This ride is now over.
The detailed itinerary for this ride is available below for download. Enjoy great trail and road riding with a self-guided ride experience.
Lanark Trail Tour
Photo credit: Martin Lortz
When: Anytime. It’s a self-guided itinerary.
Total Distance: 160km or 186km
The Ride: Discover the trails in Lanark County riding out and returning to Carleton Place, a pretty historic mill town and trail hub that make it a perfect base for three days of fantastic rides and touring 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.
Experience Level and Ride Guide: Moderate. Off-road rail trails, hard packed limestone screening, small paved sections, level road crossings, with on-road riding limited to connections using quiet town roads. If looped routes selected, most of road segments do not have paved shoulders but are quieter country roads. Suitable for hybrid bikes, gravel, mountain bikes, and road bikes with wider tires.
View Routes: RidewithGPS
Day 1: Carleton Place to Stittsville – 42km or 47km
An easy start to the weekend, and allowing for travel time, enjoy an afternoon ride east from Carleton Place to Stittsville along the Ottawa Carleton Trailway. Learn more about our solar system and the vast distances between planets while following the newly-installed unique and informative trailside signs on a 13km portion dubbed the Planetary Pathway. Stop for a break at bicycle friendly Equator Coffee in Stittsville before returning 20km along the trail or branching off onto quiet roads via Ashton Station, where you’ll be surprised to find an authentic old English pub and brewery along the banks of the Jock River. Rejoin the trail for the last 7km and check in to overnight accommodations close to trail in Carleton Place.
Day 2: Carleton Place to Pakenham – 56km or 61km
Connect to the larger Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail running north from downtown Carleton Place, after marvelling at the historic town buildings, many built in the late 19th century Romanesque Rival style. For a day spent criss-crossing the Canadian version of the Mississippi River, meet up with this grand tributary of the Ottawa River as it runs its course through the pretty town of Almonte, and again as it passes under the heritage bridge in the small town of Pakenham. Lunch on the banks of the river, with an option add to a picnic, an ice cream or treat from local bakery, before returning to Carleton Place via the trail or loop using country roads with a stop at Mill of Kintail, an expansive conservation area also the site of the James Naismith Museum that pays homage to the founder of basketball. Return to Carleton Place for our second night of accommodation.
Day 3: Carleton Place to Smiths Falls – 62km or 78km
From the heritage roundhouse buildings, that now house the must-see wool shop adjacent to the trail hub in Carleton Place, enjoy a quiet 24km rail trail ride south on the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail to its terminus near Smiths Falls. Make plans to linger longer than just a lunch stop in parks alongside the Rideau Canal, watching boats pass through the historic locks, exploring downtown on the new bike lanes up and down its main throughfare, Beckwith Street, and stopping at the old station and railyards of the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. Return to Carleton Place via the 6km road connection to trail or loop back using country side roads for a longer ride, returning to Carleton Place to finish the tour.
Additional Visitor Information:
Use below to find out more about ride areas and plan an extra day or two to see more.
Getting To/From Start:
Carlton Place is located 40 minutes drive west of downtown Ottawa, and 4 hours from Toronto.
Arriving Early / Staying Late:
Consider extending your stay in the Lanark County or Ottawa Valley or visiting Ottawa, with lots to see and do, more riding and numerous overnight options and Ontario By Bike Network certified bicycle friendly accommodations.
Photo credit: Martin Lortz
For More Information Contact:
Ontario By Bike
Phone: 416-827-2772 / 1-866-701-2774
Email: info (at) ontariobybike.ca
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See our other 2022 Ontario By Bike Rides