TCAT - The Forest Continued

Quebec Border to Bancroft, Ontario

Distance: 485 Kilometres

Duration: 2-3 days

3 Optional Tech Sections

Ontario is the next province the TCAT crosses. It boasts being the most heavily populated out of the provinces although the route bypasses the bulk of the people. In Ontario the population is primarily based along its southern border with the US. The TCAT purposely avoids this and travels through small towns as it heads north into the giant wilderness of the northern and western parts of the province.

The weather in Ontario, much like western Quebec can be very hot and humid in the summer months. June and July typically being much more humid than August.

After you get off the ferry from Quebec, the route quickly (30 minute ride) enters the nation’s Capital city of Ottawa. At just over a million people, Ottawa has most of the amenities you will need.

Some recommended links

BMW bike services –

Great mechanic 1 hour south of city – Revin Kevin 613-258-2332

BMW/Kawasaki/Triumph Dealership -

Yamaha/Suzuki Dealership -

KTM Dealership -

The route does a brief but scenic tour of the city and brings folks to the Parliament buildings which are located in the heart of the city and then follows a scenic road along the Rideau Canal. The Rideau River is a world heritage site ( ) and offers history buffs a good read.

Like any city it has its rush hour times. It might be wise to not plan your trip through the city between 7-9 am and 3-5 pm during the weekdays.

Leaving the city the route follows a series of gravel and paved roads. A couple of jeep trails are utilized which offer some fun bumps and splashes. Just before the route enters the small historic town of Merrickville is my house J Shoot me an email if you’re passing by ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) as if time permits it would be good to meet up. I can also arrange shipping of parts along with storage. Merrickville is about an hour south of the city. This is about a third of the way into the route and most folks will be in need of some routine maintenance on their bikes.

ont main generic

The route leaves Merrickville via a series of trails and gravel roads and passes through a few towns which have fuel, supplies, etc (Carleton Place and Almonte). We highly recommend filling with fuel in Almonte as it will be some time before your next opportunity.

hot in ontario

Along with the hot weather comes warm water in the lakes and rivers.  There will be many lakes that make for excellent swimming along the route

A few km’s after Almonte there is an optional tech section ( 04 ON 02 TechAlt 1 ) LINK

tim hortons

Grabbing a coffee at the Tim Hortons in the town of Almonte

A series of paved country roads gets you back onto some trails. The next few hours consists of double track trails that travel through forests and along a hydro line. There is one notable water crossing that depending on rains, beavers, etc might be quite deep. We highly recommend walking it first!

water crossing main 

The notable water crossing, depth will vary greatly depedning on the environment


After heavy rains some of the double track trails can become slick with mud

Another technical optional section will present itself about 30 minutes after the water crossing on the main route ( 04 ON 02 TechAlt 2 ) LINK

A series of gravel backroads leads you to an old rail trail called the K&P Trail. A straight forward trail with one potential water crossing on it, the K&P will bring you into the town of Calabogie. Between Almonte and Calabogie the TCAT could be considered very technical by some folks. From Merrickville to Calabogie will be a full day, more so if you choose to ride the optional tech sections. Calabogie is a small town that has fuel, a couple of restaurants, a campsite and a couple of motels.


Water on the K&P Trail

Leaving Calabogie you have an hour of some fun doubletrack trails along roads that are very popular with locals. Arcol and Hydroline Road. These two roads bring you into the small town of Ompah (a must do fuel stop and its 2 km off the route). Ompah consists of some cottages and one small general store/gas station.

granite lake

An excellent camp spot on Granite Lake.  This is right on the route midway between the town of Calabogie and the town of Ompah.  3 campspots, awesome swimming, etc LINK for reservations

arcol road

Arcol Road

hydroline road

Hydroline Road above and below

hydroline road 2

ompah gas

The general store in Ompah

The route leaves Ompah and follows roads for 30 minutes before once again getting onto a trail. A couple of water crossings on hydroline trails will be encountered. There is a split here, an optional technical section follows the hydroline trail ( 04 ON 03 TechAlt ) LINK whereas the main route splits of left into the forest on a double track trail. This trail spits you out into a small town (no fuel) called Flinton. A small store that makes excellent sandwiches is about all the town has to offer.

Below: Great sandwhiches at the Flinton general store 

sandwhichs after lingham main

lingham main


linghma main 2


main after lingham

30 minutes of paved and gravel roads bring you onto a road called the Old Hastings Heritage. This is a fun twisty, sandy road which eventually brings you to the Hastings Heritage Rail Trail. This old rail line trail finishes in the town of Bancroft. With a size of about 10, 000, Bancroft has hardware stores, restaurants, lodging, etc

hastings heritage trail 1

hastings heritage trail 2

hastings heritage trail  4


Many folks will use a provincial campground just outside of Bancroft called Silent Lake Along with tent sites you can rent a yurt which have wood stoves and come with a bbq to cook your food on. From Calabogie to Bancroft is a day’s ride and if you choose the optional tech section is a full day. Either way you’ll likely have wet boots from water crossings. From Merrickville to Bancroft are probably two of the more technical days on the TCAT. Spending a couple of days in Bancroft to get some rest would not be unheard of. The Yurts at Silent Lake might be wise idea to sit back, have a swim and let your gear dry out.

yurt silent lake campground 2 day minimum

Yurt rentals at Silent Lake Provincial Park

Below: Dry gear over a fire after a couple of wet days

camp wet socks




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