Lanark County

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Photo credit: Lanark County Tourism

Lanark County is a popular cycling spot with its historic river and mill towns and scenic countryside. An increasing number of cyclists are finding their way to the County for longer road rides, short touring loops, trail riding, special cycling events and tours. A number of mapped bicycle routes provide cyclists with the option of following quiet country roads, off-road trails like the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail and Carleton Trailway, or the Rideau Canal heritage waterway. Discover the heritage waterways, the Rideau Canal and the Mississippi River on rail trails that wind their way over quiet country side, criss-crossing rivers and passing through picturesque small towns and hamlets.

Lanark County’s proximity to Ottawa, Kingston and the Toronto–Montreal corridor enables cyclists to easily plan a route that will take them through scenic landscapes and into welcoming towns and inviting communities.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep
  • Perth to Murphy’s Point – A 41km route that leading through the hilly terrain marking Canadian Shield country from Perth to Murphys Point Provincial Park. Start is the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where there is parking and washrooms.
  • Glen Tay Loop – A 15km short, flat route along paved roadways suited for beginners that takes cyclists along the upper Tay River past heritage farmlands and through the scenic village of Glen Tay. Starting out from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, parking and washrooms are available.
  • Harper to Balderson – A 26km beginner route of flat paved roadway featuring beautiful farmland and great stops. Delicious treats at Balderson and the scrumptious baked goods and cute mini critters in Glen Tay. Start is the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth.
  • Maberly to Mcdonalds Corners Route– Challenging 92km route over the hills and dales of west Lanark County along paved roadways. Pause as you pass through the charming villages of Maberly, Glen Tay and Bolingbroke. The route begins and ends from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth
  • Lanark to Fallbrook Route – 25km intermediate route from the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village following paved roads through rolling hills and beautiful countryside, past golf courses, historic churches and through charming hamlets. Parking available at the municipal office.
  • Lanark to Middleville Route – 31km of paved and gravel roadways features some rolling hills and a great deal of lovely scenery. Explore historic treasures along the way, such as the Middleville Museum, and the ghost town of Herron Mills on the Clyde River.
  • Lanark to McDonalds Corners – 40km route along County Roads 12 and 8 offers some challenging hills and scenic viewscapes as it passes by conservation areas, natural gems and lovely bed and breakfasts and retreats. Most of the route is paved, but there is some gravel. Park at the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village.
  • Lanark to Ferguson Falls – 24km route along paved roads and through rolling landscapes showcases some fun stops along the way – including a gorgeous golf course, a woolen shop, a campground on the Mississippi and a sugar bush operation near the hamlet of Ferguson Falls. Park at the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village.
  • Westport – 87km journey from Perth to Westport and back. This route follows paved roadway through farmland and Canadian Shield country and past gorgeous lakes. Take a rest at scenic Narrows Lock on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal. Enjoy shopping and restaurants at some of the hamlets along the way and in Westport and Perth. The route begins and ends at the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth.
  • Verna’s Text Book Tour – A 42km route on paved and hard-packed gravel named afer naturalist, historian and geologist Verna McGiffin. The route starts at Pakenham’s Five Arch Stone Bridge (parking available) and features prehistoric shorelines and beautiful vistas.
