Navigating the Beaten Path: A Journey Through the Victoria Gravel Trail

Just northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, the historic Victoria Gravel Motorcycle Trail unfurls through some of the province's most untouched landscapes. This isn't a journey about speed; instead, it promises a unique adventure, steeped in nature, local history, and the thrill of off-road motorcycling.

The Trail's Nature and Riding Conditions

Victoria Trail, a lesser-used gravel road, provides riders with a quiet and serene connection to the rural surroundings. It's much like cruising along a typical country road leading to a farmhouse. The gravel is loose, and can kick up quite a bit of dust during dry spells, so be prepared for such riding conditions.

Our ride began from a spot just off Highway 28 and RR211B. Though Victoria Trail lacks significant hillscape, it's the gravel that adds a different dimension to the ride. The loose terrain is quite unlike paved roads, presenting a new challenge, even for seasoned riders.

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Historical Touchpoints and Scenic Rest Stops

Victoria Trail's history is beautifully etched along the route, through several memorials and plaques. A ride on this trail isn't just an adventure, but also a history lesson about this road's significance to Alberta.

One of the ride's highlights is a mesmerizing view of the North Saskatchewan River from atop the trail's largest hill. This gravel stretch runs along the river bank, presenting an extraordinary blend of natural beauty and historical relevance.

Midway through the trail, riders come upon an old village, a nostalgic reminder of Alberta's past. Although amenities like a store and restrooms are only available from Thursday through Sunday, the village itself offers a fascinating snapshot of history.

Venturing Off the Beaten Path

Minor diversions from the Victoria Trail lead to hidden gems. Per Ridin' Alberta, nearby towns of Waskatenau and Smoky Lake offer charming eateries, such as T&T Iron Horse Cafe, Betsy's Burger Shack, the Old Fashioned Bread Bakery, Pub 28, and Fort Sask's 6 Pak Saloon. These culinary delights serve as perfect complements to your historic and adventurous journey.

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Ride Prep and Safety

Before embarking on this trail, ensure you're comfortable with long rides. A stretch this long on gravel is quite different and exponentially more demanding than the same distance on a paved road.

The Victoria Gravel Motorcycle Trail is a narrow, winding road, with blind corners and limited shelter from sudden weather changes. It's crucial to be prepared and aware of your surroundings. Carry adequate water, food, and a basic motorcycle repair kit.

Final Thoughts

The Victoria Gravel Motorcycle Trail is more than just a ride - it's an intimate immersion into Alberta's natural beauty, an intriguing encounter with local history, and a thrilling experience of gravel biking. Despite its challenges, the ride rewards you with captivating vistas, noteworthy historic sites, and the thrill of discovering off-beat paths.

So, grab your gear, rev up your bike, and let the Victoria Gravel Motorcycle Trail guide you on an unforgettable adventure. The journey of a lifetime awaits!