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The Most Scenic Road Trips in Canada

There’s no doubt about it: from one coast to the next, Canada is a country with countless sights to see and no shortage of panoramic views to behold. So, if you’re planning on taking your three-wheel motorcycle out for a long, multi-day journey, this article will take you across some of the most impressive routes that this country has to offer.

#1 - The Sea-to-Sky Highway, British Columbia

Are you planning a British Columbia road trip? Then the Sea-to-Sky Highway, which runs between Vancouver and north of Whistler, is a must. Spanning over 163 km (100 miles), this is easily one of the country’s premier road trip routes with views of the endless ocean on one side and on steep mountain ranges on the other—that’s where its Sea-to-Sky name hails from. In case you’re wondering, it’s also the inspiration behind the name for the Can-Am Spyder RT Sea-to-Sky model. This highway starts out in bustling downtown Vancouver; the route has it all, including shorelines, mountains, beaches, cultural points of interest, and historic sites, so there’s always something to pull over and appreciate. In addition, a section of the highway carries you along a picturesque cliffside brimming with the most unforgettable views the province has to offer. Our advice? Plan enough time in the schedule to take plenty of pit stops—and be sure to bring your camera while you’re at it to snap some of those landscapes.

#2 - Cape Breton Island’s Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Though the Maritime province of Nova Scotia may be the country’s second-smallest, what it lacks in geographic size, it makes up for in magnificent scenery. Head to Cape Breton Island’s Cabot Trail, a road trip that will take your breath away at every turn. This 298 km (185 mile) trip has it all, from stunning views of the Atlantic coast to impressive mountain ranges. The road itself feels like an adventure, thanks to its weaving, winding bends and curves. Off-road, there’s plenty to take in along the way, too: from ocean vistas to quaint, coastal fishing villages. The Cabot Trail runs the entire perimeter of the island, so you’ll be able to see as much as possible while on your trek. No matter what time of year you go, nature will surely put on a show for you on this route: the lush vegetation comes to life any season, with vivid reds, yellows, and oranges in fall and lush greenery in spring and summer.

#3 - Trans-Canada Highway, Canada

Journeying across the Trans-Canada Highway is an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just as its name implies, this transcontinental highway system goes from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Ocean, spanning from Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland. And did you know that it crosses into 10 Canadian provinces and six different time zones? Not only is the Trans-Canada highway the country’s longest national road, but this route also happens to be one of the three longest single-country highway treks in the world. In other words, driving this 8,030 km (5,000-mile) stretch of road is an immense feat, one that requires serious time and preparation. But, if you can swing it, riding this highway will surely be a rewarding experience: not only will you see the variations in the landscape across the country, but you’ll be able to stop off in some of the country’s more densely populated areas and explore a diversity of cultures, languages, dialects, and all the qualities specific to each region that make Canada such a unique and wonderful place to explore.

#4 - Pacific Rim Highway, British Columbia

Outdoor enthusiasts and road trip experts already know that nobody does it quite like beautiful British Columbia when it comes to awe-inspiring landscapes. Take the Pacific Rim Highway, a gorgeous Vancouver Island road trip. This 127 km two-lane stretch of road does a fine job of capturing all the majesty the province has to offer, showcasing the region’s remoteness while highlighting some of its spectacular natural scenery unlike anywhere else in the country. It’s also home to some of B.C.’s finest tourist attractions. So if you’re embarking on this road, plan for your itinerary to include visits to the city of Port Alberni as well as the oceanfront villages of Ucluelet and Tofino—you’ll enjoy these quaint, seaside stops to break up the trip. As for the road itself, if you’re a rider who likes a little adventure, you’ll love the twists and turns that take you through the mountains, into valleys, and along rivers. Once you’re ready to stretch out your legs, pull over and hit one of the many hiking trails along the way and take in the lush rainforests and beaches along this ride. If you’ve ever wanted to take a trip back in time, the Pacific Rim Highway can feel a little bit like a journey through the 1960s, too, with rest areas and diners that feel like a blast from the past.

#5 - Gaspé’s Route 132, Quebec

The province of Quebec is so vast that its regions are geographically diverse from one to the next. Perhaps one of Quebec’s most popular tourist destinations is the majestic Gaspé region, the easternmost region on land. This corner of the world is filled with plenty of enchanting attractions, chief among them the Percé rock. It also contains a rich diversity of landscapes. Gaspé’s Route 132 (also called “la route des navigateurs,” or the Navigator’s Route) is the province’s longest road and leaves drivers with no shortages of views to take in, from sprawling landscapes, expansive farmlands, rivers, small villages—and of course—the far-reaching sea. Along the way, you might even encounter some wildlife, too, from bears and deer to moose! Every kilometre of this highway is magic in its own right, crossing elevations and rewarding you with exciting views everywhere you look. In a word, this road is colourful, made for those who like their experiences to be unforgettable.

