For those who love to cycle but who also love food, we hear you, we see you and we are you. Plan a trip to Oxford County that pairs your love for cycling with first class culinary and farming experiences. Whether you aim to spill on your spandex or change into clean clothes post-ride and enjoy something a bit more luxurious, there’s a ride for you. We’ve got it all: routes for gravel riders, trail lovers and road warriors. Now you just have to pick which one to do first.
Gravel Grazing + Picnics in the Patch
The Route: Choose from two gravel road routes, The Stage Coach Bandit (28km, easy-moderate) or Billy Goats Duff (67km, moderate-difficult)
Bike Type: Gravel, cyclocross, hybrid or mountain bike recommended.
When: July & August
Photo Credit: Dudek Photography
Whether you’re looking for an easy going ride or something a bit more challenging, this pairing will fit into your ride perfectly. Enjoy a ride through Oxford Centre with either route, rolling over hills, past scenic farmscapes and beautiful colours. Just 1km off either route, Berrylicious Fruit Farm is home to a peaceful berry patch and a one-of-a-kind experience. Order their Picnics in the Patch experience in advance and you’ll get the chance to pick-your-own blueberries and enjoy a lovely lunch or snack upon arrival under the netted paradise of the blueberry patch. With four different picnic baskets to choose from including a snack basket, meal for two, family basket or dessert basket, you’ll find just what you need to fuel up for the second part of your ride.
Make it an overnight: Stay overnight and try a new ride the next day at a bike-friendly accommodation in Woodstock. Choose from beautiful Chateau la Motte Guest House, camping at Pittock Conservation Area or a Woodstock hotel like Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Best Western Plus, Quality Hotel or the Econo Lodge.
Routes for the next day: Check out our great selection of Gravel Routes.
Refuel and Grab a Bite: Brickhouse Brewpub or Inside U Health.
2. The Great Trail + Fresh Blooms
The Route: Cycle The Great Trail in Tillsonburg (main access off of Tillson Ave.)
Photo Credit: Days like this Photography
The Great Trail joins thousands of communities across the country and is particularly beautiful in the late summer to early fall when foliage is bursting with life. Down in Tillsonburg, the Great Trail has been extended to join the town with a ride that will bring you just south of Otterville. Hit the trail right on Tillson Ave. and follow it as far as you’d like before heading back. Along your ride, you’ll pass Makkink’s Flower Farm. During the late summer and early fall, Makkink’s Flower Farm offers a cut-your-own experience so you can cut your own bouquet to bring home with you! The best part is that you can access the farm right from the trail itself- no unnecessary detours. From there you’re just a couple minutes back into downtown where you can grab a bite and get those flowers into a vase.
Make it an overnight: Seven Gables Tillsonburg B n’ B.
Routes to try the next day: Tillsonburg Airport Run (17km or 31km, mostly paved)
Refuel: Grab a bite at Nectar Bar downtown, D’lish Kitchen right off the trail on Tillson Ave. or The Indigo Lounge (also right off the trail) who hosts Dining with the Dead evenings.
3. Town to City + Truffle Camp
The Route: The Ingersoll Woodstock Ride (34km)
When: Early spring-late fall
Photo Credit: Dudek Photography
Grab a coffee in the morning at The Olde Bakery Café (several lock ups available in downtown Ingersoll) before heading out on the road to enjoy a ride from Ingersoll to Woodstock and back. This recreational ride is the perfect way to spend a morning out in Mother Nature. After you’re done, store your bike on site at The Elm Hurst Inn and Spa where a lovely lunch on the patio at the Mansion Inn Restaurant awaits. Select from a menu full of local goodness and fine dining options before driving into downtown Ingersoll to join Chocolatea’s Truffle Camp Experience. Craft a dozen of your own artisan truffles to enjoy alongside chocolatier Cindy Walker. You’ll craft several ganaches using a variety of local ingredients (and a couple special international ones too!) and of course, enjoy some chocolate along the way. Finally, wind down your stay with a treatment at the spa (check out Elm Hurst’s awesome packages) to really relax.
Make it an overnight: The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa
Routes to try the next day: Foldens-Sweaburg-Salford Route (17km or 31km) or the Oxford County North Route (90km)
Refuel: The Elm Hurst Inn Mansion Restaurant (fine dining), The Olde Bakery Café (soup & sandwich), Louie’s Pizza & Pasta (roadhouse casual)