PEMBROKE, On. (May 15, 2014) – Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is excited to launch Ontario’s newest motorcycle destination, Ride the Highlands (ridethehighlands.ca). With the development of four themed routes, a website for easy trip planning and over 100 motorcycle-friendly approved operators, this motorcycle destination is ready to welcome riders this coming season.
Ontario’s Highlands’ unique topography, made up of scenic landscapes, hand-crafted roads and bend after bend of never-know-what’s-around-the-corner terrain makes it the perfect adrenaline-pumping destination to explore by motorcycle. Each route winds itself through many small communities that tell the stories about what it took to settle the Highlands back in the 1800’s, when it was a harsh, resource-rich landscape.
“Part of the OHTO’s tourism strategy is to focus on promoting the uniqueness of this diverse region,” says Nicole Whiting, Executive Director of OHTO. “Ride the Highlands does this by paying tribute to those that settled to the area and built the region’s fantastic roads”. More than a glimpse into the past, however, the roads also introduce riders to the area’s present-day charm, providing many opportunities to interact with friendly locals and grab a bite at quirky pit stops, including homemade butter tarts and chips trucks, one of which is rumoured to re-use the oil from its fryers in their retro Mercedes Benz.
OHTO hired BC Hughes, motorcycle tourism specialists, to develop the region into a motorcycle destination in 2013. Since then, four themed routes were created and businesses were assessed to ensure they met the motorcycle friendly criteria. In the coming weeks, motorcycle friendly businesses will display a ‘Rider Approved’ window decal and ‘Motorcycle Only’ parking signs and welcome all riders.
Ontario’s Highlands has an abundance of great roads for riding which could not be overlooked. On top of the four main motorcycle routes, a list of the Top 10 Roads to ride was created adding to the motorcycle experience. According to Chris Hughes, co-owner of BC Hughes, “These roads were selected on one important piece of criteria – that each road brings out your inner child while carving your way along on your bike”.
Ride the Highlands is also a perfect destination for those with an appetite and appreciation for food. A variety of foods can be tasted along the way with highlights including authentic BBQs, 20 flavours of butter tarts, poutine, authentic Polish cuisine, and homemade ice cream.
Ride the Highlands Website:
The Ride the Highlands website launched at the beginning of May and was created as a tool to help riders plan their trips. With a historic feel, the website pays homage to those who handcrafted the windy roads that hug the terrain, making Ontario’s Highlands the ultimate motorcycle playground.
The website’s unique “Saddle Bag” function allows riders to pick and choose the attractions, restaurants and accommodations they would like to visit and store their itinerary in one general location with an interactive map. Riders can then see what routes the items they chose fell on to help in their planning.
A list of Must See items is also featured on the Ride the Highlands website. The Must Sees include attractions and restaurants that are motorcycle friendly champions that provide a unique experience to riders. “As an attraction in Ontario’s Highlands, the Ride the Highlands project gives us an opportunity to connect to a demographic of people we have seen in the past but would like to see more of. Those people on motorcycles are good folks!” says Chris Hinsperger, owner of Bonnechere Caves in Eganville, a ‘Rider Approved’ destination.
To view the website visit: www.ridethehighlands.ca.