Photos by: Alexandra Lee
The first weekend in August a couple of our good friends Danielle and Mike decided to tie-the-knot...in Winnipeg. We love an excuse for a good ride and decided to take our motorcycles and make it a week-long trip.
I love this ride. I got to do it a few years ago and was excited to see it again and take a little extra time to see the sights. You can break down the trip really well by doing 700km each day and hit Sault Ste. Marie the first night and Thunder Bay the second and end up in Winnipeg at the end of your third day. There are tons of different roads in and around this route if you want to stretch it out but just even taking Highway 17 the whole way provides some really stunning riding.
Typically our schedule consisted of being on the road around 8am and getting in between 8-9pm. This gives a decent amount of time for gas stops, food breaks, scenic stops and of course photo-ops.
Day 1 - Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie - 679km
To say this was the least scenic day of the trip really tells you how nice of a ride the whole thing was. Once you get out of Toronto you get to ride through some beautiful Canadian Shield landscape. I've always loved the ride on HWY 69 and have done it tons for camping at all the great spots along the east side of Georgian Bay (Killarney, French River, Killbear etc.) Lots of rivers, lakes, rocks up to Sudbury where there's a great transfer to HWY 17 where you ride through smooth, fast roads cut out of rocky hills. The ride on HWY 17 runs along tempting looking rivers, small towns great for stretching your legs or grabbing a bite and beautiful hills and fields. It was a great warmup for the next couple of days.
Day 2 - Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay - 700km
On what is really the coolest day of the trip we got some bad weather to start it off but it still turned out to be a fantastic ride. Cloud, rain and fog prevented us from seeing a lot of the beauty that is Lake Superior Provincial Park but made for interesting riding only being able to see the guardrails on either side of the road and about 30 feet ahead of us. We were blessed with some gaps and were able to check out a few cool spots in Pancake Bay and the beach at Agawa Bay. Knowing we'd have a second chance at seeing the whole thing on the way home helped take the sting out of missing some of it. In the afternoon the weather cleared up for the rest of the ride and we got to take in the crazy wilderness west of Marathon right up to the stunning views of Sleeping Giant National Park and Thunder Bay. It really is amazing to have the landscape change quickly as you buzz along the road with very little company as far as other vehicles goes.
Day 3 - Thunder Bay to Winnipeg - 700km
The sun was shining on us all the way from T-Bay to Winnipeg. This route is dotted with rolling hills of pine trees and rock dotted with lakes and stunning views all over the place. When you get to around Kenora there's a ton of places to stop and take a break at the side of the road and go for a swim. The funny thing about trying to pick the best place to stop is there is no real wrong choice and as soon as you get on the bike and around the next bend there's some place that puts where you stopped to shame. Unfortunately we had to get to the city before dark and had to pass up a lot of exploring some cool looking spots. It's definitely a trip to see the trees, rocks and hills fade away as you get into Manitoba and closer to Winnipeg where everything is flat fields as far as the eye can see as you roll into the city.
Read about our trip back here!