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2016 Cycling In Ontario Guide

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The Great Waterway / South Eastern Ontario Featured

The Great Waterway / South Eastern Ontario Photo Credit: Waterfront Trail

The Great Waterway region in south eastern Ontario has a wide range of bicycle routes that take cyclists across the region through vibrant communities, alongside scenic waterways and to quiet rural and naturalized settings. Explore from Quinte West, Belleville and Prince Edward County, continue eastward via Kingston and Gananoque, the 1000 Islands and the Waterfront Trail, Brockville, the St. Lawrence Seaway to Cornwall and the Quebec border.

Additional road riding routes north of the lake and St. Lawrence take cyclists to the Rideau Heritage Route and Frontenac Arch Biosphere and connect with routes to Ottawa. Many point-to-point itineraries are easily completed using Bike Train transportation with VIA Rail.

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  • Regional Road Routes

    • The Great Waterway Itineraries – The Great Waterway has 11 cycling itineraries and routes, available on-line and on printed map. These itineraries provide cyclists of all abilities with detailed information on routing, overnight accommodations, attractions and food services along the way. Routes include 10 routes for each sub-region and one 730km cross-regional route.

    Road Routes near Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River

    • St. Lawrence Parks – Designated part of the Waterfront Trail, this portion of the route takes cyclists away from roads and through scenic and historical parklands including Crysler Park, Upper Canada Village, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Long Sault Parkway. Trails vary from hard-packed gravel to quiet, paved park roads. For more information visit www.waterfronttrail.org. Detailed print maps available. Request copy from: www.cornwalltourism.com
    • Wolfe Island Road Routes – Choose from four on-road routes traversing the island. Maps, route and ferry information online.
    • Cornwall and the Counties. Routes on this printed map are primarily along flat roads with wide, paved shoulders and range from 20 to 200km. The 2014 Maps are now available at the Visitor Information Centre (11 Water St. W., Cornwall), as well as available for order by phone at 1-800-937-4748.View routes on ridewithgps on-line by linking HERE.
    • Ontario By Bike Routes – Four routes developed by the Ontario By Bike Network. Starting from Wellington, routes vary in length (58, 27, 10 and 3km) with information on suggested stops along the Wine Route, Taste Trail & Arts Trail.

    Road Routes North From Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River

    • Township of Rideau Lakes – Fourteen mapped cycling routes, varying in length. Routes 1 to 9 start from the Old Stone Mill in Delta; routes 10 to 14 start at either Crosby or Newboro. Information such as cycling surface, attractions, GPS coordinates and other useful touring details are included online.
    • Cycle the Arch – Explore the Frontenac Arch Biosphere by bicycle. Various routes have been mapped to cater to different cycling abilities and interests.
    • County Trails – Twelve suggested routes with individual, detailed maps and route information. Each rated for level of difficulty. Routes centred in Lennox & Addington and Frontenac Counties.

  • Regional Trail Information

    Trails near Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

    • Millennium Trail – This 49 km trail follows a disused rail bed, starting close to Trenton, passing through many communities in Prince Edward County and ending in Picton. Upgrades have been made to sections in and near Wellington, while the rest of the trail is rough, unpaved, multi-use trail, with usage also extended to motorized vehicles.
    • 1,000 Islands Parkway – This 37 km paved bicycle pathway skirts the shoreline’s coves and bays on the waterfront. The 1000 Islands Parkway runs between Gananoque and Brockville and also forms a section of Lake Ontario’s Waterfront Trail.

    Trails North from Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

    • Explore the Arch By Bike - Explore the Frontenac Arch Biosphere by bike. This 2700 sq. km biologically significant area has ample outdoor opportunities and many cycling routes mapped to explore the richness of biodiversity in wetlands, forests and fields; to marvel at the heritage in the region; and to savour local flavours along the way.
    • Cataraqui Trail – 104 km four-season rail trail that traverses the region, from Strathcona to Smiths Falls. Note the trail is composed of various trail materials and thus may not be suitable for all bike types. Approximately 80 km of the trail is designated a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
    • Kaladar Trail – Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this 17 km multi-use, unpaved trail links westerly Tweed (via Hastings County Trail) to Sharbot Lake in the east (via Central Frontenac Trailway). For more info, use the Trans Canada Trail website’s “Explore The Trail” feature to find access points.
    • Frontenac K&P Trail – Part of the Trans Canada Trail, The long-abandoned Kingston to Pembroke rail bed is intended for a variety of recreational uses, including cycling. Trail plans include connecting Kingston to Harrowsmith, using portions of the Cataraqui Trail to eventually connect on to Sharbot Lake and beyond. Also visit www.ontariotrails.on.ca for more information.

