Southwest Ontario – Elgin, Lambton, London, Middlesex & Oxford

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Photo Credit: Dudek Photography/Tourism Oxford

With relatively flat agricultural land, picturesque lakefronts and meandering rivers, as well as quaint country towns, Southwest Ontario offers cyclists experiences of all kinds.  Road riding in Southwest Ontario is second to none, with rural roads criss-crossing through farmlands with opportunities to stop at agri-tourism businesses, interesting heritage sites, artists’ studios, and communities while cycling these quiet country roads and enjoying a spectacularly scenic landscape.

Cyclists looking for an urban cycling experience can explore the bike paths and bike lanes in the cities of London or Sarnia. Wind your way along the over 40km of off-road paved trails that hug the shores of the Thames River in London or the off-road paved trails along the St. Clair River in Lambton County.

With a growing collection of rail trails and off-road sections of the Trans Canada Trail, as well as boasting multiple mountain biking facilities including Boler Mountain, The Pines and Wildwood Conservation Area, Southwest Ontario is also an attractive destination for downhill and cross-country trail riding.

The opening of the Lake Erie portion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Traill in 2013 has linked the region to the existing Lake Ontario portion and offers cyclists a signed route with stops at the communities along the northern shore of Lake Erie.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep
  • Great lakes waterfront trailGreat Lakes Waterfront Trail (Lake Erie) – 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 Lake Erie trail connects with the Waterfront Trail via the Niagara River Recreation Trail. For information and to access downloadable maps visit
  • Trans Canada Trail/TCT –This cross-Canada trail system runs through south west Ontario connecting many communities and Counties. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types, on-road and off-road segments and is suitable for a variety of users. Visit Trans Canada Trail  “Explore The Trail” for information
  • Whistlestop Trail – This off-road newly paved route incorporates paved shoulders and bike path that follows a heritage rail line, 12.5km between St Thomas, Railway City, and Port Stanley, beachside resort town.
  • bike in ontarios southwestSt. Thomas & Four Ports Tour – One of Ontario’s Southwest’s multi-day cycling itineraries, this four-day, 184km journey, begins and ends in St. Thomas and takes riders along quiet rural roads and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, along Lake Erie’s northern shoreline and through communities with rich maritime heritage and vast agricultural lands. Downloadable pdf itinerary, GPS routing and more information.
  • Amish Country Tour – This 37km route is featured on the Elgin County Cycling and Hiking Map. Enjoy the sights of farming and industry of the Amish community.
  • Sparta Wine Tour – A 35km route featuring stops at Quai du Vin Estate Winery, the Historic Village of Sparta, Rush Creek Wines & Gay Lea Dairy Heritage Museum.
  • Aylmer Kinsmen Trail –This 11km trail passes through the town of Aylmer and heads south towards the Springwater Conservation Area. It is now part of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and connects the Elgin TCT and the Brouers Line TCT.
  • Dutton Cycling Route – This short recreational loop offers cyclists a safe route to view some of the historical and heritage buildings and attractio ns through the Dutton/Dunwich area.
  • Port Burwell – Vienna Cycling Route – This 18km loop starts at, and loops back to the Port Burwell Provincial Park. Visitor attractions are identified on the map, including historical lighthouses, museums, and more.
  • Historic Port Stanley Route – Cyclist can explore this 2.5km historic ride through the heart of Port Stanley, taking in historic sites, heritage properties and the shoreline of Lake Erie.
  • West Elgin Cycling Route – Cyclists explore the western portions of Elgin County, as well as portions of Lake Erie’s shoreline. This route includes historical villages and other points of interest.
  • cycling and hiking trail mapElgin-St. Thomas Cycling & Hiking Trail Map (2018). This map is available at Elgin/St. Thomas Public Health or at Elgin County Tourism Services.
  • Bike Repair Station – Available at St Thomas Public Library, 153 Curtis Street, adjacent to Whistlestop Trail and close to Railway City Tourism Office.
  • Looping through Lambton  – An Ontario’s Southwest’s multi-day cycling itinerary, this 166km (or 262km with optional route extension to Grand Bend) 3 to 4-day ride begins and ends in Sarnia taking riders on a scenic cycle along the St. Clair and Sydenham Rivers before cutting through the hinterlands of Lambton County towards the shores of Lake Huron.
  • Trees of Distinction Bicycle Tour – A 21km, self-guided tour of Sarnia mixes both on-road, as well as off-road multi-use paths. Starting at City Hall, cyclists can expect to spend 2 ½ hours riding this tour.
  • Bluewater Trail System – Paved, multi-use path along Sarnia’s waterfront; from downtown Sarnia to Sarnia Bay. Also a network of on-road and off-road multi-use trails that link Howard Watson Nature Trail, the Waterfront Walkway and Canatara Park Trails.
  • Howard Watson Nature Trail – A 16km, multi-use trail that runs through Sarnia before continuing east to the town of Camlachie. Access to Lake Huron at Telfer Side Road. The trail is gravel and compacted soil, suitable for hybrid/mountain bikes.
  • Grand Bend Rotary Nature Trail – A 9km, off-road, multi-use trail (paved asphalt) connects the community of Grand Bend with Pinery Provincial Park along the Highway 21 corridor. This trail is suitable for all bikes.
  • Savanna Bike Trail – 14km in length, the trail is entirely located in Pinery Provincial Park. The relatively flat paved asphalt surface is ideal for all bicycles and riders of all skill levels.
  • St. Clair River Trail – This 35km trail mixes on-road (paved shoulders) and off-road facilities (paved asphalt), stretching from Port Lambton north along St. Clair River to LaSalle Line north of Corunna.
  • AW Campbell Conservation Area – Approximately 300 acres with over 8km of trails available to cyclists and has 140 campsites, 2 washrooms (seasonal), laundry facilities and 20-acre reservoir open for canoeing.
  • Marthaville Habitat Management Area – Located close to Petrolia, the trail is compact soil and offers multiple loops totalling 5km. The trails are multi-use; cyclists should be cautious of other users.
  • Bluewater Trails Bike Map – Downloadable PDF map includes off-road pathways and trails, as well as on-road routes throughout Sarnia and the surrounding Village of Point Edward.
  • Lambton County Regional Trails – Search from over 40 trails listed under ‘cycling’. Search trails by name or by trail usage. Covering Lambton County and connecting communities. Trails information.
  • Trees of Distinction Bicycle Tour – A 21km, self-guided tour of Sarnia mixes both on-road, as well as off-road multi-use paths. Starting at City Hall, cyclists can expect to spend 2 ½ hours riding this tour.
  • Oil Springs Trail Map – PDF map of the historic Oil Springs Trail.

