Ride Ontario: Waterdown
If you’re looking for a great place to go for a spin that isn’t too far from the GTA, then Waterdown might be exactly what you need. Ontario is a stunning province, filled with spectacular scenery and some pretty breathtaking roads, but just because you can’t find the time to go on a long journey into Northern Ontario, doesn’t mean you can’t find some spectacular riding locations that are perfect for a day trip.
Waterdown is perched right on top of the Niagara Escarpment just north of Burlington, Ontario. It’s well known for having some great mountain biking trails due to its close proximity to the escarpment, but it also has a number of incredible riding roads for the same reason. If you head over there on a nice weekend, you’re bound to see quite a few motorcyclists out enjoying all the spectacular riding that it has to offer.
The main road heading south out of Waterdown is initially named Mill Street, but as soon as you get past the Smokey Hollow Waterfall area, it turns into Waterdown Road. At the southern end you can either hop onto Highway 403 and loop back around to Highway 6, or continue straight on into Burlington. Waterdown Road has some pretty terrific views of the Hamilton Harbour when you’re heading south, so it’s worth taking the ride down. An added bonus is that you get to jump on the highway and open your bike up a little bit more than on the other roads.
Mountain Brow Road jumps off of Mill Street just as it turns into Waterdown Road. From there it heads east for a bit before turning south towards the highway, where it joins up with the North Service Road. Even though Mountain Brow Road is a little bit bumpy, it provides a terrific view of the harbour when you get to the edge of the escarpment. It’s a pretty narrow road at some points, especially heading down the main hill, so you need to pay attention. On top of that, the corners at both the top and bottom of the hill are sharp and blind. Take your time and watch for traffic heading in the opposite direction.
Finally, we have Snake Road. In this case, we saved the best for last. Snake Road, as you can probably tell by its name, is the favourite road for riders who frequent the Waterdown area. It winds and twists its way down the escarpment, moving through the forest like a snake slithering through long grass. If you closed your eyes for a second (don’t actually close your eyes, you’ll end up in the rhubarb!), you could easily imagine that you are riding through a secluded road in Northern Ontario or down the Back of the Dragon in Virginia. Unfortunately, Snake Road is just a little bit shorter than the Back of the Dragon, but it still provides a great ride that is close to the GTA and easy to get to on a nice day.
If all that awesome riding has given you an appetite, then you might want to stop and grab a bite to eat at the amazing Royal Coachman Pub. With it’s large patio seating and english style pub food, the Coachman is a favourite pit stop for people visiting the Waterdown area. If english fare isn’t your thing, you can always stop by the Mill Street American House. They have a more traditional north american style menu, as well as some patio seating, so you can soak up the rays while you refill your fuel tank.
Mechanical Issues? If you end up running into mechanical issues while you’re out riding around the Waterdown Area, you can try and get a hold of the following motorcycle garages. If you’re on a sportbike then your best bet will be either Sturgess Cycle in Hamilton or Burlington Cycle in Burlington. If you’re riding a Harley, then you might want to try Stoney Creek Choppers, which despite the name, is actually located in Burlington, just north of Burlington Cycle. They are all open on Saturdays, and no matter what you’re riding, any one of them should be able to give you a hand.
So that wraps up this edition of Ride Ontario. If you enjoyed this article, please take the time to share it on social media. You can also save the above map to your phone so you can take it with you on your ride through Waterdown. Have you ever been riding in Waterdown? Post your pictures on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the @squirtbinder tag so I can check them out! Do you have a favourite riding spot that you think I should go and ride? Send me a message and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more motorcycle adventures in Southern Ontario. Now what are you still reading this for?! Get out there and ride!
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