For any cyclist, there’s nothing better than a quiet bike ride on nature-filled paths beside dazzling waters. Here in Simcoe County, we are blessed with a variety of beautiful bodies of water, and much of the Simcoe County waterfronts can be explored by bike!
There is something for everyone from beginners to advanced cyclists. Learn about excellent waterfront routes that can be accessed from Barrie, Orillia, Port Severn, Midland, Penetanguishene, Wasaga Beach, and Collingwood.
From Barrie: Oro-Medonte Rail Trail featuring Lake Simcoe
Flat, 28km each way, suitable for beginners to intermediate cyclists
The Oro-Medonte rail trail is an easy route that stretches between Barrie and Orillia parallel to Lake Simcoe. Travelling from the GTA? Try out the new pilot project that allows you to take the GO Train with your bike into Barrie! Once there, ride along Barrie’s waterfront of Lake Simcoe’s Kempenfelt Bay and join up with the Oro-Medonte rail trail. This is the ideal route for any nature lover with possibilities of spotting Osprey nests, busy beavers and elegant Great Blue Herons. The Oro-Medonte Rail Trail route has opportunities to veer off path for a quick swim, such as at Bayview Memorial Park located at the bottom of Oro-Medonte Line 9, or for a view of Lake Simcoe’s expanse from municipal docks at Shanty Bay, Hawkestone, and Carthew Bay.
From Orillia: Carlyon Loop featuring Lake Couchiching and Trent-Severn’s Lock 42
Mostly flat, some rolling hills, ~ 50km, suitable for intermediate cyclists
Depart Orillia on the Millennium Trail along the shores of Lake Couchiching, until reaching Division Road. Follow the trail through rural agriculture land with scenic nature views. Pass by the Trent-Severn’s Lock 42 and take the opportunity to snap some photos of the view. Visit the village of Washago where riders can use restrooms and find some delicious treats at one of the many local shops. Swim, play or have a picnic at the beautiful Washago Centennial Park on Lake Couchiching.
From Port Severn:Upper Big Chute Loop Trail featuring the Severn River and Georgian Bay
Rolling hills, ~55km, suitable for intermediate to advanced cyclists
This is one of the most scenic routes anywhere, with superb cycling terrain. Enjoy amazing views that take you by alluring rocky landscapes and multiple bodies of water. Bike the beautiful blue water shores of Georgian Bay and Gloucester Pool. Take a pitstop at the Big Chute Marine Railway and marvel at the intriguing engineering of this national historic site. The route also passes through Severn Falls and Severn township’s pastoral farmland.
From Midland: Tay Shore Trail featuring Southern Georgian Bay
Flat, 18km each way, suitable for beginner to intermediate riders.
Begin your trip in Midland on this fully paved trail. You will ride along the southern shore of Georgian Bay from Midland to Waubaushene with a spur to Port McNicoll. The trail features interpretive and informative signs. Pass through two large wetlands and enjoy stunning views of the Bay along much of the ride. This is a multi-use trail that’s great for the whole family with many picnic tables and washrooms if needed on the way.
From Penetanguishene: Penetanguishene Loop featuring Awenda Provincial Park and Georgian Bay
Rolling hills, 40km, suitable for intermediate to advanced cyclists.
Cycle from Penetang and take a trek through beautiful Awenda Provincial Park, with the opportunity to swim at any one of its four beaches. Gaze upon the clear blue water with sandy bottoms from Awenda shorelines. There are many restrooms along the way plus the Awenda Park Store to stop at about halfway through the ride for a rest and a snack. For those looking to stay around for a bit, camping is also a possibility at Awenda Provincial Park.
From Wasaga Beach: 7 Beaches Route featuring the world’s longest freshwater beach along Georgian Bay
Flat, ~30km each way, suitable for intermediate cyclists
Start in the county’s very active area of Wasaga Beach. Travel up the shore of Georgian Bay and pass beach after beach after beach. With the consistent temptation of inviting waters and sandy beaches, you will want to bring your swimsuit on this ride! Stop in at the halfway point at Balm Beach to have a bite to eat, fill up your water bottles, and use the restrooms. Return via the same way back to Wasaga Beach and enjoy an after-ride swim.
From Collingwood: Georgian Trail featuring Georgian Bay’s limestone coast
Flat, 34 km each way, suitable for beginner to intermediate cyclists
Experience yet another scenic Georgian Bay trail. The trail begins in Collingwood and runs near Highway 26 West with numerous access points along the way. You will ride along the south shore of beautiful Georgian Bay with many opportunities to stop for a rest or swim. This route is a perfect way to enjoy a leisurely roll around South Georgian Bay on a off-road trail.
Find a cycling route in Simcoe County
Cycle Simcoe will help you find the best biking routes in Simcoe County. Learn about Simcoe’s route options for road cycling, rail trails, mountain biking and outdoor repair stations. On their website you can find where to eat, stay, shop and so much more! They also offer multiple maps and GPX files that are available for download.
Experience Simcoe waterfront routes with Humdinger Bicycle Tours
A perfect option for those looking to explore Simcoe waterfront by bike is to book the Simcoe Loop Trail plus Georgian Bay and Severn tour offered by Humdinger Bicycle Tours. Humdinger tours is an Orillia-operated tour company that will get you set up with everything you need for an effortless trip and bike ride. Book this self-guided tour (with on-call support if needed from the Humdinger staff) and enjoy waterfront views everyday that you ride. The trip cost is $1199 +HST per person double occupancy which includes 5 days of tours, 4 nights accommodations, 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, maps/GPX files, and luggage transfers. If this trip isn’t exactly for you, let the Humdinger team come up with a custom Simcoe waterfront trip to fit your specific needs!
Photo Credits: Cycle Simcoe & Humdinger Bicycle Tours