Looking to shake up your cycling season? We suggest a milk shake! Oxford County isn’t just the Dairy Capital of Canada, the region is also gaining quite a reputation as a great destination for on- and off-road cycling. The reasons to Ride Oxford are lengthy but we have shortened it to a simple five for your reading pleasure.
Easy to get to
Oxford County is located where Highway 401 & 403 meet, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto and a ½ hour from Waterloo and London. Woodstock, Ingersoll & Tillsonburg are the main urban centres, which offer plenty of attractions, events and places to fuel up. The County offers plenty of accommodation choices including the iconic Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, major hotel chains, campgrounds and B&Bs along the cycling routes. This range of bicycle friendly accommodations makes Oxford County a perfect destination to host your next cycling holiday.
Tourism Oxford has made it easy to plan a trip with their cycling map including 11 road routes with starting points, rest-stops and options to shorten or lengthen your ride. The map includes road descriptions, distance, route difficulty ratings and suggested stops to enjoy along the way. Routes vary from a 34km pedal between Woodstock and Ingersoll to the epic Oxford Century Ride (156km) covering most of the County.
Whether you crave a flat fast ride, a few river bends, or rolling hills, there is a route in Oxford County to meet your fancy. With these varied landscapes come new and exciting scenery. The Norwich Otterville route will take you through rich farmland and Amish Country on Middletown Line. Share the road here means horse and buggy too. If you crave more hills, try the northern routes including Drumbo Innerkip Plattsville (their most popular route). Landscapes change with the seasons too. Spring brings vibrant rows of green seedlings, summer – golden bales of straw and in the fall – burst of leaf colours as a backdrop for red barns, silver silos and golden fields. If you prefer to be amongst the trees both the Pines and Wildwood (with bike rentals) offer year round trail and mountain bike riding.
Slow Down For Slow Food
With a rich agricultural history, the region is a hotbed for good old fashioned food made using traditional methods and simple ingredients. Enjoy hand dipped onion rings (Leaping Deer Adventure Farm), slow cooked brisket (Ritchies – Norwich), scratch made chocolate (Habitual Chocolate), craft breweries using local hops and cheesemakers creating curd the old fashioned way. Explore the region’s dairy past and present with stops along the Oxford County Cheese Trail. Ask Tourism Oxford for the 411 on local eats along your route – there are plenty!
Oxford is Green
Tourism Oxford has received gold level certification from Green Tourism Canada for its environmental practices, promoting local food and green travel – including cycling. Tourism is fulfilling its role in the County’s larger sustainability strategies. So when you visit take time to explore the 100km of trails in the county, dine on local food, visit a farmer’s market and of course pedal to your hearts content.
Check out this Ride Oxford Video
Note: This post is part of a content partnership with Tourism Oxford. Content and images provided by Tourism Oxford and Dudek Photography. Ontario By Bike has final editorial sign-off on all partner content.