Located in the azure waters of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world, with 108 inland lakes and stunning vistas at every turn. On this 5-day private cycling expedition, you’ll discover not only the natural beauty of the island but also its strong Indigenous roots and pioneer history.
Known as Mnidoo Mnising in Anishinaabemowin, one of the Indigenous languages spoken on the island, Manitoulin is the ancestral home to six First Nations. As you cycle the island, you’ll visit a medicine garden, PowWow grounds, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation and have the opportunity to immerse yourself in an exquisite in-depth storytelling journey with the Wikwemikong First Nations on the largest Unceded Reserve in Ontario.
If you have any questions about this experience prior to booking, please contact us and one of our experts will be happy to help you.
With a maximum of 8-12 travellers, these departures can be easily booked as a private group. Contact us for more information.
Your adventure is expertly curated by MICA (Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates) and begins in Mindemoya, about 560 kilometres from the bustle of Toronto. Here you will enter a different world, one dominated by gentle lake breezes, warm hospitality and a celebration of culture.
Make your way to Manitoulin Island and cross over the scenic hundred-year-old swing bridge to Little Current. From here, head to the idyllic Twin Peaks Bed and Breakfast in Mindemoya. On the way, enjoy impressive vistas overlooking the North Channel, a world-famous sailing paradise. After settling in and enjoying the nearby lake, you’ll head to Maja’s Garden Bistro for an introduction and dinner.
Day 2: 58 km cycle ride, 3 hr hike
Your guide will arrive with your e-bikes at 9:00am and you’ll head out on the Ketchnkookem trail, stopping for the school cycle sculpture story and continuing along the gorgeous Lake Mindemoya shoreline. You’ll pause at the war memorials, Alvar rock exploration and ride through M’Chigeeng First Nation, with a road-side snack on Lake Mindemoya. After a stop at Lillian’s Indigenous Museum, you’ll cycle to the entrance of the famous Cup & Saucer hiking trail for a three-hour hike to Manitoulin’s highest elevation, part of the Niagara Escarpment. You’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas over limestone cliffs into the distant North Channel, West Bay and Lake Manitou. Lunch will be provided on top of the Cup. After the hike, you’ll continue to cycle along Bidwell and Rockville Roads, skirting Lake Maniou, the largest of the 108 inland lakes found on the island. Dinner at the B&B.
Day 3: 58 km cycle ride, 1 hr hike
Today’s adventures start at 9am with a short ride to M’Chigeeng to visit the Medicine Garden and PowWow grounds, followed by a visit to the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. You’ll have a chance to see heritage art from Anishinaabek artists and hear authentic interpretations of Anishinaabek history, cultural practices and beliefs from an Indigenous guide. Afterwards, you’ll cycle towards Kagawong to tour one of the oldest Settler farms on the island (now an alpaca farm), with all its ancient buildings, including a very quaint Ice House. A short ride from here will bring you into Kagawong, one of Ontario’s prettiest small towns. You’ll have lunch at the beautiful new harbour with its Old Mill history and museum and a chance to explore the galleries and a chocolate shop. After a visit to the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll cycle back to your car at the B&B and drive to Little Current. Your accommodation for the night will be at the Hotel and Conference Centre.
Day 4: 61 km cycle
Meet your guide at the Centennial Museum in Sheguiandah. Before heading off on your cycling for the day, you’ll be treated to a guided tour of the oldest archeological Indigenous artifacts in North America, found right here in Sheguiandah. Take some time to explore the museum, which hosts an array of 19th century Canadian settlers history and features a few historic buildings on its grounds. Today’s cycling will begin over great farmland, past lovely vistas and lakes towards Manitowaning, one of the first settler towns. Cycling north along Hwy 6, with its wide paved shoulders — one of MICA’s very first successful lobby efforts — will bring you to High Falls and then Ten Milk Point, the most spectacular lookout on Manitoulin. The 2 km descent back into Sheguiandah will end your cycling day. The drive back to your hotel accommodation will let you once more gaze over the waters of Georgian Bay.
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll drive to the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve where you’ll be guided by Wikiwemikong tourism on an exquisite in-depth story of their life, history and ways. A local Indigenous lunch will be served at the bottom of the great Bebamakwe trail system. After this memorable experience, you can make your way to South Baymouth for M.S. Chi-Cheemaun ferry that will bring you to Tobermory, the hamlet situated at the most northerly portion of the Bruce Peninsula.