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  1. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Hi there. It was recommended to me to post here about where to ride in Southern Ontario.

    We are a family of three (ages 40, 38, and 17) traveling to Canada, from Florida, for our first time the weekend of July 1st. This trip is to spend some time (and adventure) with my son before he heads off to college. We are trailering to PA then riding into Ontario for 3 days.
    We are staying in Elora for the first two nights.

    Since we will be on dual sport bikes, and anxious to be riding outside the Florida sand, we are looking for some places to ride. Anything from cool sights to challenging trails. We are all three experienced riders and can handle almost anything up to moderately difficult. (Only one of us can do the extreme stuff right now) Including hill climbs, water crossings, single track, mud, etc. Our bikes include a Dakar, DR200, and KLX250, all registered and insured.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Since we are only going to have limited time and not sure of our schedule, an organized ride wouldn't be feasible.

    Also, if anyone knows a good place to stay near Toronto for a night, I would love to hear any recommendations. My son wants to see the city (preferably at night) but I am having difficulty finding reasonably priced accommodations. We don't require much. Just safety for the bikes overnight. ;)

    Thank you
    Kelly

    I added below some photos of some riding we have done as an example.

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    These below were from my son and I's first "dual sport" ride (organized). Prior to this ride, I had only rode all dirt or all street and track and my son only dirt trails.

    It was an adventure. And only one week after my son got his motorcycle endorsement on his license. haha

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  2. 3BeeJay3

    3BeeJay3 ODSC Past President

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    I'm sure a few folks can show you around abit, If you'd like?. I'd suggest trailering the bikes to Elora, instead of just to PA. - It'd be a lot easier to get you guys set up for some good stuff.

    There's everything from nice DS riding, trail-riding and hardcore Canadian shield rocks within 4hrs of Elora. Outside of DS riding, it's much easier to trailer to the site, ride for the day, then trailer back to home base, unless you have energy to burn :D
    I may be able to join you depending on my schedule that weekend.
  3. bkowal

    bkowal ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Not dirtbike related, but do the Elora Gorge tubing thing. Rent your tubes early, they go fast.
    Its a blast on a hot day. Plan a nice afternoon doing this. If you are staying at the Elora campsite, there also is a nice swimming spot across the road from the park.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDRBO4Xd ... re=related
  4. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Trailering is not an option for us. We DO have too much energy to burn. :) Chris and I did a coast to coast (FL to CA) in 46 hours on sportbikes once, if that gives you an idea.
    5 hrs is just a stroll for us. And Joey (Mudd), my son, wants to experience his first "long" trip.

    Since we only get three days,and we REALLY need a vacation, we don't want to commit ourselves to a schedule. We don't want to feel like we HAVE to be some where at a certain time. But maybe we CAN hook-up with someone that might be able to show us some good rides.

    We are stopping at Niagara on the way up, just for a short visit to see the falls since we have never been. But hope to get into Elora early evening on the 1st.
    Then we want to sight-see and ride Saturday and Sunday. I would like to make it up to the Blue Mountains via 6 (?) up to Owen Sound and down the coast. We are staying at a B&B, but that tubing definitely sounds like a must try. Thanks for that suggestion!

    Then over to Toronto via some more sight-seeing and riding Sunday the 3rd.
  5. Fat Tire Flyer

    Fat Tire Flyer Ride Organizer

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    I'm in Guelph.. Which you have to pass through to get to Elora.. Can't give you a definite "yes" but I maybe able to lead you on a dual sport ride from Guelph up towards Blue Mountain if you like.. It may or may not be challenging depending on your groups skill level.. Will include some water crossing like your pics above if you like.. Problem there is if you drown one of your bikes how are you going to get to your next destination..

    If you want something more off-roadie.. I will see if I can entice another friend to take us on one of his renegade ride. Being chased by the police is a possibility though.. This guy thinks he is a chick magnet.. But in reality he is a police magnet.. :lol:
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Ride Organizer

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    I'd like to know where your photos were taken? Is that actually in Florida??? You found the right site to help you get some miles in during your trip to Ontario. Welcome!
  7. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    To Fat Tire Flyer: For someone (me) who doesn't want to commit, I never ask for it. But if it works out, that "escort" to Blue Mountains sounds very nice. We aren't out looking for challenging rides. I just wanted everyone to know what we can handle; what our riding levels are. We just want to experience our time in Canada the best we can under the circumstances/time constraints.
    This definitely won't be our last trip there. I think more about my son having a memorable time before he deals with the "real world" in August. ;)

    To SteveP: Ha, I can only wish those hill climbs and trails were in Florida. The water, yes, that was in Florida. The trails and climbs were in Northern Georgia. A place called Durhamtown Plantation. It has been our savior since living in Florida. It is only 6 hours away and an amazing off-road resort. And there is no exaggeration when I say "resort". I would recommend it to anyone that doesn't have the natural off-road luxuries in their back yard. Thanks for the welcome.
  8. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Oh, and for the water crossings, not too worried about a flooded bike. If we go through it and can't handle it, we deserve it.

    As to the police, I am not familiar with Ontario Patrol, but my educated guess would be that they wouldn't take kindly to the "foreigner" outlaws and therefore it would ruin a vacation.
    May lead to a memorable adventure for the boy, but... :)
  9. Fat Tire Flyer

    Fat Tire Flyer Ride Organizer

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    The remark about "being chased by the police" was just a poke at a friend who also lives in Guelph.. We get along okay when we are together because we defined the boundaries for our friendship.. The boundary is actually a road "Edinburgh Road".. As long as he stay on the west side of Edinburgh Road.. I will stay on the east side of Edinburgh Road.. :mrgreen:

    If you would like to give your son a real "memorable adventure".. Let me know what lesson you would like to teach him.. I can arrange for a "police road block" to stop you and your crew in the Guelph/Fergus area (know most of the local officers because of the restaurant I worked at for 12+ years).. Lesson plan can include a type of body search and/or also tazers.. :wink:

    On a more serious note.. If I am available and you would like a guide.. It can be as easy or as tough as you guys would like it.. I just like to ride.. I do prefer gravel over pavement.. Throw in some dirt here and there.. A bit of mud and a water crossing.. Maybe even some single track around the Shelburne area before finally heading further north to Blue Mountain.. I have many gps tracks and can adapt the ride as you guys like.. Details can be made day before and changed during the ride if needed..
  10. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    You are a good Man Tony Wong =D>
  11. ecarnell

    ecarnell ODSC-OFTR Member

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    If you are up for a couple of days - and want to see SW ontario - may I suggest you take a tour of last years Super Sunday run:


    viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17121

    viewtopic.php?f=37&t=16996

    This will show you lots of SW ontario - this is mostly a big Dog DS friendly gravel ride - but you get to cover alot of distance - and will point you to some more interesting/difficult areas to explore later if you choose to return to the Creemore/south loop - or around Simco County Forest

    I think I still have the file somewhere. Post up if you wouldl ike it. With the GPS file - your family can go at your own pace - and not have to wait for the "locals".....

    P.S. Nothing is cheap in TO. Best hotel pricing woud proabbly be around the airport IMO - but a little drive into the city. Check expedia . ca, ect

    Eric

    Attached Files:

  12. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Eric, that sounds great. I am definitely interested in that GPS file if you have it. My son got a GPS with bike mount as a graduation gift just for occasions like this. ;) Looking at that route looks exactly like what we were looking for. Riding with sight-seeing. I don't want to spend the whole time in the woods. A tree is a tree. haha I like the sound of overlooks and waterfalls.
    What type of gravel is it, large or small packed?

    Do you do your DS rides strictly with GPS routes or do you use roll charts as well?

    Oh, and what is the difference between blue plates, green plates, etc.? Will we have any trouble with the law or locals with our US plates, lack of permits, and such?
  13. 3BeeJay3

    3BeeJay3 ODSC Past President

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    If your bikes are road plated for FL, with road insurance, you'll be fine up here for everything. The trips suggested will show you a nice part of Ontario with varied interesting terrain, points of interest, vistas, etc. Pretty much all of the Counties neighboring Wellington county (where Elora is located), to the great lakes & NE over to the Canadian Shield, have lots to offer for DS riding & it's kind of a 'best kept secret' :wink: of Ontario. A popular stop is the Creemore springs brewery.........
  14. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Thanks for clarifying that. Wow, sounds like we picked a great area to stay. I am more excited now.
    And to think I was going to bring the GSXR600 instead of the KLX. Glad I changed my mind.

    Sounds like we may just want to stay the third night in the Elora area instead on Toronto.

    I saw the Brewery on the loop that Eric recommended also. Thanks for the recommendation. I just added that to our itinerary.
  15. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Oh, also, if anyone has recommendations for places to eat that would be great too. We appreciate unique foods, historic places, fine foods, etc.
    The "mom and pop" type places are so much more enjoyable than fast food. ;)
  16. bkowal

    bkowal ODSC-OFTR Member

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    There are TONS of great things to see and do in Toronto during the summer, always something on. Many of the events are free. If you are making the trek up here, spend a day in the Big Smoke if you can. If you are into big cities, its worth it, if you are not, then one day is enough, but it is a must-do. Also, motorcycle parking is free in Toronto and dual-sport bikes are a great way to get around downtown. The July 1st weekend is one of the best since its the Canadian equivalent of the American July 4th weekend.

