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2017 Cycling In Ontario Guide

Chatham-Kent Waterfront Trail - Photo Credit: Goh Iromoto

With the development of key cross-regional signed routes, such as the (Great Lakes) Waterfront Trail (in both southern and northern sections) and over 200 km of the Trans Canada Trail in Chatham-Kent there is now more connectivity between trails and roads for cyclists across the region. Both trail systems are renowned attractions and are enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike as they offer scenic cycling along lakes and rivers and through picturesque rural landscapes.

There are also an increasing number of shorter trails suitable for recreational cyclists in the Chatham-Kent region, including trails along waterfronts, wetlands and in natural settings. Also great cycling experiences exist in provincial parks and conservation areas throughout the region.

With mountain biking trails accessible in the south western portion of the region, there is cycling for every type of cyclist. Chatham-Kent provides a number of information resources and published maps that cyclists can use to assist with planning cycling activities and routes in the region.

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  • Regional Cycling Trails

    The Municipality of Chatham-Kent maintains over 70 km of recreational trails and pathways. Another 60 km of additional trails are located in Provincial Parks and Conservations Areas within the municipality.

          • Rondeau Provincial Park – Located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie, Rondeau Provincial Park is Ontario’s second oldest provincial park. This park features a trail network that consists of 3 trails open to cyclists. These trails travel through mature Carolinian forest, past 200 year old trees, and through a rare Oak Savanna.
            • Marsh Trail – At over 7 km (one-way), the trail travels through extensive marshlands on an old gravel base roadway. Trail becomes rougher near the southern end.
            • South Point Trail – Due to erosion, this looped trail is no longer accessible in its entirety. The east side of the trail is 1.5 km (one-way), while the west-side of the trail is 3 km (one way). Mixed paved and gravel surface.
            • Harrison Trail – 8 km (one-way) gravel trail connects the northern portion of the park, south to the park visitor centre.
          • Dresden Trillium Trail – A 6 km natural surface and off-road trail offers great connectivity between Dresden and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a National Historic Site.
          • Erieau – Marsh Trail – This 1.8 km gravel surface converted rail bed offers spectacular views of Rondeau Bay and was built on a dyke that separates the marshy Rondeau Bay from the agricultural land to the west.
          • Erieau – Erie Shore Trail – Nearly 2 km in its entirety, this gravel surface trail runs along the shore of Lake Erie between McGeachy Pond Conservation Area and the community of Erieau.
          • McLean Conservation Lands – This 4 km compact soil / natural surface trail runs along agricultural fields, wetlands and a variety of other natural landscapes.
          • Mitchell’s Bay – North/South Lakeshore Trails – At over 3 km, these trails are located on the eastern shore of Lake St. Clair and offer great views of the lake. An on-road connection required between South and North Lakeshore Trails.
          • MacDonald Park Trail – Explore over 2 km along this natural surfaced trail that circles in and around Robert Stewarts Wetlands. Washrooms facilities and access to fishing are available on this trail.

  • Regional Roads Routes

    Bicycling routes have been designated by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and are located in a number of communities in the region. These include a growing number of separated and shared bike lanes. See Other Online Cycling Resources for information.

            • Looping Through Lambton – This 3 or 4 day cycling itinerary offers great cycling along quiet rural roads as well as river and lake-side riding. Starting and ending in Sarnia, the route takes cyclists from Lambton County through Chatham-Kent between Wallaceburg and Dresden, before looping back to Sarnia. Enroute riders can stop at beaches, antique shops, interesting museums and National Historic Sites, live theatre, farmer's markets and great local restaurants and cafés.

  • Regional Mountain Biking Trails

            • Two Creeks Conservation Area – Over 10 km of challenging mountain bike trails are available in the conservation area. Owned by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, these trails are featured in a number of local mountain biking events. The trails are mostly natural, compact soil surfaces.

  • Cross Regional Routes and Trails

    Trans Canada Trail – Over 215 km of this cross-Canada route runs through Chatham-Kent in both the southern and northern portions of the region. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. This signed route is primarily on-roads in Chatham-Kent and presents multiple route options for day or multi-day cycling trips. For more info visit: Trans Canada Trail website’s “Explore The Trail” feature to find access points:www.tctrail.ca/explore-the-trail

    Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail follows Lake Ontario’s shoreline from Quebec to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Lake Erie from Fort Erie to Windsor and through to Lakeshore and on to Grand Bend. This well-mapped and fully signed route offers a mixture of paved on- and off-road trails covering over 1,600 km. In 2016, this route was extended from Lakeshore to Grand Bend, including through portions of Chatham-Kent. The route is excellent for long distance touring or shorter day trips.

    The Waterfront Trail in Chatham Kent is approximately 167 km, which includes:

        • 104 km Elgin County to Leamington (Lake Erie or south section)
        • 63 km from Town of Lakeshore to St. Clair Township (north section)
        • For information and to access downloadable maps visit www.WaterfrontTrail.org

  • Cycling Information Sources and Published Maps

    Chatham Trail Map

    Chatham-Kent Trails Map - 2015 - The Chatham-Kent Trails Map, features maps of 41 trails located across Chatham-Kent. Printed copies available at local libraries or municipal centre. 

    Rondeau Provincial Park Trail Map. - This trail map provides an overview of the park's trail network and available facilities within the park.

    Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. Printed map/guide. This historical route has been mapped and published by the Adventure Cycling Association. Visit website for information. See "UGRR Detroit ALT" route, which includes routing through North Buxton, Chatham and Dresden.

    Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Map Book: Ontario’s Southwest Edition – . Available for purchase, this map book features over 30 detailed maps showing the Trail’s route, on or off road sections, parking, washrooms, landmarks, trail connections, waterfront parks, wetlands, beaches, marsh and forests, vineyards, farmland, museums and shopping areas.

    Chatham-Kent Interactive Trails Map – A municipal online interactive web mapping application. This tool allows users to view trails and paths in communities throughout LakeErieCoverImage 170 1Chatham-Kent.

 

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