents and visitors. The 46-kilometre multi-use trail stretches from Carrying Place at County Road 64 to Picton at County Road 49, passing near Consecon, Wellington, and Bloomfield. You’ll find Pedego Prince Edward County smack bang in the middle of it, with a large rental fleet including an electric tandem bicycle.
TURKEY POINT, PORT RYERSE
Turkey Point has approximately 65 km of well-maintained and signed singletrack trails both within and adjacent to Turkey Point Provincial Park and St. Williams Conservation Reserve. Beginners have plenty of terrain to explore; and it is possible to rent electric bikes from Ontario’s South Coast Bicycles nearby Port Ryerse.
WILDWOOD CONSERVATION AREA, ST MARYS
If you’re really into natural surfaces, in Pedego-speak that means an Elevate, Trail Tracker or Ridge Rider, the Wildwood Conservation Area has approximately 30 km of trails, including a 24km loop Lake Trail of mostly single track. It is directional meaning that on even-days it rides clockwise and on odd-days, counter-clockwise.
VICTORIA RAIL TRAIL, FENELON FALLS
The trail takes you from Lindsay north for 22 kilometres along Sturgeon Lake to Fenelon Falls. During the summer months the bridge crossing this waterway is swung open to allow boater traffic through. Rent a bike from Pedego Lindsay and ride north to the falls and back.
GREAT WATERFRONT TRAIL
The first nine aren’t enough? Tackle the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail—3,000 km of breathtaking waterfront on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, running from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury!