We all know the road builders of the past had a vision; to craft roads that would exhilarate and awaken the senses. To build roads that twisted their way through this rugged landscape we call Ontario’s Highlands and make a mockery of the straight boring roads being built elsewhere. Ride the Highlands has become the ultimate motorcycle playground, but it doesn’t stop there. It is also the perfect location for car enthusiasts or really anyone who loves to drive and appreciates winding roads, sweeping vistas and quirky fun stops along the way.
There are four themed routes in total but there is one route we want to highlight, the Deep Valley Run route that carves through the Ottawa Valley and Calabogie region. Performance enthusiasts are likely already familiar with Calabogie Motorsports Park located along this route, where drivers are put to the test. Others just want to cruise with the top down and remember how much fun it is to actually drive their car on super twisty roads.
Deep Valley Run
This 771 km route will take between 2 to 3 days to complete, depending on how many times you turn around to drive certain roads twice…or three times. Yep, the roads are that good! There is also no shortage of rider and driver approved accommodations to stay at along the route, take your pick of hotels, motels, Inns and B&Bs.
Make some Detours…and not for Construction
If you love twisty, windy roads, then we suggest making some detours off of the main loop. Ride the Highlands has created a list of top 10 roads which are definitely worth exploring. Here are some roads we suggest you take:
- Calabogie, 511 & Centennial Lake Road
- Palmer & Quadville Road
- Lower Faraday Road
- Elephant Lake, Peterson & Loop Road
- Opeongo Road
You Brake for Cool Stuff
Once you start driving along these roads, you won’t want to stop. But there are a few attractions dotting this route that feel you shouldn’t miss. This place is full of little surprises around every bend.
- Calabogie Motorsports – We already know you love driving, so why not check out the longest track in Canada. Catch one of their exciting events that take place throughout the summer.
- Bonnechere Caves – Go below ground and explore what geologists believe to have been the bottom of a tropical sea 5 million years ago.
- Quyon Ferry – This ferry, a fun addition to the loop, has been in operation for over 100 years, linking Quyon, Quebec to Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario.
- Coronation Hall Cider Mill – Take a tour of the cider mill and try your hand at making cider. Make sure you grab a sample or two to try at your final destination.
- Pakenham General Store – If being the longest running general store in North America isn’t interesting enough, then at least stop for their famous sticky buns and butter tarts.
- Canadian Clock Museum – Hey who doesn’t like clocks? View a collection of Canadian made clocks from the early 1800s to present time.
- Szare Szeregi – Located in the Polish community of Barry’s Bay, this moving monument honours the over 10,000 Polish scouts and guides who died in the Warsaw uprising of 1944.
- Wilno Tavern – A favourite stop, this tavern, which has been around for 100 years, serves up authentic Polish fare.
Plan your Fall Road Trip
Fall is just around the corner, and with Ontario’s Highlands being a fall colour rock star, it is the perfect time to plan a road trip. Wind your way through Mother Nature’s big show with the top down for the ultimate driving experience.
If you’ve been neglecting your car all summer maybe its time you show it some love. Drive to where your car can take in some sweet crisp air into its supercharger and feel the curves on its tires. Trust us, we love Ride the Highlands for two wheels, but four wheels can be just as incredible.
If you don’t have a fun car why not rent one for your tour? These luxury car rental locations will provide you with a car for the ultimate driving experience:
- Affinity Luxury Car Rental – GTA, ON
- GTA Exotics – Oakville, ON
- Toronto Luxury Car Rentals – Toronto, ON
- Ultimate Exotics – Stoney Creek, ON
- Montreal Luxury Car Rentals – Montreal, QC
- Montreal Exotic Car Rentals – Montreal, QC