Thames Valley Parkway – City of London

  • City of London – The city has over 300km of bike paths and bike lanes, as well as signed bike routes located throughout the city. There are a variety of online resources to help with planning a cycling trip in London.
  • Downtown Separated Bike Lanes – Approximately 4km of Dundas and Colborne Streets now have separated bike lanes to help cyclists explore downtown and adjacent Old East Village.
  • Thames Valley Parkway  – Over 40km of paved, off-road multi-use path lies alongside the Thames River throughout the city of London and links to other bike paths and bike lanes within the city.
  • Kilally Meadows – This area has over 10km of trails along the north shore of the Thames River and a multi-use path along the southern shore. Bicycles are permitted only on the asphalt or crushed gravel paths.
  • Forest City Velodrome – One of only a few indoor velodromes in North America, the Forest City Velodrome is located in the south end of London and offers 138-metre indoor cycling track facilities.
  • London Bike Map and Walk Map – (2021) Over 350km of bike lanes, paved pathways and hiking trails in the City of London. For more information and to request a print version of the map, email
  • CityMap (Bike Routes & Trails) – CityMap is an interactive online tool that helps users find cycling routes and trails, as well as places of interest, addresses and street names.
  • Ilderton Rail Trail – The Ilderton Rail Trail was once a part of an active rail line that ran from London to Goderich. This 3.1km trail offers both granular and natural dirt trail surfaces. Start at Junction Park in Ilderton.
  • St. Clair Conservation Authority Trails – Both the Strathroy Conservation Area and the Clark Wright Conservation Area offer mixed use trail systems and are located within or close to the town of Strathroy.
  • AW Campbell Conservation Area – Approximately 300 acres with over 8km of trails available to cyclists and has 140 campsites, 2 washrooms (seasonal), laundry facilities and 20-acre reservoir open for canoeing.
  • Middlesex County Trails Guide. Online Guide. This trails guide information on off-road trails, including details on parks and rail trails open to hikers, cyclists, and other recreational users.
  • Strathroy Visitor and Adventure Guides. Online PDF Maps. Developed in partnership with the Strathroy Business Improvement Area, the Rotary Club, and St. Clair Conservation Authority, these visitor guides offers details on parks and trails within the downtown. See ‘Maps’ under ‘Visiting’.