  • Regional Mountain Biking Information

    • Limerick Forest Mountain Biking Trails – Multi-use trails with many single track options located north of Prescott, south of Kemptville. This large community-owned forest is managed by United Counties of Leeds & Grenville.
    • Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area (Picton) – 20 km of technically challenging trails marked for a variety of skill levels, single and double track routes and special features. Also 50 km of additional trail riding on-site. More information can be located on local-area cycling maps or at local bike stores.
    • Quinte MTB - QuinteMTB is an IMBA affiliated club based in the Quinte region of Ontario, Canada. They are riders and advocates of the sport, and actively involved in the development of Mountain Biking in the region, including trail development, maintenance and public awareness.

  • Cross Regional Cycling Routes

    • Trans Canada Trail (TCT) – This cross-Canada trail runs through the The Great Waterway. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. A number of the region's trails are incorporated within this larger, national trail system including: Cataraqui Trail, Kaladar Trail, Frontenac K&P Trail. Use the interactive map found on the "Explore the Trail" tab on the Trans Canada Trail website.
    • The Waterfront Trail – Following Lake Ontario’s shoreline from Quebec to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Lake Erie from Fort Erie to Windsor and through to Lakeshore, this well-mapped and fully signed route offers a mixture of paved on- and off-road trails covering 1,400 km+. The route is excellent for long distance touring or shorter day trips, connecting to many community access points. The Waterfront Trail traverses the entire Great Waterway region, starting east of Brighton to the Quebec border.
    • Rideau Heritage Route – Follow any portion of the 202 km long Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by bicycle. This is primarily an unsigned, on-road route and includes multiple options for cyclists to plan their own itinerary along quiet country roads. This route boasts many community, water and heritage attractions along the way.
    • Great Lakes Seaway Trail – Leave from Wolfe Island, ON, for Cape Vincent, New York, to access this signed route that follows various roadways along Lake Ontario and the seaway on the US side.

  • Information Sources and Published Maps

    Great Waterway
    • The Great Waterway Cycling Map and Itineraries – The Great Waterway boasts 11 cycling itineraries and routes, available on printed maps and on-line. These itineraries provide cyclists of all abilities with information on routing, overnight accommodations, attractions and food services along the way. With a 10 new routes for each sub-region and one 730km new cross-regional route, these itineraries are sure a great addition to the cycling assets of the region. Full print map available at regional information centres. 
    • Ride South Eastern Ontario Cycling Map – This new (2016) cross-regional, bilingual cycling map features multiple cycling routes in both the united counties of Prescott-Russell and within the Cornwall and Ride South Eastern Ontario Map the Counties tourism region. Download or request the printed map or access the Ride with GPS accounts have been made available to those looking for digital routing options.
    • Cycle Prince Edward County Map – There are six suggested on-road bike touring routes, plus mountain biking trails, all published on this useful map. Available for $2 at: PEC Chamber of Tourism & Commerce, 116 Main Street, Picton; PEC area bike stores; and many local businesses.
    • Guide to Cycling in the County – Published by Bloomfield Bicycle Company, this information brochure maps several PEC road routes and gives information on the other services the bike company offers, including rentals, repairs, tours and club rides. Contact www.bloomfieldbicycle.ca or call 613-393-1060.
    • Cornwall and the Counties Road Trip( - Short Distance MapLong Distance Map Map. 2014. Routes on this printed map are primarily along flat roads with wide, paved shoulders and range from 20 to 200km. The 2014 Maps are now available at the Visitor Information Centre (11 Water St. W., Cornwall), as well as available for order by phone at 1-800-937-4748.
    • Historic Brockville – Cyclists Guide to Historic Brockville. Map with site descriptions. Brockville Museum.
    • Wolfe Island – Experience the beauty and tranquility of island life – by bike. Choose to cycle any of the marked routes traversing the island. Maps, route and ferry information available online.
    • Cycle North Grenville. Map 2007. Located a short, 30-minute drive from Ottawa and just half an hour north of HWY 401, the town of Kemptville offers fantastic rural cycling as well as trail and town tours.
    • Cycling The 1000 Islands. Map 2014. Featuring multiple routes suitable for family/leisure and touring. Information on Brockville, Kingston, Gananoque and other destinations included.
    • Belleville Trails Map – Online pdf map features major trail system in the city of Belleville.

* Please note there are may be additional trails, routes, events and information resources for the region that may be of interest and useful to cyclists. Changes to the above links, listings and cycling routes may occur.

 

The Great Waterway Funding Partners:

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Event Partners: Tourism Kingston, Brockville Chamber of Commerce, Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism, Taste the County, Municpality of North Grenville, 1000 Islands Tourism, 1000 Islands Gananque Chamber of Commerce

 

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