Looking for a new cycling destination to explore this summer? Add Cornwall to your vacation list for a cycling experience unlike any other. Enjoy amazing off-road trails right along the mighty St. Lawrence River with easy access to restaurants, shops, attractions and much more.
Cornwall’s renowned Riverside Trail – part of the larger Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – runs uninterrupted the entire 18 km length of Cornwall’s waterfront before continuing west for another 25 km to Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg. That’s over 40 km of cycling right along the river’s edge.
“The Waterfront Trail in Cornwall has everything cyclists and cycle tourists are looking for — non-stop riverfront views, natural scenery, a fascinating history and great places to stop for a bite and drink,” said Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the organization that oversees the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
“For families looking for a fun trail experience, the Riverside Trail in Cornwall is the perfect destination.”
Cornwall’s great location — only an hour’s drive from Ottawa and Montreal and four hours east of Toronto — makes it an ideal destination for cyclists seeking a fun day trip or an overnight experience.
Park and Ride
The Cornwall Civic Complex offers the perfect starting point for a one-day cycling adventure. Located at 100 Water Street East, the facility provides ample free parking just steps from the Riverside Trail.
It’s also just steps away from the many trendy shops and restaurants along Pitt Street in Downtown Cornwall, a perfect place to wrap up a ride with a nice meal and a cool drink on a patio.
Heading west, cyclists can enjoy great views of the river while rolling directly by numerous landmarks and attractions like the Cornwall Community Museum, the historic Cornwall Canal, the R.H. Saunders Generating Station and more. The trendy certified bicycle friendly Rurban Brewing, Cornwall’s popular craft brewery, is just a short detour off the trail, on Cumberland Street.
Adventure awaits further west with the renowned Upper Canada Village and the majestic Long Sault Parkway, a series of islands connected by causeways and bridges. The parkway was created during the massive St. Lawrence Seaway and hydro project of the 1950s and several villages were inundated as part of this earth-changing project. The stories of these communities live on at the Lost Villages Museum, a beautiful collection of heritage buildings right along the Riverside Trail just west of Cornwall.
Cycle and Stay
For those in search of an extended adventure, a number of local accommodations are making it easy with a special Cycle & Stay Package featuring a 15% discount on the room rate and a great breakfast to fuel the day’s trek.
Another overnight option is Chesley’s Inn in Downtown Cornwall, a past winner of Ontario by Bike’s best bicycle friendly business award. The historic inn was built in 1814 and is just a block from numerous restaurants and shops as well as the Riverside Trail.
In addition to the Riverside Trail, there are other cycling routes to enjoy in Cornwall for those seeking an extended stay. There’s a 25km Urban Loop around the city, while dozens of other rides of various lengths can be discovered through the new SDG Cornwall Adventure Club. These routes combine cycling along the waterfront as well as quiet county roads in SDG Counties surrounding Cornwall.
The St. Lawrence River Lifestyle Group on Strava is another great resource for cyclists searching for rides in the area.
For those in search of off-road cycling, there are mountain/fat bike trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty at Cornwall’s Guindon Park and nearby Summerstown Trails. There’s also a BMX track at Guindon Park – one of the longest and top ranked tracks in Ontario!
For those who prefer to leave their bikes at home, bike rentals are available at Marina 200 along Cornwall’s waterfront (just east of the Cornwall Civic Complex). Bikes are available daily and can be reserved by emailing [email protected].
For travelers in need of a tune-up or last-minute accessories before heading out, there are two bicycle shops in Cornwall available to service all needs – Bicycle World at 24 Ninth Street East (awarded best bike business in south eastern Ontario in 2022) and Total Cyclery & Sports at 241 Pitt Street.
For additional information, including cycling maps, directions and additional information on cycling in Cornwall, visit the Cornwall Tourism Cycling Page.
Cornwall Tourism staff are also available to assist with recommendations and questions. Text them any time at 613-938-4748 or email them at [email protected]. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Plan Your Cornwall Riverfront Trail Adventure
Sponsored Content Partner: Cornwall Tourism
Photos credits: All photos from Cornwall Tourism except photo 4, Long Sault Parkway from St. Lawrence Parks Commission