Ranney Gorge and Lock 11 and 12 are two sights not to be missed before setting off. Located just a short roll south of town, the unique suspension bridge that crosses high above the river is something to see. Several viewing platforms provide a stunning vantage point over the steep lock drop boaters have to navigate through, a part of the 45 locks along the 386km national historic waterway. Camping for boaters and cyclists is also permitted at these locks as well as a number of other locks along the waterway, which is ideal for self-supported cyclists on longer tours.
Photo Credit: Parks Canada
Royal Humber Bike & Brew Loop
Turn this 30km loop into an all-day adventure making stops and riding at a leisurely pace as the trail follows the Humber River. Bike through a variety of pretty and tranquil parklands, so lush and green, that you’ll soon forget you are in Canada’s largest city. Linger at the waterfront and marvel at the views across Lake Ontario and Toronto’s spectacular skyline. Discover west end neighbourhoods in Etobicoke following the bike lane on Royal York Road, and be sure to break up this longer stretch for a stop at the newly opened location of Mascot Brewery. Sip one of the growing number of brews on the patio and bear witness to this transforming space, soon to have 300 seats inside as well as a place for live music. For a more simple experience, visit one of Ontario’s oldest craft breweries, Great Lakes has been in the beer business for 34 years. With a patio set to reopen in September, the well-stocked bottle shop that also sells souvenir worthy and Great Lakes branded accessories is worth the stop. View route map and more info here.
Photo Credit: Parks Canada
An interesting yet rougher ride, the first 20km from Campbellford to Hastings makes for a bit of an adventurous start! While worthy of the ride, through valleys and canopied forest groves, before coming out on the trail running alongside the Trent River, a start in Hastings may prove to be a better bet for those looking for a smoother trail. Refuelling in Hastings, for an early lunch, with ample riverside food choices and patios is recommended, as there are no trail towns and amenities until Peterborough, 34km onwards. With the Trent-Severn Waterway operational in the summer months, a special trail re-route is required along the north side of the river and westward. (See map).
Hastings to Peterborough (34km)
Part two of the day is easy to navigate and a pleasurable pedal along the well maintained trail between Hasting and Peterborough. Passing very few other trail users, it is also blissfully quiet. To break up the ride, Lang Pioneer Village is an interesting stop 20km out from Hastings and less than 2km from the trail.
Emerging from the trail and rolling into the urban setting of Peterborough it feels like you are arriving in a big city. Using a variety of city bike lanes and pathways, the bustling downtown core, restaurants and hotel accommodations are all very easy to find, and many are bicycle friendly, ready to welcome two-wheeled guests. In fact, the downtown business area has been certified as bicycle friendly by Ontario By Bike.
Peterborough to Lindsay (43km)
Refreshed and ready to roll, day two of this ride departs from Peterborough, connecting to the trail heading out of town and through the lovely Jackson Park. Take it easy on the first part of the ride, with a gentle amble along the cedar lined path that criss-crosses endless brooks and streams. At 18km, get ready to be wowed at the panoramic views from Doube’s Trestle Bridge. Crossing high above the valley below, the bridge is only accessible to non-motorized users, located on the trail between Emily Park Road and Orange Corners Road. Not much further on (at 25km from day start) is a recommended lunch stop for picnics alongside Pigeon River in the small town of Omemee. Famed as the early childhood home of Neil Young, this little hamlet has a small grocery store should you need to pick up food supplies.
Photo Credit: Kawarthas Northumberland
Heading towards Lindsay, the trail is cross country, much of which is wide open with expansive views. Pulling into Lindsay the trail converts to a small segment through a new housing development before a T-junction decision point at the Scugog River. Follow the delightful paved trail northward as it curves into the downtown area, accessible by crossing the river at Lock 33. Stop for a treat at nearby Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream Dairy Bar or the new Pie Eyed Monk Brewery and patio, a more substantial meal can be had at Olympia or other restaurants along the main street, Kent Street West.
Lindsay to Fenelon Falls (22km)
Muster the energy to roll onwards as the Victoria Rail Trail from Lindsay to Fenelon Falls is a real treat to ride especially after recent trail upgrades. Access the trail north of town, and enjoy a tranquil 22km, a part of which crosses at water level a most scenic wetland near the Ken Reid Conservation Area. Be sure to take a picture of the view from atop of the arched bridge that provides an elevated platform to see it all.
There could not be a better end to a great ride than Fenelon Falls. This small town that is the epicentre of summer lakeside fun, is nestled between two lakes and has all the post ride amenities you dream of after a long ride. Whether it be ice creams or patio side brews and eats, or a simple set down to view that passing boat traffic at Lock 34, make Fenelon Falls the end stop to this linear one-way 119km ride.
Plan ahead your return to start: station a second vehicle for return; get picked-up; cycle back; or use a taxi company to return. (Call local taxi companies to arrange pick up time, location and passenger numbers: Kawartha Lake Taxis: 705-878-0001, Capitol Taxi: 705-742-4242.)
Plan Your Ride
For further planning assistance use our 2 day Ontario By Bike Ride itinerary available for download.
Links to Trail Maps
Additional Visitor Information