Canada’s most incredible bike routes

You don’t have to look far to find phenomenal natural beauty in Canada—particularly when a cycling adventure is concerned, from family fun to hardcore thrills. These choice bike trails will let you escape to the great outdoors coast to coast, whether you’ve got just a few hours or a whole week.

Canada’s most incredible bike routes

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/ anatoliy_gleb]

Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver

Surrounding Stanley Park along Burrard Inlet and English Bay, the Stanley Park Seawall is perfect for family fun with no hills and no cars. Built just above the high-tide mark, this urban escape yields stunning views of the sailboats and freighters, the Lions Gate Bridge and the mountains beyond. The seawall is divided—half for walking and half for cycling, and bike rental shops are plentiful. You can do the whole 9 km in just one hour—but please take your time and enjoy the ride.

Kettle Valley Railway, BC

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is an abandoned railroad track that stretches out across the Okanagan and Similkameen regions, from Hope to Castlegar, and is highly regarded as one of the best recreational bike routes in the country. It delivers more than 650 km of pathways ideally suited to mountain bikes, with the 80 km Myra Canyon section from Kelowna to Penticton being one of the more popular sections. Think vineyards, orchards, bridges, flora and fauna.

Banff to Jasper, Alberta

This physically demanding 290 km bike route that connects Banff to Jasper, delivers the most breathtaking mountain scenery, running right alongside the Continental Divide. It takes four or five days of highway riding to complete, offering challenging hills and nice, wide shoulders. This cycling escape begins with the Trans-Canada Highway from Banff to Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway carries on from there to Jasper. A variety of hostels en route eliminate the need to pack the camping gear. Bonus: No trucks allowed on the Icefields Parkway.

Niagara Region, Ontario

The variety of cycling in the Niagara region offers plenty of different routes and loops, easily pleasing all levels of cycling enthusiasts. It’s 25 km from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls, then another 30 km to Fort Erie, all along the Niagara Parkway Recreational Trail. This blessedly flat bike route takes you along the Niagara River, past wineries, vineyards, orchards and gardens. There’s a 195 km loop if you’re feeling more hardcore. Tip: Bring a picnic.

Green Route, Quebec

This great escape is a 4,000 km bike route network reaching across the whole of Quebec, one of the longest in Canada. With a mix of bike-only pathways, roads and highway segments, the Green Route is similar to cycling routes in the UK and Denmark, with little inns that cater specifically to cyclists dotting the map. The most popular segment—the Blueberry Route—is a 255 km loop around Lac Saint-Jean that takes about four days.

Confederation Trail, Prince Edward Island

With beaches, back roads and burger stands, PEI’s bike trails are also some of the flattest. The Confederation Trail was built in an old railway bed, a multi-use trail extending through farmland and potato fields, forest and marshland. The main bike route is about 35 km, but the whole network nets out at more than 400 km. Tip: Make sure to meander off the beaten path and onto the secondary roads for some of the best views.

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