Peterborough & the Kawarthas

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Regional Map + Listings

Photo Credit: Peterborough & The Kawarthas Tourism

Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a cyclists’ playground with an enticing collection of on-road cycling routes taking cyclists from the vibrant and historic urban core of Peterborough to the rolling hills, scenic farmland and cottage country lakes of the Kawarthas. Peterborough is nestled along the banks of the Otonabee River, part of the Trent Severn Waterway, with smooth off-road trails leading away from downtown in three directions, making an easy adventures out the city. Cycle on the smooth Trans Canada Trail east and west from the city on a multi-day rail trail adventure, explore excellent mountain biking at Harold Town Conservation Area, or ride the many scenic and signed cycling routes around the region.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Road Routes

Known as ‘The Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classics’, they make up 3 signed road cycling routes in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. Each route has a long and short loop ranging from 45 to 100 km and all start and end in the City of Peterborough at the picturesque Millennium Park overlooking Little Lake. Detailed route info and downloadable maps are Peterborough and the Kawarthas Shimano Signsavailable from the Peterborough & the Kawathas’ website: www.thekawarthas.ca/experience/cycling

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Cycling Video

Additional Routes in Peterborough & the Kawarthas

The Bike to the Borough Project – Routes

A website that has unofficial local cycling routes and mapped suggested connections into and out of Peterborough from the Greenbelt Route that runs south of Rice Lake along the Oak Ridges Moraine all the way into Toronto.

Wild Rock Outfitters – Route Library

Wild Rock, a local outdoors store and bike shop in Peterborough, hosts an extensive cycling route collection on their website, where users can sort by route type, length and terrain, including a number of gravel or mixed terrain rides.

In addition to a wealth of day rides, they have also developed two weekend-oriented overnight bikepacking routes that traverse unpaved roads and trails through Peterborough County. A third longer bikepacking route, the North of Seven 770 can be found in the Cross-Regional Trails & Routes section of this page.

  • A Great Daycation or Introduction to Bikepacking – 94km – either a long scenic day out on the bike or a great two day introduction to bikepacking with quiet gravel roads and smooth rail trails, historic sites at Hope Mill, Lang Village and Hastings, and views of beautiful Rice Lake.
  • The Northern Way – 217km – Nestled in the heart of the Kawarthas, this route heads north of Peterborough for a loop around the Canadian Shield. Riders will follow a line in the dirt, heading north from Peterborough, over rocks and through rivers, bisecting the Kawartha Highlands down the middle before making their way back down through the fertile farmlands we all know.
  • Rotary Greenway Trail –  This multi-use rail trail will take cyclists from Little Lake in downtown Peterborough along the Otonabee River to Trent University and on to cycling trail signsLakefield. The off-road trail is 15 km in length. It is paved in the city limits and limestone surface north of Trent University.
  • Jackson Creek Trail – Running from Jackson Park in Peterborough and connecting to the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail to Omemee, this 4.5km off-road trail is flat and has a smooth crushed limestone surface. The trail follows the Jackson Creek, forests and farmland. From Peterborough to Omemee is 20km one-way, with the scenic Doube’s Trestle Bridge 12km west of Peteborough.
    • Part of the Trans Canada Trail, the trail continues west to Lindsay and Uxbridge, and connections can be made east through the City of Peterborough to Hastings and Campbellford.
  • Lang-Hastings Trail – This 33km rail trail runs from Peterborough southeast to Hastings through scenic farmland, woodlots, wetlands, and alongside the Trent River/Trent Severn Waterway with views of the rolling Trent Hills. The trail crosses the Indian River and passes close to Lang Pioneer Village.
    • Part of the Trans Canada Trail, trail connections can be made further east to Campellford, or west through the city of Peterborough to the Jackson Creek trail and to Omemee and Lindsay.
  • Parkway Trail -This 4.2 km paved off-road trail through the City of Peterborough can connect cyclists to the downtown area, Trans Canada Trail and the Riverview Park and Zoo (free admission).
  • B.E.L. Rotary Bridgenorth TrailThe 2.3km trail runs from the Peterborough city limits to the Town of Bridgenorth, and is lined with native trees, and boasts a peaceful and tranquil setting amidst the Miller Creek Wetlands.