  • Tour De Mississippi Mills – This 100+ km route along paved and hard-packed gravel roads can be completed in four stages. It winds through Almonte and all four Mississippi Mills hamlets: Appleton, Blakeney, Clayton and Pakenham. The route crosses the Mississippi and Indian rivers multiple times and features varied landscapes, along with stops at several historic landmarks along the way.
  • Mississippi Mills Cycling Routes – The Mississippi Mills cycling map features 7 dedicated cycling routes ranging in length from 11km to 100km. Mississippi Mills has hundreds of kilometres of exceptional cycling, including beautiful countryside and rolling hills.
  • Lanark Cycling / Vélo dans Lanark – 22 mapped routes of varying distances, many interconnected from community start points that include towns of Smiths Falls, Perth, Almonte, Pakenham and Carleton Place.
  • Carleton Place Trailway – The picturesque 7 km gravel trailway links the Beckwith Trail with the Ottawa to Carleton Trailway. Part of the Trans Canada Trail.
  • Ottawa to Carleton Trailway – From the Carleton Place Trailway (outside Carleton Place) to the Bells Corners community in the City of Ottawa, this 23 km gravel trail takes riders through a mostly urban environment. Part of the Trans Canada Taril
  • Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail – The 62km section of this rail trail through Lanark starts in the south in Smith Falls and runs north to Carleton Place (connect to Ottawa via Ottawa Carleton Trailway), Almonte, Pakenham and Arnprior in the north (connect to Algonquin Trail and northern section of Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail through Renfrew County towards Renfrew and Petawawa. Note that ATVs are authorized to use the trail.
  • Cataraqui Trail – With one trail end point at Smiths Falls, this 104 km four-season rail trail travels outside the county to Strathcona. Note the trail is composed of various trail materials and thus may not be suitable for all bike types. Approximately 80 km of the trail is designated a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
  • Tay Havlock Trail – A 22 km multi-use trail stretching east-west through Lanark County following an abandoned rail bed. The stretch through Lanark County is stone dust surface and offers multiple access points as it links with other trails for a journey through the scenic countryside. Access south of Hwy. 7 at Glen Tay.
  • Murphys Point Provincial Park – This park features 15 km of trails (easy to moderate difficulty), 20 km of groomed ski trails. For more information please visit their website.
  • Lanark Trail Tour – 3 Day Ontario By Bike Ride Itinerary – In 2022, Ontario By Bike hosted a 3 day weekend tour in Lanark County exploring some of the best roads and trails in the region, based out of Carleton Place, a pretty historic mill town in eastern Ontario. Learn more about the heritage waterways in the area with stops alongside the Rideau Canal and the Mississippi River, on rail trails that wind their way over quiet country side, criss-crossing rivers and passing through picturesque small towns and hamlets. Ride entirely on rail trails or branch out onto quiet roads for looped adventures to experience the best of scenic Lanark County, not far west of the nation’s capital, Ottawa.
  • Lanark and Mississippi Mills – Two Day Itinerary – With some of Eastern Ontario’s best riding, and located just west of Ottawa and nearby province of Quebec, hitting the road and getting to know Lanark County pedalling the following two fully paved routes will be a top experience. A total of 189km combined over two days, while never too far from the few larger and pretty towns in the area, it will be easy to enjoy that far away feeling and concentrate on the ride at hand before circling back to each day’s staging area, and nearby après ride refreshments, accommodations and cool down.
  • MVT – Mississippi Valley Trails – Located just outside the community of Almonte are a number of mountain bike trails that rest alongside of the Mississippi River. Download map for information regarding washrooms, trail access and features.
  • Bennie’s Corners – Located north of Almonte, this system features approximately 8 kilometres of singletrack mountain bike trails. There are 11 different trail sections with varying difficulty levels.
  • Sugar Bush – 3.5km of cross country bike trails that are groomed in the winter. Crown land located on west side of Pakenham Concession 7b just past Sugar Bush Rd. There are 4 different trail sections.

