Cycling in Peterborough & the Kawarthas is known for scenic views – lake vistas, rolling hills of centuries old farmland – and the slow burn that comes along with pedalling up and down hills and dales along some of the region’s road-less-traveled rural routes. Peterborough and the Kawarthas (the city of Peterborough and Peterborough County) are located in central Ontario, 1.5 hours/130km northeast of Toronto.
According to Skift, even more riders are expected to hop on the electric bike bandwagon in 2024! Let’s dive into some favourite routes and trails in Peterborough & the Kawarthas, including some must-stop locations to energize and fuel riders as they discover (and in some cases re-discover) the joy and freedom that comes along with exploring the world on two wheels.
Follow the Trail
Stretching southeast heading from the City of Peterborough to the village of Keene, this route along the Lang Hastings Trail offers a mix of scenic rail trail and peeks of neighbouring farmlands. The ride from Peterborough to Muddy’s Pit BBQ is a total of 30km (round-trip) from Beavermead Park to Keene and back again. A perk for recreational riders is that the majority of this ride takes place on the trail with only a short jaunt along the paved shoulders of Heritage Line.
Plan an afternoon that allows for a stop at Muddy’s Pit BBQ – a well-loved local BBQ shack known for their hardwood-smoked back ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket (and delicious daily sides and specials). The pedal-assist will have you indulging in savoury eats without breaking a sweat.
A local favourite is the winding 10km Lakefield Rotary Greenway Trail runs adjacent to the Otonabee River that connects riders from Peterborough to the charming village of Lakefield. Make time to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way – whether you’re a wildlife lover or just taking in the foliage and fresh air (you will also pass by Trent University’s Symons Campus – well-known for their iconic mid-century modern architecture).
Once in Lakefield, you can immerse yourself in this charming community – enjoy a lunch at a pub patio at the Canoe & Paddle, spend an afternoon relaxing at the Lakefield Beach, or explore some specialty shops in town – like Cheesy Fromage, Divine Craft, and The Stuff Store. The versatility of e-bikes allows for effortless exploration, whether you’re navigating village streets or cruising along the riverbanks.
Hit the Road
Country Roads to Millbrook
Looking to go a little further with your ride? Enjoy a quintessentially local experience on the Hills, Views and Pastries Route. This route is one of three tried-and-true road cycling routes that make up the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classics (each which have received the official stamp of approval from local avids). This 65km loop route offers rewards in the way of tasty baked goods and stunning viewpoints. Known for having a few challenging climbs, this is ideal for intermediate e-bike riders who can explore with a little help from their pedal-assist along the safety of the paved shoulder.
Freshly made pastries (two favourite local cafés are Doo Doo’s Bakery and Pastry Peddler) are a tasty way to recharge and are accessible at several locations along this ride. From Peterborough, this route heads south to Bailieboro giving riders spectacular views of Rice Lake along the way and an opportunity to stop in for a sip at Rolling Grape Vineyard (a favourite for their stunning patio and live music events throughout the year).
Venturing Around Art & Dining in Downtown Peterborough
The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail, a converted rail trail, weaves its way through the region with pathways right through into downtown Peterborough, which provides a smooth and enjoyable ride for e-bike riders. This trail offers stunning views of well-loved greenspaces (including a winding jaunt through Jackson Park), but also allows for people to easily tap into great eats in downtown Peterborough and East City and to check out how areas have been activated with public art from murals to poetry gardens that are part of the Renaissance on Hunter Street project.
New in 2023, the Bethune Street bikeway opened with a streetscape specially designed to slow traffic and enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians (and incorporating beautiful pollinator gardens along the way).
Grab your e-bike, charge up the battery, and embark on an energizing adventure through the scenic beauty of Peterborough & the Kawarthas. Don’t have a bike of your own? Local outfitters including Wild Rock Outfitters offer daily rentals of e-bikes, standard bikes, and other gear.
The combination of breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and the ease of assisted e-bikes ensures an unforgettable journey for riders of all levels. Get ready to pedal your way through a region that seamlessly blends natural beauty, culture, and food – promising an adventure like no other.
Plan Your Cycling Trip in Peterborough & the Kawarthas
Sponsored Content Partner: Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism
Article and photos by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism.