K&P Trail, Frontenac. Photo Credit: Martin Lortz/Destination Ontario
Stretching from the southern border of Algonquin Park to the northern shore of Lake Ontario, the counties of Hastings, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington offer a wide variety of road cycling experiences and number excellent regional and cross-regional trail systems and routes. The region’s on-road cycling network and suggested routes incorporate a mix of landscapes from the flatter Lake Ontario basin north to the rugged Canadian Shield in the heart of Ontario’s Highlands. With varying levels of difficulties, the on road routes presents experiences for cyclists of all skills sets. Additionally, the region offers an extensive off-road trail network that spans across the region. This attracts a variety of cyclists, including recreational cyclists or mountain bike enthusiasts looking for more rugged trail and overnight riding options.
The following resource page provides information on Great Places to Cycle in the counties of Hastings, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington, but focuses on the northern portion of counties that are within Ontario’s Highlands, Regional Tourism Area 11. The southern parts of the counties of Hastings, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington are located in South Eastern Ontario, Regional Tourism Area 9. For more regional maps, cycling info and Ontario By Bike listings for this southern region visit the South Eastern Ontario – Great Places to Cycle page.
Frontenac County Road Routes
The first 6 routes on this list were developed by the Kingston Velo Club, with several starting out of Kingston.
- Plevna Loop – The 87km Plevna Loop covers a portion of Hwy 506 and Hwy 509 and is a lovely ride of 96 km starting and ending in Plevna. The route takes you over the beautiful Canadian Shield with many rolling and steep hills.
- Desert Lake and Holleford Crater – This 44km route is a hilly, but beautiful and scenic ride that starts and ends in the Village of Sydenham and is a great ride for all but the beginning cyclist who does not care for hills.
- Sydenham Ramble – This 54km pleasant journey begins at the Invista Center in Kingston and continues along flat paved roads to the town of Sydenham. In Sydenham, you will find Canada’s oldest general store, restaurants and a swimming area at Point Park.The return route takes you westerly through farmlands and back to your start in at Invista. There you will find food and refreshment.
- Wolfe Island Route (to the foot) – This 52km route is a favourite and always delightful. Just take the free Wolfe Island ferry from downtown Kingston and enjoy an island paradise that is a 20-minute ferry ride away. Be sure to check the ferry schedule prior to departing.
- Tichborne and California Road (gravel trails and road)– This 75km ride starts at the Trailhead in Verona, following the K&P Trail to Tichborne. It’s a fairly remote trail, so be prepared. A mix of trail and road riding, enjoy scenes of farm and forest, and the quiet of pastures and fields. Be sure to bring a lunch, as the only services on this route are in Parham.
- Battersea Route – Starting at the north parking lot of the Invista Centre (Kingston) at 1350 Gardiner’s Road, this beautiful route follows a path to the K&P trail (the former Kingston to Pembroke railway line) and the countryside to the north and east.
- Crow Lake – This 102 km looped route is on paved routes with limited shoulders and includes some steeper climbs and hills.
- Sydenham: Around Desert Lake – This 43 km route starts out with flat sections and rolling hills through farmland before progressing to the more challenging terrain with hilly roads heading north.
Lennox & Addington County Road Routes
All of the following routes are part of the L&A County Trails Network, which includes 12 signed, looped routes, ideal for road cycling enthusiasts of varying experience levels. For more information and to access GPS files for each route visit www.lennox-addington.on.ca/explore/county-trails
- Flinton Road Route – At 37 km, this shorter route is ideal for hybrid and mountain bikes as it incorporates a combination of both hard surface and dirt road.
- Buckshot Lake Route – Considered the most challenging route in Lennox & Addington, at 102 km this metric century travels through t the Canadian Shield and Bon Echo Provincial Park. Cyclists will enjoy riding past wetlands, lakes, and Ontario’s wilderness.
- Salmon River Route – This 54 km is considered an easy ride and incorporates a mix of paved shoulder and quiet back roads. Lots of opportunities to stop for supplies or snacks along the way.
- Sheffield Route – A challenging 78 km route starting out from Kaladar, past Puzzle Lake Provincial Park into the heart of the Canadian Shield.
- White Lake Route – A 44 km and moderately challenging route with few flat sections. Rolling hills past lakes, wilderness and wetlands.
Additional road routes listed below are located in southern part of Lennox & Addington, with more information in The Great Waterway Great Places to Cycle page:
- Newburgh Route (30 km loop); Napanee River Route (24 km); Camden Route (63 km); Shoreline Route (71 km); Hay Bay Route (44 km); Odessa Route (28 km); Amherstview Route (24 km).
North Hastings Scenic Routes Created as driving routes, this series of 14 road routes incorporate a variety of terrain, with numerous natural and heritage sites to enjoy while riding along primarily paved and quiet country back roads. With limited services along the way, cyclists will need to plan accordingly, and make the most of shops and stops in town of Bancroft, where many of the routes start and end.
Addington Highlands North Frontenac – Day Trip Itinerary – At just over 100km, this day trip circuit is an excellent ride to gain an appreciation of the vast rugged and lake infused lands stretching back, south and north around Bon Echo Provincial Park. Campers will find all the amenities needed at Bon Echo Provincial Park. Other accommodation options nearby, including motels and lake resorts.
