Simcoe County

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Queit country roads cycling in Simcoe County

Quiet country roads cycling in Simcoe County. Photo Credit:

Whether you are an avid road cyclist, recreational rail trail fan or adventurous mountain biker, Simcoe County has a large variety of cycling routes and activities to fill first time visits and countless return trips. Centrally located an hour north of Toronto, once you are in Simcoe County many quiet roadways connect smaller communities and larger centers.

Simcoe County offers up a myriad of trails throughout the county from abandoned rail lines to waterfront meanders, through many provincial parks and conservation areas. Connecting from one trail or road to another is not hard to do, making longer cross-county tours from the beaches of Georgian Bay to the shores of Lake Simcoe an attractive possibility. Regardless of route there are plenty of opportunities to experience about the rich agricultural and cultural heritage of the area, while enjoying the charm and comforts available throughout the County. Mountain bikers will not be disappointed as there are number of well known and well-maintained private trail facilities that host regular events and competitions, plus activities and clinics for beginners.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

Cycle Simcoe Routes

  • Tiny, Midland and Penetanguishene – 4 on-road routes mapped available on-line and also on printed Heart of Georgian Bay Cycling Map. Routes include: Penetanguishene Loop (50km), Tiny Beaches Loop (30km), Heart of Georgian Bay Loop (75km), Thunder Beach Loop (75km).
  • Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara and Severn – 6 on-road routes available on-line and also on printed Ontario Lake Country Cycling Map. Routes include: Canopy Cruising (26km), Bass Lake Beauty (34km), Hills of Oro-Medonte (92km), Cold Water Course (50km), Carlyon Loop (49km), Upper Big Chute Loop (56km).
  • Cycle SimcoeCollingwood, Wasaga Beach, Elmvale – 111 on-road routes mapped and available on-line and also on printed South Georgian Bay Cycling Map. Routes include:7 Beaches Route (60km), Iron Bridge Route (35km), Community Bike Loop (14km), Creemore Loop (60km), Badjeros Loop (85km), Lake Eugenia Loop (90km), Thornbury Sticky Bun Loop (15km), Wasaga Collingwood Connections (15km), Apple Pie Trail PEDAL & PADDLE Adventure (40km), Elmvale ‘Bakery’ Extension (37km), & An Ode to Creemore’s Turas Mor (38km).

Barrie By Bike – Road Route

Cycling route developed to explore Barrie . The following route can be done at your own time and pace and is self-guided.

  • Barrie Art Tour by Bike – 13km, showing the beautiful art, Barrie has to exhibit. From the 26,000+ works at the MacLaren Art Centre to individual art galleries.

Collingwood Cycling Club Routes

Multiple on-road routes have been plotted and mapped using, including elevation profiles. Difficulty ratings are from beginner to advanced. Cafes and lookouts are also marked en-route. Route information can be accessed via the Club website. Also mapped are the Centurion 100km routes, used in previous years for this popular cycling event.

