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Lake Simcoe is in South Central Ontario, it's a 90 minute drive from Toronto. Motorcycle riders like the area because of the long open roads along the shores and beautiful scenery. Plenty of motorcycle friendly B&Bs, hotels and restaurants are scattered around the area.
The motorcycle route is from Toronto to Georgina to Beaverton then a detour around Lake Couchiching to Orillia and Barrie then back to Toronto. This area North of Toronto is known as cottage country, so count on a lot of cottage country traffic on weekends and holidays. The ride can be completed in 5 hours and 200 miles (322 km) of non-stop riding. For more information on where to eat and sleep in the Lake Simcoe Area see: http://esr.cc/MD2NZY
Start your motorcycle ride from Toronto, go North to Georgina on Highway 404. This is a big highway and is busy all the time. Where the highway ends turn left on Green Lane and take Woodbine Avenue (Highway 8) all the way North to Lake Simcoe. For beautiful scenic riding take a left on Church Street then right onto Lake Drive, after the town of Keswick. This road is highly recommended as the best road in the area by local motorcycle riders: Lake Drive hugs the shoreline of Lake Simcoe.
You'll come to Georgina, a town of 44,000 people located on the South shore of Lake Simcoe, the heart of cottage country and a frequent stop on holidays by yours truly. Georgina is home to former Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph. Things to do in Georgina include touring a butterfly conservatory called "Butterflies & Blooms"(open June-September), Sibbald Point Provincial Park for some camping and its 400 metre stretch of beach and Georgina Pioneer Village are among the best attractions. For more information on the town of Georgina see: http://esr.cc/LfCMhb
From Georgina go to Beaverton, a small town of 2500 people go East on Lake Drive which turns into Hedge Drive until you reach Sibbald Point Provincial Park. Go South on Park Road and then ride East on Highway 48. The road is a long straight-a-way until you reach Highway 23, where you'll finally get some turns in the road to Beaverton. There's not much to see here, you'll likely just pass through.
From Beaverton to Orillia head North on Highway 23, take Mara Road onto the Trans-Canada Highway. Here you have two choices. Take the short route over the Narrows bridge, a-not-so-fun 3.7 mile (6 km) ride to Orillia. For the long way, recommended by local riders take the road around Lake Couchiching. This scenic ride around the lake through Chippewas of Rama First Nation land takes 24 miles (40 km) in approximately 45 minutes. From the Trans-Canada Highway head North on Highway 44 (Rama Road) then once at the North end of the lake merge onto Highway 11 and ride South to Orillia. The road is relatively straight forward with slight turns none to spectacular. The best part of the ride is the beautiful lake views and many cottages along the shore. Casino Rama is the most popular attraction in the area located at 5899 Rama Road, the largest First Nations Casino in Canada. For more information on Casino Rama see: http://esr.cc/N4vIbN
Orillia is a town of 30,000 people on the Northern shore of Lake Simcoe and Southern shore of Lake Couchiching. There's a big police presence in this town as it's the home of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Headquarters. For more information on Orillia see: http://esr.cc/LvrZ2U
Orillia is one of the city hosts for the Ride For Sight, a Canada wide motorcycle rally. The Ride for Sight attracts 6,000 motorcycle riders in 7 cities across Canada annually, happening ever June. This year the motorcycle rally happens at Tudhope Park June 15 - 17, 2012. The event brings out a bunch of the manufacturers and retailers as well as riders and raises funds for The Foundation Fighting Blindness charity. For more information on Ride for Sight see: http://esr.cc/MnRK5W
Photo credit: Cycle Canada - http://esr.cc/KwRRby
From Orillia go South to Barrie, a city of 135,000 people located West of Lake Simcoe and North of Toronto. Head South West on Highway 11, this fairly straight road offers views of the Western side of Lake Simcoe. Once you reach Little Lake merge onto Highway 400 to get into Barrie. This can be a traffic nightmare but it's the only way back to Toronto. Barrie is now an industrial town but once played an integral role during the War of 1812, the city was the supply depot for the British Forces. In early July the area gets extremely busy for Canada Day weekend with people flocking to see fireworks is in Kempenfelt Bay. There's plenty of water-side activities to do in Barrie, for more information see: http://esr.cc/L0s9k5
From Barrie to Toronto go South on Highway 400, but be aware the 400 series highways are the biggest and busiest highways in Ontario.
While in Toronto, you may want to stay awhile. Toronto is the capital of Ontario, the largest city in Canada with 2.6 million people. The Greater Toronto Area known as the GTA, a metropolitan mix of 5.8 million people which can be described as NY meets Montreal. Toronto can be an urban jungle filled with heavily trafficked roads twisting in and out of buildings, outside of the city you'll find less travelled roads through farmlands and small communities. Toronto is home to the world famous CN Tower, previously the worlds tallest building or tower (now 5th).
Toronto is home to many professional sports teams and other exciting events. The Air Canada Centre hosts the NHL team the Toronto Maple Leafs 13 time Stanley Cups winner and NBA Toronto Raptors. Rogers Centre, previously Sky Dome, is the home of the MLB Toronto Blue Jays, winner of 2 World Series and the CFL Toronto Argonauts winner of 15 Grey Cups. Rogers Centre also hosts the NFL Buffalo Bills and the Monster Energy AMA Super Cross FIM World Championship event in March. For more information on Rogers Centre events see: http://esr.cc/Mw1sR7 or Super Cross see: http://esr.cc/LEklFU There are many attractions, dining, motorcycle clubs, bars, and hangouts throughout the GTA. For more information on where to eat and sleep in the GTA see: http://esr.cc/MvSHq7
This water-front riding motorcycle route has gorgeous views of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching. Riding in the Lake Simcoe area is a sight to see, there will definitely be a next time. The ride takes you through the cities and towns of Toronto, Barrie, Georgina, Beaverton and Orillia in 200 miles (322 km) or 5 hours. Enjoy the ride! EatSleepRIDE