Mike’s Ride Report – Temiskaming Loop, Mattawa to New Liskeard

Today we completed the first half of the Temiskaming Loop, leaving Mattawa, taking the 533 (also known as the Mattawa Shortcut), then the 63 to Quebec, and then following Highway 101 all the way to New Liskeard. While I’ve personally done this ride no less than once a year, I never fail to find the scenery inspiring and the curves entertaining.

This ride is part of the Ride The North series of routes, created by Northeastern Ontario. Like them on FaceBook to see some of the pics and vids from around the region and find out why this is Ontario’s next great riding destination.

Mattawa to New Liskeard via Quebec– Ride Report

The ride report varies so greatly between the 533 and the rest of the route that I’m separating them here. First the 533:

  • Rideability: Amazing, if you’re on a dual sport. There are lots of patched up potholes and frost heaves, but the roads are incredibly hilly and twisty, which more than makes up for it. Just don’t pretend this is going to be fun on a Goldwing, ST or Harley. But honestly, if you’re on anything with decent ground clearance, long travel suspension and some tires with agressive tread, this will be some incredible fun. This is just the kind of road my F650GS was made for.
  • Road Quality: Good to Poor. As I said before, lots of patches areas, shoulders are soft, frost heaves give the pavement lots of “texture”
  • Scenic Value: OK – It’s pretty thick brush most of the way through, with only a few glimpses of Lakes
  • Services: None

And now the 63 to the 101 to New Liskeard:

  • Rideability: Very High – Lots of long turns, more than a few ups and downs, and even a few straightaways that manage to entertain.
  • Road Quality: Good to Very Good – Aside from one slightly rough stretch just after you leave the Quebec city of Temiscamingue, the rest in in really good shape. All asphalt.
  • Scenic Value: Very High – This is the big sell for this part of the trip. The ride from Highway 63 to Highway 101 is easily one of the most scenic in the province, with the road running directly beside the Ottawa River. Once in to Quebec, it’s a bit of bush before that gives way to rolling farmland surrounded by massive cliffs and mountains, and the boreal forest. It’s a truly stunning combination of landscapes, rarely found together in North America.
  • Services: Very Good. Plenty of gas stops, lots of places to eat (mostly diner style eating, with the notable exception of La Bannik restaurant which is gourmet to a T), a few motels.

Overall: I’d love to stretch this ride out to two days and explore more of the countryside. When you roll over from straight forest to the agricultural areas, the scenery will absolutely captivate you, and make you want to just ride around in these rolling farm hills all day.

As always, if you want more information about riding in Ontario, check out Routes.OntarioRides.ca or plan your road trip at www.GoTourOntario.ca.

View Temiskaming Loop Day 1 in a larger map

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