  • Orillia Millenium Trail – This paved lakefront trail runs 10km through Orillia and is popular with all types of users.
  • Lake Country Oro-Medonte Rail Trail – An abandoned CN rail line (stone dust), it runs 28km along the western flank of Lake Simcoe, from Barrie to Orillia.
  • Ramara Rail Trail – East of Orillia, this 5km stone dust trail parallels Rama Road on the east side of Lake Couchiching, to the Mara-Rama boundary.
  • Thornton-Cookstown Trail – This 16km stone dust trail is an old rail line south of Barrie. Also part of the TransCanada Trail, the trail runs through green pastures and forests, and crosses Cookstown Creek six times.
  • Uhthoff Trail – Running northwest from Orillia through scenic woods and wetlands, this stone dust trail is part of the TransCanada Trail. The final section from Coldwater opened in 2013 and completes the 30km route to Waubaushene.
  • Tay Shore / Midland / Penetanguishene Trails – These paved trails follow close to the waterfront for 29km from Waubaushene to Midland to Penetanguishene. In addition to passing through these communities, the trail passes Ste. Marie Among the Hurons (near Midland), a heritage attraction which recreates a settlement from 1600s.
  • Tiny Trail / North Simcoe Rail Trail – Combined, these two trails cover 55km, south from Penetanguishene, first on the Tiny Trail (23km), and continuing south from Elmvale to just west of Barrie on the North Simcoe Rail Trail (32km). The multi-use trail surface is primarily stone dust. The trail crosses 14 historic bridges and passes through Mayer’s Marsh and the Minesing Wetlands, which are internationally significant eco-systems and excellent birding spots.
  • Awenda Provincial Park – Several kilometres of park roads are available for cyclists. Bikes are also allowed on the Beach, Bluff and Brule Trails, totalling 21km. Since these are multi-use trails, racing is not permitted and cyclists must yield to pedestrians and hikers. Cyclists are encouraged to respect and protect the often sensitive environments that these trails pass through by riding only on the designated trail surface. Trails are designed for hiking and are more suited to mountain bikes.
  • Wasaga Beach Shore Lane Trail – A 19km mixed surface trail follows waterfront from Archer Road in the east, through Wasaga Beach Provincial Park to Fairgrounds Road, on the outskirts of Collingwood, in the west. The trail connects the many beaches and beach community along Nottawasaga Bay.
  • Collingwood Waterfront Trail – The 5km mixed surface trail zig-zags along the Collingwood waterfront connecting with several road loops which run south from Collingwood, into Simcoe and neighbouring Grey County.
  • Collingwood Loop Trail – This 6km trail takes cyclists and hikers on a loop through greenways, riverbeds and the waterfront in the town of Collingwood. Mixed surface with some portions paved, this easy trail is used for both cycling and hiking.
  • Clearview Collingwood Train Trail – This 12km stone dust trail follows the abandoned rail line running southeast through the tranquil landscape from Collingwood to Stayner.
  • Georgian Trail – This classic and well maintained rail trail is an easy 32km ride on stone dust between Collingwood and Meaford, with 30 access points. Enjoy a swim at several beaches en-route, or grab some nourishment at the trail-side kiosks, cafes and pubs along the way. Many local bike routes and loops use portions of this trail.

Simcoe County Loop Trail

The Simcoe County Loop Trail is a 160km loop that travels through nine municipalities, reaches three major bodies of water, including Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching. And, is primarily on off-road, multi-use rail trails! The route is flat, scenic and available as a multi-day tour. Riding counter clockwise:

  • Barrie to Orillia – 42km – Starting from the Barrie waterfront on Kempenfelt Bay (near the Allandale GO station), the loop runs 42km northeast to Orillia along Lake Simcoe (Lake Country Oro-Medonte Rail Trail and Orillia Millennium Trail).
  • Orillia to Pentanguishene – 59km- Riding out of Orillia northwest through Coldwater to Waubaushene (Uhthoff Trail), the trail snakes another 29km along the waterfront (Tay Shore, Midland and Penetanguishene Rotary Trails).
  • Pentanguishene to Barrie – 65km – From Severn Sound, the loop travels south along the not-so-short Tiny Trail (23km) to Elmvale and continues along the abandoned North Simcoe Railway (32km) past the Minesing Swamp, one of Ontario’s largest remaining wetlands, ending just 10km west of Barrie.

Ontario By Bike Self Guided Itineraries – Ontario By Bike has hosted several small group tours on two-day cycling trips on trails in Simcoe County. One route itinerary starts and ends near Barrie, but can be started any where along the loop, and follows the Simcoe County Trail Loop through Midland, for overnight stop, and on to Orillia before ending in Barrie. Another, the Georgian Bay Explorer, starts in Stayner, continuing to Collingwood, overnight in Meaford and ends in Owen Sound. The Georgian Bay-Collingwood Explorer Ride is based from Collingwood and explorers the area’s trails and scenic rural roads over two days. Ontario By Bike has made available all digital and pdf mapping, as well as a self-guided itineraries at the links below, to share with individuals and groups that may be interested in riding the same route.

  • Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club – SCMBC manages a number of trails systems in Simcoe County Forests for mountain bike use. The club is an incorporated non-profit organization and has established a partnership with Simcoe County to secure access to County lands through land-use agreements. They manage and groom trails in 6 forest tracts across Simcoe County. For membership and for trail locations visit the club’s website.
  • Hardwood Ski & Bike – One of the top mountain biking (and cross-country ski) places in Ontario, Hardwood has over 80kms of trails. With a mix of single and double-track, a trials area, MBX course and pump-track, Hardwood has something for all types of riders and skill levels. It also hosts weekly race series, MTB clinics and many events during the season.
  • Horseshoe Resort – The Downhill Bike Park at Horseshoe has 7 trails for all levels, and is quickly becoming a destination for mountain bikers. In season, beginners to advanced riders can take the chairlifts up and then ride down, with trails that feature ladders, boxes and bridges. There are a total of 30km of trails at Horseshoe Resort.
  • Copeland Forest – Located near Horseshoe Valley, there is a mix of multi-use trails, double and single-tracks winding up and down along trails which are used for cross-country skiing during the winter. With 4400 acres of forest, users need to regard posted trail uses and seasonal usage signs.
  • Ardagh Bluffs Loop – Within the City of Barrie, this quiet environmentally protected area allows bicycles on the 6km of trails. It contains a variety of unique vegetative communities and wildlife habitats along with views across the valley to Springwater Township.
  • 8th Wander, 7th Heaven, North Barrie – In Oro-Medonte, this hidden gem offers a variety of single-track trails.
  • Three Stage – A labyrinth of challenging trails just southwest of Collingwood provides 40km of more difficult terrain for experienced riders.
  • Coulson Hill – Near Bradford, also known as the Simcoe County Forest – Hodgson Tract, this spot offers approximately 12km of intermediate single-track, just 45-minutes north of Toronto.
  • Collingwood Offroad Cycling Club – There are a number of additional trail systems in the area on private land that can be accessed only with a membership.
  • Trans Canada Trail – The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. A number of the trails located in Simcoe are incorporated within this larger, national trail system including: Thornton-Cookstown Trail; Tiny Trail, North Simcoe Railtrail; Tay Shore, Midland, Penetanguishene Trails; Uhthoff Trail; Orillia Millenium Trail; Ramara Rail Trail. Use the Trans Canada Trail website “Explore the Trail” feature to find information on Simcoe Country TCT and access points.
  • The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3,600km, 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 Waterfront Trail was expanded through Simcoe County in 2021 and is now established and signed from Collingwood in the west, northeast to Honey Harbour and Severn Falls. As an expansion to the existing Waterfront Trail, The Georgian Bay Cycling Route (GBCyR) will be a 1,000 kilometre, signed Signature Cycling Route around Georgian Bay that connects communities around the Bay and will span through Simcoe County along the shores of Georgian Bay northwards between Collingwood and Parry Sound.
  • Heart of Georgian Bay Cycling Map 2023. Developed by Cycle Simcoe, this map and guide, featuring on-road and off-road cycling routes, including rail trails and various points of interest, including the communities of Tiny, Midland and Penetanguishene.
  • Ontario Lake Country Cycling Map 2023. Developed by Cycle Simcoe, this map and guide, featuring on-road and off-road cycling routes, including railCycleSimcoe WB2 trails and various points of interest, including the districts of Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara and Severn.
  • South Georgian Bay Cycling Map 2023. Developed by Cycle Simcoe, this map and guide, featuring on-road and off-road cycling routes, including rail trails and various points of interest, including the communities of Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Elmvale and others.
  • South Georgian Bay – Cycling Signature Routes. This website features cycling information and routes for the south Georgian Bay area in Simcoe and Grey Counties, including bike rentals and bike shops, trails, routes and more.
  • Simcoe County Loop Trail Map 2023. Print and downloadable maps available from Cycle Simcoe along the the 160km off-road loop trail, including certified bicycle friendly locations and various, but limited on-road connections.
  • Barrie By Bike – Explore the different bike trails and routes in Barrie using this website which is dedicated to promoting cycling in the Barrie area, including routes, transportation and other great information. Bring your friends and family and go see Barrie By Bike!
  • Collingwood Trails Map  2023. Map. Town of Collingwood – Detailed map of all existing trails in Collingwood.

Please note there may be 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.

Travel by GO Transit – Bikes are allowed on the Barrie Line between Toronto and Barrie on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. GO offers train service all-day and 7 days a week between Toronto and Barrie, with space for up to four bikes per train coach. Stops along the Barrie line include Allandale Waterfront, Barrie South, Bradford, East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Aurora, King City, Maple, Rutherford, York University and Union Station.

Simcoe County – Related Blogs:

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.

A Long Weekend in Simcoe County

May 1, 2022|

Rolling from Collingwood to Orillia, the Simcoe County section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is set up perfectly for a multi-day ride. Signage was completed in spring of 2022 and you’ll pass through wetlands, beaches, farmland and so much more.

Bikes & Beans: Bicycle Cafes Around Ontario

March 30, 2022|

While the cultures of coffee and cycling have long been intertwined both here at home and around the world, over the last few years Ontario has seen an amazing growth in bicycle themed cafes, or cafes specifically targeting cycling as their market and community of focus.

Destination & Regional Partners:

Cycle Simcoe