Bancroft & North Hastings – Two Day Itinerary – These two routes are favoured by local cyclists for advanced training and are based on routes set for the legendary annual Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred event and challenge. Using Bancroft as a convenient centre, stock up on all you need before heading out. The roads are quiet, services limited to nil and are perfect for club groups with motel accommodations in Bancroft, or smaller road crews wanting unique accommodations or camping closer to Algonquin Park.
Log Driver’s Waltz – The Log Driver’s Waltz is a gravel and off-road bike packing route developed by Jen Adams and Eric Betteridge with the southwestern tip of this route passed through the North Frontenac Highlands. With the original route stretching 600km and onto the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, a number of shorter, 3-4 day routes have been developed for cyclists looking for a more manageable exploration of this beautiful area in a shorter time frame.
Hastings County Trail Information
- Centre Hastings Heritage Loop – A looped network of motorized multi-use trails spans 156 km from Glen Ross in Quinte West to its most northerly point adjacent to Lake St. Peter Provincial Park in Hastings. Visit website for more information and interactive map.
- Hasting County Trail – Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this gravel surface trail is approximately 66 km heading east from the border of Northumberland County to Lennox & Addington County, north east of Tweed.
Frontenac County Trail Information
- Central Frontenac Trailway – A 37 km gravel trail connects in the north to the Frontenac K&P Trail. Part of the Trans Canada Trail.
- K & P Trail – The K&P Trail extends approximately 180 kilometres from the City of Kingston through Frontenac, Lanark, and Renfrew counties. Frontenac County owns and manages the 70 kilometres of the trail from The City of Kingston boundary to the village of Clarendon Station, and the County is currently working to develop the last 12 kilometres between Clarendon and Snow Road Stations. The 90 kilometre stretch of the K&P Trail between downtown Kingston and Clarendon Station is a fully developed stone dust rail-trail with stops in the communities of Sharbot Lake, Tichborne, Godfrey, Verona, and Harrowsmith along the way.
- Trail info and trip planning at www.frontenaccounty.ca/kptrail
- Planning Tool available spring 2022 at www.frontenacmaps.ca/kptour
- Ongoing projects and construction details can be found www.engagefrontenac.ca/kp-trail
Lennox & Addington County Trail Information
- Lennox & Addington County Forest Trails – This 127 acre site has 10 km of logging roads and single-track trails designed with bermed curves and elevations that incorporate the natural terrain of the forest. Riders will experience the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield’s landscape of tall pines and granite.
- Kaladar Trail – Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this 17 km multi-use, unpaved trail links westerly in Tweed (via Hastings County Trail) to Sharbot Lake in the east (via Central Frontenac Trailway). For more info, use the Trans Canada Trail website’s “Explore The Trail” feature to find access points.
- Shabomeka Lake Legpower Pathfinders Network (North Frontenac) – Located in North Frontenac, there are approximately 30 km of mountain bike trails between Little Shabomeka Lake and Missagagon Lake.
Trans Canada Trail (TCT) – Over 150 km of this cross-Canada route runs through Hastings, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington counties, with an additional 16 km proposed as part of the Frontenac K&P Trail. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. This signed route is primarily off-road and on gravel trails in the region and presents multiple route options for day or multi-day cycling trips. Use the website’s “Explore The Trail” feature to find access points.
Cataraqui Trail – 104 km four-season rail trail that traverses the region, from Strathcona to Smiths Falls and composed of various trail materials an. Approximately 80 km of the trail is designated a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
The Great Waterway Circle Tour – A 730 km, 8-day cross-regional suggested itinerary that passes through Central and South Frontenac, Lennox & Addington County and southern portions of Hasting County. A cycling itinerary of The Great Waterway and Regional Tourism Organization 9. Download pdf itinerary.
The Central Ontario Loop Trail (COLT) – This 450km loop is a popular multi-day bike packing route that incorporates the Victoria Rail Trail, The Ganaraska Trail, The Hastings Heritage Trail, The IB & O Rail Trail, and cuts through the Ganaraska Forest. Trail surfaces vary, a mountain or cross bike is recommended. With a variety of scenic landscapes the route passes through a number of smaller communities with services and accommodation or camping options. Link provided is directed to blog article, currently best source for information.
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.
Rideau Lakes 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. For more information, including maps, visit website.
Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – 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 route crosses through the southern portions of Hastings County and Lennox & Addington County and offers connection route for long distance touring or shorter day trips.
County Trails – Map and Online Resources. Twelve suggested routes with detailed individual, detailed maps and route information. Each rated for level of difficulty. Routes centred in Lennox & Addington and Frontenac Counties. For route information and GPS files visit website or request a print map or custom cycling itinerary by completing online form HERE
Eastern Ontario Trails Association – Multi-use trail network north from Bay of Quinte to Algonquin, linking outdoor recreation and adventure to the natural environment and communities along the way. Also site to access Eastern Ontario Recreational Trails Map. Send an email request to receive print map to email@example.com
North Hastings Scenic Routes – Interactive online resource with descriptions for each point of interest and videos. While geared to motorists, cyclists can also use this resource to plan routes in area.
Frontenac County Cycling Route Online and Interactive Map.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. Online PDF Routes and resources.
Getaway Country Recreational Trails Map. Map. Advermap. 6th edition, 2010/2011. Available at various retailers and on-line.