Oxford County - Cycle Routes and Trail Information

  • Oxford Century Ride – Challenge yourself on the ultimate milestone ride and this 100 mile (156km) tour across Oxford County. This route is ideal for goal setters and those training for longer distances.
  • Thamesford North – 50km – Taking the quiet country back road out of Thamesford, ride onto Cobble Hills Road. On one of the most scenic roads in the County, enjoy wide sweeping views interspersed with dense forest lining the way. Low traffic volumes continue all the way around this loop, including the turn towards Lakeside riding along Oxford Road 92/25.
  • Drumbo Innerkip Plattsville – This 67km route is a real tour, highlighting the small quaint communities and scenic roads that represent Oxford County so well. This route is on paved roads with mulitple options to either shorten or increase the route length.
  • Additional Road Routes – There are 11 routes (including 3 above) mapped around the County, using quiet country scenic roads, connecting communities and varying in length from 16km to 156km.
  • Ontario By Bike Self Guided Ride Itinerary – Oxford Rural Road Ride – In 2019 and 2023, Ontario hosted a 173km small group looped road tour, over 2 days. Enjoy the excellent road riding in Canada’s Diary Capital through rural landscapes, past working farms and along the Cheese Trail. Find a self-guided itinerary, detailed digital maps and additional information here.
  • Oxford Gravel Grazer Routes – Inaugurated in 2019 with 5 new routes added to in 2023, there are 9 gravel road routes of various lengths, featuring rolling hills, gorgeous farmscapes and fresh rural air.
  • Oxford County Trans Canada Trail – 17km rail trail near Tillsonburg, part of the Trans Canada Trail. Note that horseback riding is allowed on the trail.  Explore the side trails in Tillsonburg while you’re in the area.
  • Hickson Trail – This 7.3km rail line from Woodstock to Hickson is now used by cyclists, walkers, and birdwatchers. This trail brings cyclists from Pittock Park Rd., north to Braemar Side Rd. Parking available on Fredrick Street.
  • Husky Trail – Located in the Pittock Conservation Area this is a 5km trail system that also has picnic and overnight camping facilities on the north side of Pittock Lake. The park is open from late April to Thanksgiving weekend in October. There is an admission fee. The path consists of both paved surfaces with secondary trails comprising of hard packed dirt.
  • Ingersoll Trails – The Thomas Ingersoll Scenic Trail and John Lawson Park and Trail range in lengths of 2 to 3km and offer cyclists great off-road options in Ingersoll.
  • The Millennium Trail – This trail system includes both road and pathway riding and offers 6km of trails that follow the banks of the Thames River, through mixed hardwood and softwood forests. Though all of the trails are not connected at this time, they are in close proximity to each other.
  • Roth Park Trail – The trail is located on the south side of Pittock Lake and is approximately 7km long. The main trail is wide with hard packed dirt and granular surface. Side trails link back to the main trail.

Regional Mountain Biking and BMX Trail Systems

Consider extending your cycling holiday by visiting some of these great cycling destinations also located in Southwest Ontario:

  • Chatham Kent – There are a number of trails suitable for recreational cyclists in the Chatham-Kent region, including trails along waterfronts, wetlands and in natural settings. Road riding is also promenent along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Lake Erie shoreline.
  • Haldimand & Norfolk Counties – Haldimand and Norfolk Counties offer cyclists appealing on-road cycling routes and off-road trails, whether along the north shore of Lake Erie, following the Grand River or through agricultural communities.
  • Windsor, Essex & Pelee Island – Surrounded on three sides by water, the warm humid weather is perfect for a long cycling season and Essex County has fantastic cycling destination in Ontario. Pelee Island is a popular tourist destination and its quiet back-country roads and excellent sightseeing are perfect for the recreational cyclist.

* Please note there are may be additional trails, routes, events and information resources for the region that may be of interest and useful to cyclists. Changes to the above links, listings and cycling routes may occur.

Southwest Ontario – Related Blogs:

Beyond the Bike: 5 Great Reasons to Ride Oxford

February 29, 2024|

Looking for ready-to-go cycling routes on winding roads where crickets outnumber cars with forests and farmland as backdrop for your journey? Oxford County knows the journey continues when you park your ride. Here are 5 post-ride activities that put Oxford in another class for an ultimate cycling getaway.

Discover Five New Gravel Routes in Oxford County This Season

March 9, 2023|

Oxford County continues to develop more enticing gravel cycling routes, including the launch of five new gravel routes this year. They range in experience level from intermediate to advanced and cover diverse terrain and unique stops around the county. Oxford’s unpaved gravel roads also hold some of the county’s most beautiful scenery: rolling hills, bucolic countryside, and unique stops that showcase the bounty of the area.

Bikes & Beans: Bicycle Cafes Around Ontario

March 30, 2022|

While the cultures of coffee and cycling have long been intertwined both here at home and around the world, over the last few years Ontario has seen an amazing growth in bicycle themed cafes, or cafes specifically targeting cycling as their market and community of focus.

  • Photo credit: Dudek Photography, Oxford County gravel cycling

Make Plans for a Gravel Grazing Adventure in Oxford County

March 1, 2022|

With a large number of gravel roads that bisect the county’s endless farms and agricultural greenspace, an easy to navigate grid system of roadways, well situated sizeable towns north, south, east and west, plus a smattering of small hamlets and unique destinations scattered about – Oxford County earns the bragging rights as a top gravel riding destination in Ontario.

Destination and Regional Partners:

2019 Ontario By Bike Destination Partners