Trail ride suggestions are something we are often asked for at the shows and events we are at with our Ontario Cycle Tourism Info Centre. Time away from traffic, the quieter and often more natural settings that trails travel through are just some of the appeal. Most likely you are well acquainted with the trails close to home, but the following are some of our top trail suggestions to help you get out there and explore more by bike this summer. Happy trails, as they say.
Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail
This newly surfaced and opened rail trail stretches from Carlton Place to Arprior. The trail then extends further north into Ottawa Valley and towards Petawawa. Try an easy and scenic 15km cruise between the lovely village like towns, Packenham and Almonte, that straddle the Mississippi River. Consider a stop near Pakenham at the Cartwright Springs Brewery, or at Scoops Ice Cream for exactly that. In Almonte, the Barley Mow has a sun drenched patio with great views of the roaring river. Continue southward to yet another charming riverside town, 10km in to Carlton Place. To learn more about the area visit the Carlton Place and Beckwith Heritage Musueum, before pulling into town for a snack at The Good Food Company or something a little more upscale and local foods focussed, the Black Tartan Kitchen. Find trail maps and more info at: www.ottawavalleytrail.com or the Ontario By Bike Lanark County Great Places to Cycle webpage.
Prescott Russell Recreational Trail
This 72km trail stretches from St-Eugène in the east to the village of Hammond in the west. Enjoy traffic free riding with plenty of out-and-back options. Plan a picnic with stops in villages or at one of the five pavilions, each with parking, toilets and a sheltered picnic area. Plan a stop at one of the two Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly craft breweries near the trail (Beau’s Brewing or Cassel Brewery) or stop at Les Fruits du Poirier, a local farm to pick seasonal fresh berries. Stay a little longer to explore more of the area at several bicycle friendly accommodations or campgrounds in Prescott Russell. Find trail maps and more info at: www.bit.ly/prescottrusselltrail or the Ontario By Bike Prescott Russell Great Places to Cycle webpage.
Thames River Parkway – London
Head out with family and friends for a picturesque ride along the Thames River Parkway. This scenic 40km paved, multi-use path follows the twists and turns of the Thames River while cutting through London centre, making it all the more easy to access the trails and other city attractions nearby. For apres ride fun take your pick of an espresso at the London Bicycle Café or a cold brew at London Brewing or stop and shop the crafts and collectables at The Market WFD Western Fair District – all certified bicycle friendly locations. Download the London cycling map to make it easy to plan a great ride about the city on the 300km of trails, bike lanes and paths. Find trail maps and more info at: this page www.bit.ly/LondonMaps or the Ontario By Bike London Great Places to Cycle webpage.
Walter Bean Trail – Waterloo
Enjoy river views, historic mills and one of Ontario’s prettiest downtowns on this recreational trail ride along the Grand River. Set off on the Walter Bean Trail with trailhead and parking at Schneider Park on a 35km return trip into Cambridge along the old Grand Trunk Railway line. Multiple access points closer to Cambridge make this section of the trail attractive to families or those who are looking for a shorter ride. There are a variety of surfaces including paved and unpaved paths, as well as a 2km section of boulevard multi-use trail. Perched upon the banks of the Grand River, Cambridge will surely impress with its beautiful downtown, filled with lovely stone architecture. There are 32 Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly businesses in the Waterloo Region, stretching between Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. Find trail maps and more info at: www.bikewr.com or the Ontario By Bike Waterloo Region Great Places to Cycle webpage.
County of Brant/City of Brantford Trails
The conversion of old rail beds to trails has left Brantford and the county of Brant with a number of well-maintained rail trails criss-crossing the region. Connecting from the north, the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail is 19km of crushed stone hugging the Grand River. From here, head east along the 18km from Paris to Brantford with a mix of crushed stone trails, road and paved paths. Continue east for 38km on the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail into Dundas, or south for 25km on the paved trail to Waterford. A further 25km crushed stone rail trail continues south to Port Dover in Norfolk County. Some suggested trail side stops include: Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, the last surviving structure of the original Mohawk Village settlement of 1784; edit, the restaurant in landmark and bicycle friendly Arlington Hotel in Paris; or trail side Hearts Content Organic Farm. Find trail maps and more info at: www.bit.ly/brantmap or the Ontario By Bike Brant & Brantford Great Places to Cycle webpage.
For sure there many more, stay tuned for our next installment, or search the trails section of each regional ‘Great Places to Cycle’ webpage on our website: www.ontariobybike.ca