North of Toronto Gravel Routes

The following routes are mainly gravel cycling routes exploring what I’ll call the Northern Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, and Muskoka.

The routes are all designed as day trips generally in the area of 80-120km.


The Motherload – Loop 1

72.5km/1,004m

Inspired by Tiago from Ride with GPS

My Ride Report of The Motherload – 75k Version – A Tale of Seven Hills – April 2021

The Motherload – Loop 1 was inspired by The Motherload as crafted by Tiago. Although only 75km, it feels much longer. Loop 1 throws a little bit of everything at you, including three epic climbs, beautiful views, double track, hard-pack gravel, a rough gravel climb and descent, a little bit of pavement to rest the legs, and of course the epic climb north out of Terra Nova.


The Motherload Loop 2

77.9km/980m

Inspired by Tiago from Ride with GPS

My Ride Report – The Motherload – Loop 2 – A Photo Journal

The Motherload – Loop 2 is the second loop I crafted off Tiago’s The Motherload. The route starts in Creemore and gets the two big climbs of the day out of the way early. With lots of gravel, crazy climbs, no winter maintenance roads, the Garmin confusing maze known as Devils Glen, and a 15km paved downhill section returning to the start, it’s a great day on the saddle.


Burks Falls Gravel Loop

147.8km/1,342m

Created by Tiago Varella-Cid

Ride Report by Tiago Varella-Cid from Team Colin’s Blog – Summer 2020

Pedal Poetry – Riding a Painting – Burks Falls Gravel Loop in Autumn – September 2020

I first learned about the Burks Falls Loop in the summer of 2020 while reading Team Colin’s blog post noted above. It sounds like an excellent route and is on my must-do list for 2021.


Simcoe County Loop Trail

163.9km/795m

Courtesy of Cycle Simcoe

My Ride Report of the Simcoe County Loop Trail – August 2020

Biking in a Big Cities – Simcoe County Loop Trail – September 2020

Ride Cycle Spin – Bikepacking the Simcoe County Loop Trail and More! – August 2020

The Simcoe County Loop Trail is an excellent intro to bikepacking and is popular as both a one or two day route. The 160km route is 90% on trail and passes by a number of towns including Barrie, Elmvale, Penetanguishene, Midland, Victoria Harbour, Coldwater, and Orilla.