    If you are going to Niagara Falls, see the falls and skip all the tourist crap, but you MUST go on the Maid-of-the-Mist. Spend the time and money to do it, well worth it, best thing in the Falls
    http://www.maidofthemist.com/en/

    If you are into hiking, I can give you an AMAZING trail that follows the Niagara River around the Whirlpool. This is the second best thing to do in the Falls. Budget about 3 or 4 hours for the hike. Plus its part of the Niagara Parkway, which is an awesome ride on the bikes. If you are into fishing, there are HUGE mutant carp and salmon in the Niagara River off of this trail.
    Stop by Niagara-on-the-Lake for ice cream, (maybe Fort George if you are into history and war of 1812, which BTW to Amercans lost to the Canadians) then to St. Catharines and check out ships going through the Welland canal, neat to see if you havn't seen it before. This is a good stop on the way out of the Falls. Plus there is a nice dual-sport friendly trail that runs along the canal, and more stuff up the canal in Port Colbourne. And there is a haunted railway tunnel you can check out if you are into that.

    Yes I have been a tour guide for many relatives visiting the area. Let me know if you need any more google map links etc.
  17. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    One reason I wanted to go to Toronto was for the Jazz festival they are having that weekend. I saw some free shows that would be nice to see since my son plays a horn.
    And he wanted to see the city at night. He has only been to one city before (Pittsburgh). I am just having a problem with accommodations right now.

    We do love to hike but there just isn't going to be enough time. And we do want to avoid the "touristy" areas for the most part as that is just not our thing. We want to see the falls since we have never seen it, then move on to more "roads less traveled". I know summer brings a lot of tourists to the nice villages you have in that area, but I am still looking forward to experience them.
  18. Kelly

    Kelly Limited User

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    Oh, and yes, we are definitely into history so the Fort just went onto the list. As did the ice cream and the ships in the canal. These are the type of things we were looking for since we have never been to Canada. Is there a particular ice cream parlor we should stop at?

    Awesome recommendations. Thank you to everyone for being so kind. I hate Florida and there isn't much to see. But if any of you decide to come to the Daytona Beach/Orlando area and need a place to stay I would be more than happy to try to accommodate you. We are 5 miles from the beach.
    And if you like NASCAR (we don't) we are 5 miles from the speedway.

    Does anyone know how long we should expect to spend at the border getting across? (we do all have our passports).
  19. bkowal

    bkowal ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Basic plan for Niagara:
    Cross at Buffalo-Fort Erie border
    Take Niagara Parkway (very nice ride) North to the Falls, take pictures, ride Maid-of-the-Mist, get the hell out the caos.
    You can do a mini-hike at the Whirlpool, budget an hour to walk down, see the whirlpool and the rapids, and get back up.
    Continue on Parkway to Niagara-on-the-Lake, spend a little time there, good place to eat.
    Take Lakeshore Drive into St.Catharines, turn left at Welland Canal, follow to Lock 3, see ships at viewing center, cross the bridge back over the canal
    Ride the canal trail all the way up to Port Colbourne

    Others can comment on Port Colbourne to Elora, but there are losts of good routes to get there and things to see.
  20. Fat Tire Flyer

    Fat Tire Flyer Ride Organizer

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    The gps route that "ecarnell" posted was included in where I would have guided you guys (if you liked).. The upper half of that ride is "Blue Mountains" that you where hoping to see.. As I mentioned in my above post (if you like) we could ride some single track around the Shelburne area where the Terra Nova Enduro is run (south of Blue Mtn).. Creemore Brewery (BobM's second home) is also an option (if you like) and is north of Shelburne but south of Blue Mtn.. I have hundreds of gps routes and track files saved in my computer which will be uploaded to my gps if you would like me as your guide (and if I available).. GrahamM (member of this site) was recently in Moab, Utah.. When he was there he text'd me asking where the 3 of them should ride.. I sent him a couple of files and made some recommendations including the White Rim Trail which they did and loved.. Anywho my intent if I was your guide is not to thrash and kill you guys and make you ride 50kms of single track.. Including 5 of Brian Helliwell's suicidal water crossings (in the Orangeville area) and also not to be fed food until it's dark (mandatory when riding with BrianH).. As I mentioned above it can be as easy or as tough as you guys would like it.. It's your ride (not mine) I will just be the guide.. Anywho have some work to do.. Cheers y'all.. :D