For a jaunt through the past, follow the Tom Thomson trail or the Underground Railroad route. With numerous trails, road routes, and mountain biking in the area as well as in neighbouring Bruce and Simcoe Counties, Grey County is a cycling hub.
Regional Road Routes
Bicyclists and cars share the road. Considered to be vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as motorists. Be visible, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.
The routes below are from Grey County Cyclist Routes Map and are listed in order of distance and difficulty.
- Eugenia Lake Loop - 20 km circuit of lake, causeway, the waterfalls and village of Eugenia.
- Meaford Loop - Views across Georgian Bay and to the Escarpment ridge can be enjoyed on this 20 km loop with a stop and bike rentals available in Meaford.
- Owen Sound East Loop - Bike the quiet east side of bay, through conservation areas and trails for a relaxing 21 km. Add a town loop for another 5km.
- Blue Mountain Loop - Start the 28 km ride with the seasonal gondala up the mountain, ride a top of escarpment on quiet country roads, vineyard and orchard stops, and Georgian Trail.
- Neustadt Country Road Loop - Picturesque farm land, conservation areas and village of Neustadt, with craft brewery in town, all make for an enjoyable 27 km ride.
- Thornbury / Heathcote Loop - Visit villages and tour countryside on this 32 km more challenging or 20km more moderate route.
- Saugeen Tri 50K – Easy 50 km flat training loop through rolling farmland.
- Owen Sound Girl Guide Route – Moderate difficulty 40 km loop that climbs up the Escarpment.
- Mill to Mill– Easy to moderate 50 km ride passes the Walter Falls Milling Company, Falls Inn, Williamsford Mill and Williamsford Pie Company.
- Balaclava – Moderate 50 km tour along paved and gravel paths with views of Georgian Bay.Balaclava is listed as ghost town but still has a few residents.
- Centurion Routes– Starting at Blue Mountain Village, a number of different length road routes are available for pre-ride training and/or simply enjoying.
- Island View Drive – Advanced 85 km ride features spectacular bay and island views and many options for food stops.
- Saugeen River Ramble – A 96 km quiet route of moderate difficulty passes along the Saugeen.
The routes below are from South Georgian Bay Cycle Caminos and are listed in order of distance and difficulty.
- Thornbury Garden Tour – An easy 12 km loop mostly along the Georgian Trail.
- Kimberley to Thornbury – This 17 km linear route is all downhill when ridden one way.
- Touch of History Tour – 49 km loop along the historic Old Mail Road and back along the Georgian Trail.
- Blue Mountain Killer Loop – A challenging 35 km ride climbing from Blue Mountain Inn up past the Loree Forest and Beaver Valley, and returning along the Georgian Trail.
- Mountain Challenge – 44 km of hard hill riding up and down the Escarpment.
- Beaver Valley Tour – This long and hilly 66 km ride connects Meaford, Kimberley, and Thornbury.
- Collingwood to Feversham – Challenging 61 km loop climbs up the escarpment through the Kolapore Highlands and past Pretty River.
The routes below are from 'South Georgian Bay Cycling Map' and are listed in order of distance and difficulty. See the Published Maps section for more information.
- Lake Eugenia Loop – This advanced 90km (111 km with alternate routing) ride is suitable for experienced cyclists looking to test their fitness. With epic climbs that bring riders through the outskirts of Collingwood and Thornbury, as well as Rob Roy, Feversham, Eugenia, Kimberley.
- Apple Pie Trail Pedal Paddle Adventure – Load bikes onto Blue Mountain Gondola and cycle 40 km along quieter country roads as well as trail (hybrid bikes suggested). Self-guided and guided tour options available. Visit the site for dates and tour pricing.
- Thornbury Sticky Bun Loop – This moderate 15 km ride includes glimpses of Beaver River through Thornbury into Clarksburg and back into Thornbury.
Underground Railroad Route - Follow the route that escaped slaves used to travel to Owen Sound from the United States. Bike route maps paint a picture of what the journey was like for escaped slaves in the 1800s.
- Georgian Trail - This classic and well maintained rail trail is an easy 32 km ride on stone dust between Collingwood and Meaford, where it connects to the Tom Thomson Trail. The path follows the original Northern Railway route along the southern shore of Georgian Bay.
- Tom Thomson - The 43 km well-marked and non-motorized trail includes on- and off-road sections.Connecting Owen Sound and Meaford,the path passes by the famous Group of Seven artist's boyhood home at Rosehill farm and grave. A mountain or hybrid bike is recommended.