#6 - Georgian Bay Coastal Route, Ontario

While Ontario is home to Canada’s largest city, Toronto, travelling outside the city limits is as exciting and action-packed as the province’s urban areas. One must-visit road trip is the Georgian Bay Coastal Route, located in Northeastern Ontario. This route is widely considered the crème de la crème by tourists and locals alike, thanks to the rocky cliffs and crystal-clear waters native to Georgian Bay. Aboard this 1,350 km (840-mile) stretch of highway, you’ll travel straight into Ontario’s heartland, encountering places like the city of Sudbury, Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world, the Bruce Peninsula and the clear blue waters that surround it, as well as Wasaga Beach. If all this wasn’t enthralling enough, consider how accessible the Georgian Bay Coastal Route is: riders in Ontario, Quebec, and even the United States can easily travel to and explore the sights that this magical route has to offer.

               Credit: Hermann Luyken

               License: Wikipedia

#7 - Route 155, Quebec

Located on the north shore of Quebec’s St. Lawrence River is Route 155, an idyllic stretch of highway that’s fun to ride and filled with unbelievable views. This north-south highway traverses between the cities of Shawinigan and La Tuque, a distance of almost 250 km (or 155 miles). If you’ve ever wanted to explore the natural beauty of Quebec, this highway—and all of the natural wonders you’ll witness—is for you. Route 155 is bordered by mountain ranges on one side and the Saint-Mauricie on the other, an adventurous route that will leave you breathless. Beyond its stunning views, however, many riders love this journey for how exciting it can be, complete with bends and curves and sharp twists and turns. This road is certainly made for those who like to ride hard and have fun when they do. In total, Route 155 takes about three hours to scale, and at every step of the way, you’ll be thoroughly entertained by the panoramic views, natural sights, and the exhilarating journey.

#8 - Route 381, Quebec

The Charlevoix region of Quebec is well known for its beautiful scenery—and the road that gets you there is a magnificent commute, too. It’s called Route 381 or the “Mountain Road,” as it touches the Laurentian foothills and is replete with some of the province’s most picturesque landscapes and the stunning geographic beauty that Quebec is renowned for the world over. This provincial highway follows the Gouffre River. This river was named this way for the “gouffre,” French for whirlpool, located at the base of Cap au Corbeaux, where the river spills into the St. Lawrence. If you’re looking to take a break and hit some hiking trails, Route 381 also brings you to the Grands-Jardins and Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivère Malbaie National parks. There’s a whole world of beauty and richness to discover in the Charlevoix region, so if you’re searching for that perfect road trip to take in the sights and richness that Quebec has to offer, this is the route for you and your fellow riders to explore.

#9 - Ride Lake Superior, Ontario

If there’s only one Ontario road trip you take, make it Ride Lake Superior—you won’t regret it. Contouring the mighty Lake Superior, you’ll be amazed by just how much its sights resemble that of an ocean. This 2,300 km (1,450-mile) journey hugs the shoreline as closely as possible, so you’ll take in some of the most inspiring views Ontario has to offer. That’s also a big reason why so many thrill-seekers love this road and why it’s widely considered to be one of the best in the country for a multi-day road trip. Along Ride Lake Superior, you’ll encounter numerous attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and sights to see. Just be sure to bring your passport with you because this road traverses both Canada and the United States. Three-wheel motorcycle riders, take note: this is a highly rider-friendly route, with most motels or hotels offering designated motorcycle-only parking.

#10 - Dempster Highway, Yukon

Canada’s North remains one of the world’s most remote, untouched locations, and it’s a region worth visiting at least once in your life. So if you’re headed in that direction, be sure to embark on the Dempster Highway in the northwest region of Yukon. This 740 km (460-mile) trek takes you from Dawson City to Inuvik in the neighbouring Northwest Territories and takes anywhere from 12 to 16 hours to complete. Along it, you’ll take in exceptional sights and all the expansiveness of the Canadian North, including two mountain ranges, the Ogilvie Mountains and the Richardson Mountains, just west of the Mackenzie River. It also reaches the Arctic Ocean, making it as accessible to Canadians as both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are. Keep in mind that this is one route that’s more about the journey than the destination: our advice is to plan to take many stops so you can experience the extraordinary scenery. If you’ve never journeyed along such a remote route before, keep in mind that this is a hard-packed but well-maintained gravel road, so it may not be smooth sailing at every curve. If you’re a seasoned road tripper, Dempster Highway is not to be missed.

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