Trans Canada Trail – This cross-Canada trail runs through the region. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. A number of the trails located in Lanark County are incorporated within this larger, national trail system including:

  • Lanark Link – This 106 km gravel road runs from Carleton Place through Perth to Smiths Falls.
  • Carleton Place Trailway – The picturesque 7 km gravel trailway links the Beckwith Trail with the Ottawa to Carleton Trailway.
  • Ottawa to Carleton Trailway – From the Carleton Place Trailway (outside Carleton Place) to the Bells Corners community in the City of Ottawa, this 23 km gravel trail takes riders through a mostly urban environment.

Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail – Connect to newly surfaced and opened rail trail from Carlton Place to Almonte to Arprior for 34km. Trail extends into Ottawa Valley and towards Renfrew and Petawawa.

Cataraqui Trail – With one trail end point at Smiths Falls, this 104 km four-season rail trail travels outside the county to Strathcona. Note the trail is composed of various trail materials and thus may not be suitable for all bike types. Approximately 80 km of the trail is designated a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.

Rideau Heritage Route – Follow any portion of the 202 km long Rideau Canal and UNESCO World Heritage Destination route by bicycle. This is primarily an unsigned, on-road route and includes multiple options for cyclists to plan their own itinerary along quiet country roads. This route boasts many community, water and heritage attractions along the way. – Download a variety of cycling routes along or near the Rideau River including the: Smiths Falls Loop (93 km)Chaffeys-Westport-Perth Loop (127 km) and more.

K&P, Cataraqui, Ottawa Valley Recreational Trails – 380km Loop – This loop explores the best of rail trail riding in eastern Ontario, on what may become a signature route for Ontario’s eastern highlands. Starting in Sharbot Lake, the route follows the K&P Trail south to the Cataraquai Trail, following that trail all the way to Smiths Falls. Next, riders join the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT) from Smiths Falls to Renfrew and then head south on the K&P again to Calabogie, then following the K&P trail back to Sharbot Lake. Riders should be cautious as long sections of the route lack supportive infrastructure and towns and some sections of rail trails can be quite rough, though rewards are beautiful wild and rural scenery, unique small town eateries and coffee shops, and fascinating history and heritage.

LanarkCyclingMap

  • Lanark Cycling / Vélo dans Lanark – There are 22 mapped routes of varied distances, many interconnected from community start points that include towns of Smiths Falls, Perth, Almonte, Pakenham and Carleton Place, taking cyclists on quiet country roads and some trails across Lanark County. Along with route notes, accommodations, shopping and dinning suggestions are also mapped.
  • Lanark County Trails Map – PDF and Online Interactive map showing trails across the County, including the Ottawa Valley Recreational trail and many others.
  • Mississippi Mills Cycling Map / Carte vélo – The town of Mississippi MMBikeMapCoverMills has developed a cycling map with 7 dedicated cycling routes ranging in length from 11km to 100km. Mississippi Mills has hundreds of kilometres of exceptional cycling, including beautiful countryside and rolling hills.
  • Smiths Falls Bicycle Route Map – This Town of Smith Falls bicycle map contains a number of in-town routes, points of interest, out-of-town routes ranging in distance, and connecting trails.
  • Carleton Place Cycling Routes – Lanark County Tourism in consultation with local cycling experts have prepared a few routes for cycle enthusiasts which feature Carleton Place. There are a variety of lengths suitable for new and experienced riders.
  • Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance – Featuring trail networks spreading from the Bay of Quinte all the way north to Algonquin Park. It includes some sections of the above-mentioned K & P Trail that cross Lanark County.

Please note there are many additional map guides for the region that cyclists may find interesting or useful. New maps and guides are produced yearly, and the information listed here may change.

Lanark County – Related Blogs:

Easy Rider – Relaxed Cycling in Ontario’s Highlands

September 1, 2023|

Not every bike ride needs to involve grueling hours spent on the road or trail. Sometimes the best rides are the ones where you take it easy, slow it down and see new communities, and maybe even stop for a bite to eat. If you’re not into wearing padded bike shorts and setting a challenging pace, plan your next ride in Ontario’s Highlands where your cycling adventure can match your mood, abilities, and bike.

One Bike, All Rides – Ontario Gravel Cycling Routes

February 15, 2023|

Ontario has more than 130,000km of unpaved and gravel roads, perfect for cycling – so where do you want to groad? Yes, groadies. Groadies are roadies who love dirt. And mountain bikers who love gravel too. However you define your ride, cyclists have pedalled over every surface imaginable for years. So make some plans to hit the groad! Check out this mix of terrain and routes that will give you a taste of Ontario's unpaved fun and best gravel cycling routes. It's just the tip of the gravel iceberg!

Bikepacking in Ontario? Get Started Here

June 1, 2022|

Bikepacking is a natural next step for those who love both cycling and camping, it truly is human power for the win. Over the past few years, Ontario’s Highlands has emerged as a bikepacker’s paradise. Before you head out, here are some tips for planning your first trip.

  • Exploring the Ottawa Valley on Two Wheels

Exploring the Ottawa Valley on Two Wheels

July 14, 2021|

The Ottawa Valley in the Ontario’s Highlands region beckons cyclists to escape the hustle and bustle of urban centres and crowded streets and slow down the pace in a more rural setting. So what can a cyclist expect when choosing the Ottawa Valley for their next cycling adventure? Read on to find out!


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