Northumberland County

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Rice Lake Ramble - Northumberland County

Northumberland County. Photo Credit: Northumberland Tourism.

Northumberland County is a humble superstar of a cycling destination in Ontario. Stellar, in fact. But quiet about its natural beauty. Its marked cycling routes and trails will take you along the shores of Lake Ontario and Rice Lake, into gently rolling hills for epic views – or to historic small towns and friendly communities to relax and refuel. The region is crossed by the Trans Canada Trail from Hastings to east of Campbellford and also has hundreds of kilometres of mountain biking in the Ganaraska and Northumberland County Forests.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

Photo Credit Harlold DeKlerk

Northumberland County Signed Road Cycling Routes – The following looped on-road routes, of various difficulties, have been established across Northumberland County. Detailed route info and maps are available from Northumberland Tourism’s website.

  • Glorious Ganaraska – A relatively level 30 km route. Explore Port Hope, cycle through farm fields, along the Ganaraska River and past heritage buildings. 
  • Rice Lake Ramble – Enjoy view of Rice Lake using wonderfully quiet roads on this 74 km route.
  • Shelter Valley Road – This 50 km route starts out hilly and then levels out near Cobourg, with lots of places to stop and relax.
  • Presqu’ile Promise – This 69 km route begins flat and heads for the hills, where you can take a swim at a public beach at Little Lake (Lake Road). Experience beautiful countryside, Colborne, Brighton, Ontario’s apple route and Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
  • Trent River Truckin’ – This 63 km route gives cyclists an opportunity to visit locks along the Trent-Severn Waterway. See spectacular water and farmland vistas, with many highlights surrounding the Campbellford region.

Northumberland Gravel Road Routes

  • Check out Ontario By Bike’s article ‘One Bike, All Rides‘, which includes the 80km gravel road cycling route the Roseneath Ramble, exploring the rolling gravel roads south of Rice Lake.
Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge - Trent Hills Tourism

Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge. Photo Credit: Trent Hills Tourism

  • Northumberland Rail Trail –  The 33km Northumberland Rail Trail, forms a portion of the Trans Canada Trail and runs between Hastings in the west and just east of Campbellford in the east. The rail trail is fairly rough due to ATV use but is a scenic ride through farmland, forests and wetlands. Connections can be made west to the Lang-Hastings Rail Trail at the town of Hastings, and eastward on the Hastings County Rail Trail east of Campbellford. In Campbellford, the trail crosses the awe-inspiring Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge over the Trent River, and connects to Ferris Provincial Park.
  • Ganaraska Forest – Hundreds of kilometres of trails for various types of cycling, including many mountain biking options. Oak Ridges Trail cross point.Various maps. Print versions of various detailed maps available at Ganaraska Forest Centre, 10585 Cold Springs Camp Road, Campbellcroft. Trail map available on-line or at Forest Centre
  • Northumberland County Forest – Over 20km of mountain biking trails through this forested area located north east from Cobourg and south of Rice Lake. Trail maps available
  • Goodrich-Loomis Conservation AreaNestled in the scenic, rolling hills of Northumberland County, Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area offers 12km (over 6 loops) of rugged trails.
  • Presqu’ile Provincial Park & Ferris Provincial Park – Both parks offer multi-use unpaved trails and park roadways through naturalized areas.
  • Seymour Conservation Area – Over 6 km of multi-use trails through meadows and woodlands, adjacent to the lower Trent-Severn Waterway.
  • Brighton Provincial Wildlife Area – 392 hectares of Crown land with trails traversing naturalized areas and wetlands habitat for a variety of wildlife.

Greenbelt routeGreenbelt Route – More than 475 kilometres of signed cycling adventures await in the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s Greenbelt. From Niagara to Northumberland, enjoy lush forests, winding rivers, welcoming communities, and family farms as you pedal through some of southern Ontario’s diverse and stunning landscapes.

The Greenbelt Route travels through Northumberland County between the communities of Roseneath south to Port Hope and back north to Elizabethville before entering Durham Region.

Great Lakes to Greenbelt – Showcasing Ontario’s best trails and two signature cycling routes – the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and The Greenbelt Route. One cross regional loop is available in the Kawarthas Northumberland.

  • Highland Hustle (195km) – This recommended 2-day tour takes you through the pastoral green hills and drumlins of Durham and Northumberland and along the bright water of the north shore of Lake Ontario.

