It’s fun watching someone’s face the first time they try an e-bike. The feeling is often indistinguishable from a standard road bike, yet the subtle support it lends can make the difference between a confident ride and a gruelling one.
The reasons people choose e-bikes are as diverse as the riders themselves, whether it’s a matter of age, ability, or simply preference. Getting on a e-bike can vastly expand the possibilities available, and for seasoned and new riders alike, Kawarthas Northumberland’s selection of routes is hard to beat.
Kawarthas Northumberland encompasses three smaller regions. There’s a huge amount of diversity to be found across all three, from the cottage country vibes of Peterborough & the Kawarthas to the commanding views from Northumberland’s drumlins to the rural backroads of Kawartha Lakes. Here are a few recommended options from each corner of the map.
Peterborough & the Kawarthas
If you’re looking for an easy and attainable ride with few if any hills, the Rotary Greenway Trail is an accessible starting point so long as you’re okay with hardpack as well as paved trails. The former rail trail stretches from Peterborough to Lakefield, with a stop at Trent University in between. It follows the scenic Otonabee River for much of that length, making it perfect for picnics. If you’d rather dine in, Lakefield offers a satisfying selection of options (incidentally, it’s also an official Trent-Severn Trail Town—see this post for more).
For routes of similar length and style, also consider the Peterborough-area stretches of The Great Trail or Parkway Trail.
On the other hand, if you like to use your pedal assist to cover as much ground as possible, the Cottage Country 100 might be just the ticket. This challenging but hugely rewarding 100km route will lead you steadily north from downtown Peterborough to the southern shore of Stony Lake.
There’s an opportunity to fuel up around the halfway point at McCracken’s Landing, but you’ll spend most of the ride on quiet country roads surrounded by green. The later stretches especially have some serious hills, so the e-boost will come in handy when your legs are wearing out.
Even more options throughout Peterborough & the Kawarthas are available here.
Port Hope is an extremely picturesque town, setting the tone for an excellent day of riding. E-bikers should consider starting here and cycling the Glorious Ganaraska, a 30km ride which includes a prime sample of the much longer Greenbelt Route. Highlights include a picnic stop at Sylvan Glen Conservation Area and an historical 1876 church, and sweeping views of Lake Ontario.
Speaking of which, the lakefront stretch of the Glorious Ganaraska overlaps with Northumberland’s Waterfront Trail, a 60km ride beginning west of Port Hope and continuing east to Brighton. The route affords ample opportunities to stop in at small towns along the way, or to kick off your shoes and stroll through the surf at Cobourg Beach.
The varied terrain of the rides and manageable distances of the rides above make for great e-biking, but if you’re looking for a route with minimal grade, the Hastings to Campbellford stretch of The Great Trail also comes recommended, though road bike tires may struggle so you’ll want a hybrid bike to handle rougher patches. Like Lakefield, both Hastings and Campbellford are Trent-Severn Trail Towns. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can celebrate your arrival in town with a ride over Campbellford’s unique Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge.
To find more ideas in this part of the region, visit Northumberland Tourism’s cycling page.
The Victoria Rail Trail route between Lindsay and Fenelon Falls (again, both Trail Towns!) is a perennial favourite for a reason. Beginning at Ken Reid Conservation Area outside Lindsay makes it 22km one way, so it can be approached as a very manageable ride or turned into a longer round trip. Ken Reid is also well worth a visit in its own right, with beautiful marsh boardwalks and picnic areas.
The Lindsay to Fenelon Falls stretch stays close to Sturgeon Lake for much of its length, and you have the option to extend the ride further by continuing north to Kinmount if you’ve still got the juice.
The rail trail option is the best bet if you prefer minimal hills and traffic, but on the other hand, if you’d like to explore Kawartha Lakes by road, consider the North Sturgeon Route. This 38km ride will also take you from Lindsay to Fenelon Falls, but you’ll see a different side of the region as you pass through farm country and along backroads. The North Sturgeon Route also allows you to plan a custom itinerary, as it can be combined with several other nearby rides.
For maps and more routes in and around Kawartha Lakes, see here.
Plan an E-bike Ride in Kawarthas Northumberland:
Visit www.kawarthasnorthumberland.ca for more information on cycling and other outdoor activities in the region.
Sponsored Content Partner: Kawarthas Northumberland
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Kawarthas Northumberland
Article by Birchbark Media