- Georgian Bluffs Trail - This 16 km stone dust rail trail is rated easy and accommodates all types of bikes. Traveling from Owen Sound to Parkhead, the climb provides views of Georgian Bay and farmland. Motorized use is allowed.
- Grey County CP Rail Trail - This 77 km stone dust trail travels between Owen Sound and Dundalk and is suitable for mountain, hybrid, cyclocross, or touring (with the appropriate tires) bikes. Food and services are available along the trail.ATV use is permitted south of Sunny Valley Rd.
Mountain Biking Trails
- Blue Mountain - Ontario's largest bike park has terrain for all levels of rider with 30 km of downhill and 10 km of cross-country trails. Pass options include access to trails with or without use of the summer gondola.
- Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Trails – Mountain biking is permitted on some cross country ski trails during summer months. Moderate and more difficult trails are shared with hikers and horseback riders. Visit Ravenna Country Market for a trail map and their infamous butter tarts.
- Allan Park – The moderate to difficult park features 16 km of trails including trail system caters to a variety of users including hikers and equestrians. The park features technical single track and descents.
- Camp Oliver/Grey Main - 3 km of gravel loops through forests and wetland are rated easy to more difficult.
- Derby Tract – Known locally as West Rocks, The multi-use trail system features 4 km of loops that wind through forest and wildflowers on the Niagara Escarpment with easy, more difficult and very difficult sections.
- Glenelg Klondike – Wide trails traverse 10 km of moderate difficulty level with scenic views.
- Hepworth Management Area - These sawmill trails provide easy 10 km of loops of single track and wide track trails over moderate to steep rolling hills.
- Inglis Falls Conservation Area – The most visited waterfall in the area, enjoy the area by bike. The easy 3 km Pines Loop is open to cyclists.
- Loree Forest Loop – Located at the top of Georgian Peaks Ski Hill in the Grey County Forest, this 7 km single track is great for beginners to experienced riders with spurs that offer technical riding.
- Massie Hills – 10 km of cross country ski trails convert to summertime easy riding and challenging terrain along the Niagara Escarpment.
- Three Stage – A labyrinth of challenging trails provides 40 km of more/very difficult terrain for experienced riders.
Information Sources & Published Maps
- Grey County Cycling Routes. 2014. Map. Grey County Tourism.This map details 16 of the most popular and commonly used cycling routes in Grey County, with options for easy to difficult rides between 20 and 160 km.
- Official Grey Bruce Visitor Map.2012/13. Map. Grey Bruce Maps.Comprehensive map of Grey and Bruce Counties, including side roads, topography, and useful visitor information such as cycling destinations and concessions.
- Owen Sound Trail Network. Google Map. City of Owen Sound.This on-line map details Owen Sound's trails and paving materials.
- South Georgian Bay Cycle Caminos.2012. Georgian Triangle Tourist Association. 10 South Georgian Bay bike routes in Grey and Simcoe Counties from an easy going 12 km loop to tough workouts over 60 km.
- Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. This historical trail retraces the path escaped slaves travelled between Owen Sound and Mobile, Alabama. An alternate route through Detroit was recently added to this 3,200 km route. Map Section 5 includes Owen Sound and the Grey Highlands.
- Bicycling the Bruce. Guide book with maps. Tom Hakala. Ginger Press. 1994. The first comprehensive guide to cycling the Bruce Peninsula, this book contains 14 of the author's favourite day trips and a 5-day grand tour. Although out of print, this is still a valuable local cycling resource. Available through Ginger Press and at the Bruce County Museum.
- Cycling Around the Sound. Guidebook with maps. Tom Hakala. Ginger Press. Revised edition (1st ed. 1992). Updates on 18 day trips in and around Owen Sound for new and experienced cyclists.www.gingerpress.com/books/index
- Cycling Routes in the Owen Sound Area. Website. Owen Sound Cycling Club. List of fifteen 40 km on-road rides.
- Mapmyride. Website. Numerous Grey County rides are mapped in this on-line resource.
- Cycle and Stay South Georgian Bay - This network of participating B&Bs are located either on or in very close proximity to cycle routes. Each location offers amenities and services for cyclists, such as bike storage and arrangements to have your luggage transported to the next Bed & Breakfast on your itinerary (an extra charge may apply). Most B&Bs are within walking/cycling distance to local restaurants.
Please note there are many additional map guides for the region that cyclists may find interesting or useful. New maps and guides are produced yearly, and the information listed here may change.
Grey County Workshop Partner & Hosts
Grey County Workshop Host