Harold Town Conservation Area – With over 10 kilometres of trails with scenic views atop a glacial drumlin, Harold Town Conservation Area trails are ideal for both quick spins and combined laps for epic adventures. The trail network consists of a double track loop trail, with connecting single-track trails, berms, technical rock gardens, switch-back climbs, rock pile features, log hops, bridges, small rock drops and tight turns.

The Harold Town Conservation Area trails have been constructed and are maintained in accordance with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) guidelines and standards. Upkeep and maintenance of the trail network is coordinated through the Peterborough Trailbuilders Association (PTA). Otonabee Conservation established an agreement with the PTA which allows for the maintenance, improvement and construction of trails and trail infrastructure within designated portions of the property.

  • Greenbelt Route Peel Region & Greenbelt Areas - Ontario By BikeThe Greenbelt route is 475km on-road cross-provincial signed cycling route through the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s Greenbelt from Niagara Region to Northumberland County. 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 is routed south of Peterborough through Durham Region and Northumberland County but connects to Peterborough via the 200km Oak Ridges to Lake Loop, a Greenbelt Route Cycling Itinerary.
    • Plan your trip by accessing digital maps at www.greenbelt/cycling
  • 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.
  • North of Seven 770 – developed by the folks at Wildrock Outfitters, this route is a 770km bikepacking route starting and ending in Peterborough that traverses gravels roads, old logging roads and rough ATV tracks north of Highway 7, through the Kawartha Highlands and along the Canadian Shield east to the Ottawa Valley. Though much of route is quite remote, there are plenty of food sources along the way with a mix of restaurants, general stores and breweries scattered across the length of the route, plus camping options at provincial parks, private campgrounds, inns and on crown land. Ideal time to ride is August to October due to the risk of flooding enroute.

PKT Cycling Map Cover

  • Peterborough Cycling and Trails Map. Map. City of Peterborough. 2022. The 5th Edition of this popular map includes information on the new Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classic Road Cycling Routes, as well as Rotary Greenway Trail, Parkway Trail, Trans Canada Trail to Omemee and the Stewart Hall Loop.
    • Print copies can be requested by calling 1-800-461-6424 or online at www.thekawarthas.ca/request-information.
    • Also available at the City of Peterborough, Peterborough Green-Up, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism Visitor Information Centre and Wild Rock Outfitters.
  • Bike to the Borough Project – A website that has mapped suggested connections into and out of Peterborough from the Greenbelt Route that runs south of Rice Lake along the Oak Ridges Moraine all the way into Toronto.
  • Wild Rock Cycling Routes – Wild Rock, a local outdoors store and bike shop in Peterborough, hosts an extensive cycling route collection on their website, where users can view route maps and sort by route type, length and terrain, including paved road routes, gravel and mixed terrain rides, and multi-day bikepacking routes.
  • More city cycling information and maps are available here: Peterborough MovesCity of Peterborough Transportation Demand Management

*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.

Peterborough & the Kawarthas – Related Blogs

No Bike, No Problem: Rent a Ride in Kawarthas Northumberland

May 31, 2024|

Read a blog like this, and naturally you start imagining all the places across the province you could ride. Those pesky logistics tend to get in the way, though—what if you can’t transport your bike there, or need an e-bike boost for a longer ride? What if you’re already in the area, but need a good bike shop stat? Fortunately, there are several stellar options throughout the Kawarthas Northumberland region to rent a set of wheels or pick up some needed last-minute bike supplies.

Top Ontario Trail Rides & E-Bike Rental Locations

January 29, 2024|

Have an e-bike and willing to travel? Eager to try out an e-bike in a safe off-road environment? With a growing number of e-bike rental companies close to Ontario’s signature trails, it’s easier than ever to plan a day trip exploring our beautiful province on two wheels. An shorter version of the article was published in the 2024 Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide

  • 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.


Destination & Regional Partners