Once we are allowed out to play again, here is a Muskoka route to consider… If you have half a day to spare, are up for spectacular scenery and challenging hills, and enjoy a well-placed mid-route coffee shop, then the Lake Rosseau Loop is for you. This is another one from our fully supported and guided Georgian Bay – Muskoka 6-day trip, our signature tour. The Lake Rosseau Loop is about 65 kilometres and includes 917 metres of climbing. It is a loop, so of course you can start wherever you like, but Port Carling is a good choice as it is well-serviced for any pre- and post-ride needs you may have. It has several great food and beverage choices, and you will have earned your lunch by the end of this ride!
Stuff to know before heading out
Start and finish in Port Carling, looping Lake Rosseau clockwise. Note that parking in Port Carling in the summer is challenging, especially on weekends. Public parking is available at the municipal offices, arena, library, and Hanna Park. While there is some public parking downtown, there is a two hour limit – this will be a 3 to 4 hour ride for most people.
While much of the route is on quiet roads, there are some busy sections noted in the description below. There is generally less traffic midweek, and in May, June, September and October.
Port Carling to Port Sandfield
Head southwest out of Port Carling on 118. The first 2-and-a-bit kilometres are busy, with a narrow paved shoulder. Make a right turn on Peninsula Road, and about 5 kilometres into your ride, you will come to Port Sandfield. It may seem a bit early for a stop, but this is a great spot for a photo. Port Sandfield has a canal connecting Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau, and boasts the oldest swing bridge in Ontario.
Port Sandfield to Rosseau
You have a few kilometres to get into a rhythm before you hit the steep cottage country hills. I cannot tell a lie, some of them are a bit of a challenge! Embrace your granny gear, admire the views and pat yourself on the back for taking on the climbs. Breathe a sigh of relief when Rosseau village appears before you.
A wee break in Rosseau
Rosseau is a happening small village that boasts several businesses and public washrooms – a great place to take a break! There is a convenience store, a farmer’s market if you happen to be there on a Friday in the summer, and a great coffee shop with comfy outdoor seating, the Muskoka Bees and Trees Café. Public washrooms and the farmer’s market are at the Rosseau Beach, down the hill a bit on your way out of town.
Rosseau to Dee Bank Road
From Rosseau, head east on highway 141. There is some traffic, but the paved shoulder is good for riding. You are on this section with its lovely, long rolling hills for about 14 kilometres. Just after Skeleton Bay boat launch, you will come to one of the most scenic sections – a tight curve with Lake Rosseau on your right and an imposing rock wall on your left. Use caution! Next, you pass Bent River and start a long climb. Be prepared for a right turn onto Dee Bank Road.
Dee Bank Road to Port Carling
You are now back on quieter roads. Dee Bank Road ends at Windermere Road, where you turn left. After just a couple of kilometres, turn right on Brackenrig Road. Stay on Brackenrig until Highway 118. Turn right on Highway 118 and know that you will soon be back to the start. This last section on 118 is the busiest of the route. Fortunately it is quite short, but do be extra, extra cautious, and stick tight to the right.
Once back in Port Carling, you may want to have some lunch. Check out Cottage Bistro, the waterfront patio at Turtle Jack’s, or treat yourself to ice cream at Sweet Jesus or Mooskoka’s. There are many great places in Port Carling to replenish all of those calories you just burned: enjoy!