GWTA 2024 Route and Itinerary Overview- Cycle the North! Sault Ste. Marie to  Manitoulin Island

Ride with us from Tuesday, August 13th to Tuesday, August 20th for the 2024 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycle tour and awareness ride. Featuring a linear route from Sault Ste. Marie to  Manitoulin Island, Ontario along the Lake Huron Northshore.

We had such a wonderful time when we rode this route in 2019, it’s definitely time to revisit the North in 2024 with the added bonus of a Lake Superior ride and  our first ever stay on Manitoulin Island. Join us for 67- 115km ( maximum) of riding per day combined with lots of fun off-the-bike activities. Enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new friends along this ruggedly beautiful section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

  • Visit Unique communities along the shores of the Lake Huron North Channel.
  • Enjoy amazing waterfront views as you cycle this section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
  • Overnight in the unique communities of Sault Ste. Marie, Bruce Mines, Blind River, Massey and Little Current ( Manitoulin Island)
  • Choose your Adventure: For a second year we’ll base the tour in two communities for two nights each giving you more time to explore the history, culture and natural beauty of both Sault Ste. Marie (featuring a taste of Lake Superior)  and Manitoulin Island . We are working with these communities on some incredible experiences to enrich our visit. Stay tuned for updates.

Pre-tour: Monday August 12 – 0ptional overnight either on Manitoulin Island/ Sudbury /Espanola  – Long Term Parking  for the 2024 GWTA is located in Little Current, Manitoulin Island and bike packing for the journey to Sault Ste. Marie will begin at 9am on August 13  – for most people this will require an overnight stay in a nearby town. Little Current is located at the North End of the Island close to Espanola and not far from Sudbury (no ferry crossing required).

PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning on arriving to Manitoulin Island from the South via the ferry you will need to book the ferry in advance – details about the ferry between Tobermory and South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island can be found here.

Day One: Tuesday, August 13– mid morning departure to Sault Ste. Marie by coach bus from the long term parking location at NEMI Recreation Centre in Little Current on Manitoulin Island (coach bus booked separately through CAA). Arrive by 9am to present your bike for bike packing.

Coach bus must be booked and paid for separately.

4 hour coach bus journey to Sault Ste. Marie.

Gather together in the evening for the opening night reception. Overnight in Sault Ste. Marie hotels or Sault college dorms (no camping available in this location).

Day Two: Wednesday, August 14 – 67 km Taste of Superior ride to Chippewa Falls. Overnight for a 2nd night in Sault Ste Marie hotel or college dorms.  End the day with maybe a visit to a local brewery and dinner at one of the many local restaurants. Second overnight in Sault Ste Marie.

Day Three: Thursday, August 15 –73km-Ride to Bruce Mines with an included lunch in the  rural community of Desbarats – join us  for a community dinner in Bruce Mines. Overnight in Bruce Mines or Thessalon ( Thessalon requires additional riding) Camping available in Bruce Mines.

Day Four:  Friday, August 16 – Bruce Mines to Blind River – 75 km/96km. Join us for a community dinner in Blind River. Camping available at Blind River.

Day Five: Saturday, August 17 – Blind River to Massey or Espanola 95km/115 km. Visit the communities of Spanish and Massey – take a quick trip to enjoy the beauty of Chutes Provincial Park. Dinner on your own this evening in Massey or Espanola. Camping available at Massey.

Day Six: Sunday, August 18 – Massey or Espanola to Little Current on Manitoulin Island – 50km/76km. Indoor camping available at Little Current at the NEMI Recreation Centre.

Day Seven: Monday, August 19 – Enjoy a scenic ride on Manitoulin Island. Join us for a Celebration Dinner in the evening. Indoor camping available at Little Current.

Terrain & Route Overview: Combination of quiet roads, highways with cycling infrastructure  and some off-road multi-use trails –  There are some longer sections of gravel and this route includes 3 sections riding on the paved shoulders of Highway 17 for a total of 50km.

Support: Daily luggage transportation, and mechanical assistance.

The GWTA 2024 is possible thanks to the generous support and help of our partners:

A big thank you to our event partners: CAA South Central Ontario, the Greenbelt Foundation,  Destination Northern Ontario, Algoma Country, MICA and overnight and rest stop hosts.

Past Highlights