Bruce County – Southwest

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Cyclists overlooking Lake Huron, Port Elgin

North Shore Trail, Port Elgin. Photo Credit:

Stretching from Point Clark to the southern portions of the Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County – Southwest offers cyclists frequent water views along low traffic volume, flat roads across a region defined by the coastlines of Lake Huron on the west and Georgian Bay in the east, with agricultural lands as one travels inland.

A wide-range of cycling experiences includes a number excellent regional trail systems, road routes and mountain bike facilities. The stunning road riding in Bruce County – Southwest features quieter and lake-side county roads and rural riding in the County’s hinterlands, perfect for more experienced cyclists.

A well-developed network of mountain bike locations continues to put Bruce County – Southwest on the map for mountain bike enthusiasts in Ontario and beyond. These, as well as the extensive off-road bicycle trails, including regionally significant rail trails, are attracting a variety of cyclists, including mountain bikers and recreational cyclists.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

Interactive Cycling Map (Saugeen Shores) – Visit the new interactive cycling map for Saugeen Shores, which includes the entire trail network as well as locations of amenities such as bike racks, washrooms, water fountains and icons for the certified bicycle friendly businesses in the communities of Port Elgin and Southampton.

  • Town of Saugeen Shores Trails:
    • Saugeen Rail Trail – Approximately 11km in length, this trail features a combination of surfaces including, stone dust, asphalt and woodchip. The trail connects Southampton, Saugeen Township and Port Elgin. Options to loop back along the scenic North Shore Road creates a loop with lake views. Trail connects to the 80km Bruce County Rail Trail (see info below).
    • Shoreline (North Shore) Trail – Approximately 6km in length, this separated paved trail connects the communities of Port Elgin and Southampton along the Lake Huron coastline. This waterfront trail offers stunning lake vistas and views of Chantry Island. This is a multi-use accessible trail and part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail route through Bruce County.
    • Woodland & Biener Trails – These trails are approximately 15km in length and connect the communities Port Elgin and Southampton through a forest trail. The trail surface is wood chips and best suited for mountain bikes. Pedestrians and horseback riders are permitted.
    • Shipley Trail – Approximately 1.5km in length, the Shipley Trail is an ideal connection for cyclists riding south from Port Elgin to Gobles Grove beach, or onto the trails at MacGregor Provincial Park. The trail has a wood chip surface, and runs through a natural forested area. Part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail route through Bruce County.
    • Captain Spence Path – A short 0.8km path that takes riders from the Southampton Main Beach to the Southampton harbour and Pioneer Park with views over Lake Huron.
    • Copway Trail – This stone trail leads from Copway St. in Southampton towards a small beach area.
    • Gore Drain Trail – Approximately 3km in length, the Gore Drain Trail connects the MacGregor Provincial Park trails to the Saugeen Rail Trail. The trail is a stone dust surface, and takes cyclists past the Port Elgin Airport.
  • Macgregor Provincial Park – This provincial park has approximately 14km of trails suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes. Some trails get rough in areas, including the Lake Ridge Trail. Trails feature campgrounds lake views, cedar groves and opportunities for wildlife and waterfowl viewing. Cycling along trails is recommended over cycling on park roads, which can get very busy.
  • Saugeen River Trail – This trail is approximately 5.5km and runs along the Saugeen River into the town of Walkerton. This trail is primarily hard-packed gravel with multiple parking locations and 8 access points and loops.
  • Bruce County Rail Trail – This trail is approximately 80km and runs from Port Elgin to the Bruce-Huron Line and from Port Elgin to Bruce Road 33 near Kincardine. Signed and gated with a trail surface of compact soil and coarse aggregate.
  • Paisley Trail – A 6km linear trail travels through fields and forests to downtown Paisley passing the historical Hose Tower and Town Hall. The trail continues across the Teeswater River Bridge to the flood dykes along the Saugeen River.
  • Kincardine Trails – The town of Kindcardine boasts a network of interconnected trails. Totalling approximately 30km, the network brings cyclists along the shores of Lake Huron and north and south of the Penetangore River. An interactive map that lets you filter by individual trail can be found HERE
    • Blue Trail – This 9 km trail now connects to the Red Trail in the east and the Pink Trail in the west and traverses both natural settings and parklands.
    • Red Trail – At 6 km, this trail allows cyclists to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Penetangore River as it meanders along the river and through parklands.
    • Green Trail – Cyclists will enjoy this 6 km trail as it explores the eastern portions of Kincardine south of the harbour.
    • Yellow Trail – This 5 km trail features cycling along marshes and wetlands with excellent opportunities for bird watching. The trail also connects to both the Green Trail at Kincardine Ave and the Pink Trail at Goderich Street.
    • Pink Trail – At 4 km this linear trail stretches along the waterfront from the southern municipal boundary and features a scenic ride with access to the beach, board walk and other paved path connections.

The following routes are found on the Explore the Bruce – Cycling webpage and the Bruce County Cycling Routes print and PDF map. See the Published Maps section for more information.

  • Saugeen First Nation #29 – This 62km looped route takes cyclists from Sauble Beach south to Southampton and includes 17 km of gravel roads.
  • Beach Hop – From Southampton to Port Elgin this route features a 17km loop on rail trail or a longer 22 km loop incorporating more road riding. Both routes include paved road and hard packed rail trail surfaces.
  • Beaches South – From Port Elgin to Kincardine, this 110km linear (out-and-back) route features 2 provincial parks and conservation areas. 3 km is unpaved in Brucedale Conservation Area.
  • Saugeen River – A 45km paved loop from Port Elgin to Paisley with a 6 km unpaved section. The route circles the Saugeen River between the two communities.
  • Lighthouses South – A 55km loop entirely on paved roads, this route explores the southern reaches of Bruce County between Kincardine and Point Clark.
  • Lighthouses North – At 80km this route starts and ends in Lion’s Head with 60% paved and 40% gravel surfaces. The features Lion’s Head and Cabot Head Lighthouses, however no amenities are available along route.
  • Beaches North – Either 70km out-and-back, or a 91 km loop from Wiarton to Lion’s Head and back. Shorter version entirely on paved surface, while longer route has 4 km of gravel.
  • Best of the Bays – This 74km loops starts and ends in Wiarton and extends north east out to the tip of Cape Croker and lighthouse. The final 9 km of this route are unpaved.
  • Escarpment – 60km loop, fully paved and with views of Georgian Bay and Niagara Escarpment. Services, amenities and scenic lookouts along route.
  • Coast 2 Coast – This 65km loop is fully paved with options to start at either Wiarton, Hepworth, Sauble Beach or Oliphant.
  • Eight Mills – A metric century, this 100km ride features a tour of century-old mills in Mennonite County. Starting in Paisley, this route features mostly paved roads with short gravel areas.
  • Greenock Swamp – A 63km loop with shorter options, this route runs south from Paisley to the Greenock Swamp Complex with views of forested wetlands and the Teeswater River.
  • River Valley – Cyclists will enjoy small town Ontario on this 60km, paved loop. Starting and ending in Walkerton taking in the communities of Hanover, Neustadt and others.

Part of the tourism initiative Secrets of the Back Forty, the Township of Huron-Kinloss, including the towns of Ripley, Lucknow and the community of Point-Clark have developed new cycling routes and itineraries, including the following:

  • Back Forty Roadie Ramble – Connecting Huron Kinloss’s quiet rural landscapes with the dramatic Lake Huron shoreline, and some tasty restaurants is what the Back Forty Roadie Ramble is all about. This relaxed 58km ride begins and ends in the village of Ripley with lots of parking, and a clean washroom at Lewis Park.
  • Back Forty Gravel Grind –  Starting and ending in the ‘quintessential rural Canadian town’ of Lucknow, this 65km itinerary, or alternate 55km loop will take riders past scenic farms, through tree-covered canopies, and enjoy stops along the way to fuel up on delicious treats. This route travels through all kinds of hidden detours and showcases the heartbeat of ‘the Back Forty’, aka the Township of Huron-Kinloss.

For additional information and resources for mountain biking in Bruce County, visit Explore The Bruce Website

  • Mountain Bike Adventure Park, Wiarton – Well known for its technical riding, this park has approximately 20km of trail in addition to a pump track. This track is a continuous loop of compact soil. Features include rollers and berms and both easy and difficult, single and double track mountain biking.
  • Brant Tract, Paisley – This trail network contains 20km of single track ranging from easy to difficult with all trail intersections marked.
  • Carrick Tract, Mildmay – The riding season on these trails are long and include an 8km network mostly of single track. The terrain offers some great climbs and spectacular views.
  • Lindsay Tract, Miller Lake – This property has roughly 15km of single track, with a growing number of experiences for all riders!
  • Stoney Island Conservation Area – Approximately 8km of trails, developed by the Kincardine cross-country ski club, include, combination ridge climbs, hill climbs, curved and banked downhill runs, pretty rough terrain and bridge crossings.
  • Inverhuron Bike Park – Located adjacent to the Inverhuron Provincial Park, north of Kincardine, the bike park offers a cross country course with climbing and hills.

great lakes waterfront trail

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3600km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting over 151 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. The fully signed Trail uses the safest infrastructure possible, a mix of both on-road and off-road facilities, and is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads. It can be enjoyed for as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long distance cycling adventure.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail traverses the entire Bruce County and the south west, starting south of Kincardine to Southampton and all the way to Tobermory.

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