Thornbury Heathcote


Total Distance: 32km  

The Ride: Challenge yourself on this loop with hill climbs and descents as you transport back into another time or enjoy a smaller loop through welcoming communities filled with tasty food stops, galleries and opportunities to further explore the Beaver River. This route features quiet back roads, farmers markets, orchards, peddle and paddle excursions and small town history, like the Old Mail Road which used to be the primary route for travellers via slow moving stage coaches in the bygone era, 1800’s.

Experience Level: Moderate to Experienced: This route consists of a variety of route surfaces including paved and unpaved back roads as well as some challenging hill climbs. Limited paved shoulders available on Grey Rd 7, Grey Rd 13 and roads through Clarksburg and Thornbury. Please note that this is an unsigned route.

View digital route of tour –

Day 1:  – Thornbury to Thornbury – 32km

Area services along this section of the route: Accommodations, cafés, restaurants, shopping, attractions, cideries and trails.

Start your ride in the heart of the quiet and scenic town of Thornbury located on the shores of Georgian Bay. Head southeast on Bruce St S, towards Clarksburg before turning right onto Hillcrest Drive. Continue your journey west on Clark St / Side Rd 30 where you will pass scenic farmlands and pastures. A right turn onto The Blue Mountains Meaford Townline Rd followed by a left on Side Rd 4 lets you cycle further along rural landscapes. Make your way south along Old Mail road which used to be the primary route for travellers via slow-moving stagecoaches in the bygone era, 1800’s. Stop at the Blackbird Pie Company in the little Hamlet of Heathcote for a tasty treat and some vistas over Beaver River. If you are keen to explore the Beaver River a bit more, paddleboat rentals are available at Free Spirit Tours in Heathcote. To return back north towards Thornbury follow Beaver Valley Road. and continue straight onto 10th line. where you will cross the Beaver River on a small pedestrian/cyclist bridge at the Clendenan Conservation Area. For cyclists who would like to explore the Conservation Area, there is a multi-use trails system accessible from 10th line. Connect onto Clark street and follow the same route back into town finishing your ride and reward yourself with a refreshment from one of the many cafes, restaurants and bars in Thornbury.

Notes to Riders

This route is a suggested route only. All cyclists are responsible for their own safety. Always wear the proper safety gear when cycling, ride sensibly and abide by all laws. Each route should be evaluated by each individual cyclist based on their level of experience, comfort level in cycling on trails and roads, weather conditions, time of day, and any road obstacles. This route is suitable for cyclists with experience and comfort in riding on roads. Some steep hills to climb and descend. Old Mail Road unpaved with some loose gravel, but very scenic, historic and quiet. Caution on Grey Rd 7, Grey Rd 13 and roads through Clarksburg and Thornbury, limited paved shoulders, motorized vehicle traffic.

Additional Information

Getting To/From Start: Thornbury town centre, Municipal Parking lot in town centre, located at Arthur & Bruce Street.

Visitor Information: Use below to find out more about ride areas and plan an extra day or two to see more.


As part of Canada’s 150th celebrations in 2017, Ontario 150 Celebrate by Bike connected fifteen communities across Ontario through cycling. Ride itineraries, events and cycling education in Bike Friendly Communities and Ontario By Bike ride destinations were developed and hosted to take advantage of the iconic Greenbelt Route and Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to strengthen communities and create cycling itineraries as a permanent legacy of Ontario 150. This initiative was a collaborative partnership between the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Friends of the Greenbelt FoundationOntario By Bike, and Share the Road Cycilng Coalition, building on two decades of investment in cycling infrastructure in Ontario. Check out the 15 legacy ride itineraries, and make plans to get out there to explore more of Ontario By Bike.

Ontario 150 Celebrate by bike