By: Martin Lortz
In Ontario, the problem isn't a lack of destinations but rather not enough time to explore them all. With the vast road system, planning a weekend moto tour becomes challenging, balancing time and distance. While there are many routes to choose from, one that stands out is The Lake Temiskaming Tour.
This 450-kilometer loop takes you from North Bay to New Liskeard and back, splitting its distance between Northeastern Ontario and Quebec. It can be completed in a day if you're nearby, but a two-day ride is recommended for a more satisfying experience.
Of course, more is better, and we plan to stretch the tour's mileage on day one by exploring roads north of New Liskeard. On day two, we'll ride along the Quebec side of the Ottawa River before heading back home.
Hello Friday, let's start the adventure! We head north from Toronto towards North Bay and the comfortable Best Western Hotel. Here, we enjoy a lovely evening at the on-site Farina Ristorante. The following day, we set off with high spirits and under the shining sun. Rather than following the official route, we decide to detour west onto Highway 17.
We enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Nipissing, surrounded by the vibrant colours of the autumn leaves. Once in Sturgeon Falls, we take a turn onto Highway 64, and from then on, it's just the road and us. Eventually, Highway 64 intersects with Highway 11, leading us back onto the Lake Temiskaming Tour track.
We stop at Gramp's Place General Store to get some fuel and warm up. Although the ice cream looks tempting, the cold weather forces us to postpone that treat for another time. After reaching Temagami, we are mesmerized by the stunning view from the Fire Tower and later enjoy a delicious lunch at the Temagami Shores Inn. We continue our adventure by heading north towards New Liskeard. On the way, we deviate from the official route to add more kilometres to our trip.
We roll through Elk Lake and Matachewan, then savour the twists and turns of Highway 66. Back on Highway 11 again, the road sign informs us that our destination is only 80 kilometres away. We drop our bags at the Waterfront Inn in New Liskeard just in time to watch the Lake Timiskaming view from our room fade to darkness. An enjoyable meal at the on-site Rooster's Bar and Grill, then a good night's sleep is welcomed after a good day's ride.
We wake up to another beautiful morning on day two as we make our way to Quebec. The ride along Highway 101 is breathtaking, with its picturesque villages, stunning lake and river views, and serene atmosphere. Returning to Ontario, we enjoy the sweeping turns along the Ottawa River before plunging back into the dense forest and the exhilarating twists of Highway 533 as we head toward Mattawa.
As with any adventure, the unknown eventually becomes a reality; unfortunately, that time has come. Lunch in Mattawa marks a bittersweet moment as we come to terms with the end of our journey. We have only an hour left to reach our starting point, and the journey home will take a few more hours. Looking back, we reminisce about the excellent roads, delicious food, comfortable accommodations, and, most importantly, the great company that made this trip unforgettable.
When planning your next moto-tour in Ontario, consider exploring the beautiful Northeastern Ontario region and the Lake Temiskaming Tour. Spanning 450 kilometres and two provinces, experience the warmth of northern hospitality and the stunning landscape as you explore on two or four wheels.