Trans Canada Trail (TCT) – A portion of this cross-Canada trail runs through Northumberland County. Multi-use trails with various surface types. Use the Trans Canada Trail website to find access points.

  • Lang Hastings Trail – 33km trail that runs between Peterborough and Hastings, partially through Peterborough County and then connecting to Northumberland County at the town of Hastings.
  • Northumberland Rail Trail –  The Northumberland section of the Trans Canada Trail runs between Hastings in the west and just east of Campbellford in the east. The rail trail is fairly rough due to ATV use but is a scenic ride through farmland, forests and wetlands. Connections can be made west to the Lang-Hastings Rail Trail at the town of Hastings, and eastward on the Hastings County Rail Trail east of Campbellford. In Campbellford, the trail crosses the awe-inspiring Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge over the Trent River, and connects to Ferris Provincial Park.

GLWT blazeThe 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 as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long-distance cycling adventure.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail traverses Northumberland County from west of Port Hope and east through Brighton. With connecting routes north, cyclists can ride to Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

  • Rest Stops – The following can be found along the Waterfront Trail. Group cycling tours call the municipal number listed to arrange for more information and assistance in providing further welcome activities and an optional snack stop. Look for signs along the Waterfront Trail in Northumberland County, welcoming cyclists.
    • Brighton – Public washrooms at Chamber of Commerce, 74 Main Street. 1-877-475-2775. Will set up with snacks to welcome groups with advanced notice. View more tourism info for Brighton HERE.
    • Cobourg – Public washrooms behind the bandshell in Victoria Park, open May 24 till Thanksgiving 8 am – 8 pm daily. Also in Victoria Hall, Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm. Water fountain located at the beach and canteen. 1-888-262-6874. View more tourism info for Cobourg HERE.
    • Colborne – Public washrooms at the municipal office, 1 Toronto Road. Open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. 1-905-355-2821 x233. View more tourism info for Colborne & Township of Cramahe HERE.
    • Port Hope – Public washrooms behind town hall. Water fountain located outside of the building. Open 9am -9pm daily, year-round 1-888-767-8467. View more tourism info for Port Hope HERE.

Oak Ridges (Moraine) Trail – Approximately 70 km of the 280 km long trail across the Oak Ridges Moraine is open to cyclists. Cyclists need to check and respect posted signs of permitted use at trail entry points.

Central Ontario Loop Trail (COLT) – This 450km loop is a popular multi-day bikepacking 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 gravel 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.

Ontario By Bike Ride (Uxbridge-Kawarthas-Trent Severn) – For a number of years, Ontario By Bike has hosted a small group tour on two-day cycling trips along portions of the Trans Canada and other trails (total distance between 84 and 119km, depending on finish location). One route itinerary starts in Uxbridge and takes riders through Lindsay to Peterborough/Lakefield. Another starts in Campbellford, continuing to Peterborough, Lindsay and Fenelon Falls. Ontario By Bike made available both digital and pdf mapping, as well as a self-guided itineraries to share with individuals and groups that may be interested in riding the same route.

*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.

Northumberland County – Related Blogs:

  • Fat Biking in Durham Region. Photo credit: Barry Best

Winter Cycling & Fat Biking in Ontario

January 19, 2024|

While many Canadian cyclists may be fair weather riders, there is a large and growing contingent of cyclists that actively bike 12 months a year. Whether it is for transportation or recreation, getting outside and being physically active, in a safe manner, is more important than ever. Here are some top tips for winter cycling plus info on fat biking in the snow, rentals and trail destinations.

Hidden Gems of Kawarthas Northumberland

August 1, 2023|

Most regions have their marquee trails—the ones you see on every tourism site, every biking pamphlet you pick up. Quite often they’re popular for a reason, but what’s a cyclist to do once you’ve ridden those routes, or when you’re looking to get off the beaten track? Having featured some of Kawarthas Northumberland’s best-known routes in previous posts, we thought we’d take a moment to reveal some of the area’s hidden gems.

E-Biking in Kawarthas Northumberland

April 1, 2023|

The reasons people choose e-bikes are as diverse as the riders themselves, whether it’s a matter of age, ability, or simply preference. Getting on a e-bike can vastly expand the possibilities available, and for seasoned and new riders alike, Kawarthas Northumberland’s selection of routes is hard to beat.

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!

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