Ontario By Bike E-News: June 2022

Bikepacking in Ontario? Get Started Here

Bikepacking is a natural next step for those who love both cycling and camping, it truly is human power for the win. Over the past few years, Ontario’s Highlands has emerged as a bikepacker’s paradise. 

The rail trails are plentiful, you can choose between serviced front country or secluded backcountry camping options, and an escape to the rugged outdoors challenges both new and seasoned bikepackers.

My first time bikepacking was on a whim. My partner and I made some questionable decisions – we lugged a queen-size inflatable mattress instead of lightweight sleeping pads – but the trip was short and sweet and got us hooked. Each trip since then has been easier because of the lessons we learned along the way, lessons that are best shared with others who wish to dip their feet into the world of bikepacking. 

So before you head out on an advanced multi-day bikepacking trip, I suggest starting small and working your way up. Here are some tips for planning your first trip.

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Gananoque - Your 1000 Islands Adventure Basecamp

No trip to the 1000 Islands would be complete without a ride on the paved trail alongside the 1000 Islands Parkway which starts just east of Gananoque. With endless options to see and do, setting up base in this picturesque small town will put you in the heart of the 1000 Islands ready for a getaway full of adventures of your choosing.

Both leisurely cruisers and longer distance riders can set their own pace and enjoy a ride out on the 1000 Islands Parkway. This 37km long off-road and recently repaved multi-use trail is easily accessed from the east end of Gananoque. Whether you want to do just a small section, the full distance, or make a 100km round trip to Brockville and back, there are enough stops along the way to fill a few hours or whole day.

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Ontario By Bike Ride Recap

-Essex Windsor Loop-

We are so happy to be back out there exploring Ontario by bike! This past weekend marked the first of our 2022 Ontario By Bike Rides, the Essex Windsor Loop, exploring the best that Essex County has to offer. We had so much fun getting to know all of our riders this weekend, and we’re confident they left wanting to return and explore the region further.

Day 1 saw us riding past open fields and wind mills, marshes and waterfront cottages, with our destination along the vibrant Windsor waterfront with spectacular views across the river to the Detroit skyline. Day 2 led us south to Essex wine county, through the impressive urban and regional trail network, on the Herb Gray Parkway down to the lush Chrysler Greenway. We were greeted warmly with a picnic lunch stop and wine tastings at Colio Estate Winery, before cycling on to vibrant patios, local beverages and live music in Kingsville, and on to our overnight stop in Leamington. On Day 3 we had the pleasure of learning from locals about the history of the area, about the largest freshwater fishery in the world on Lake Erie and the unique ecology and scenery of Point Pelee, the southernmost tip of mainland Canada.

Find All Our Ride Itineraries Online

All of our Ontario By Bike Ride itineraries including the Essex Windsor Loop can be found on our website HERE. You can find detailed PDF maps, Ride With GPS links, and suggested stops and accommodations so you can follow the route on your own time. 

2022 Ontario By Bike Rides - Upcoming

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We are now just a month away from the second of our Ontario By Bike Rides for the season.

To all who have signed up for the Uxbridge Kawartha Rail Trail Ride and other rides for 2022, we will be sending out, via email, details starting 2 weeks in advance of ride start date. Plus many details are available on each ride page. OntarioByBike.ca/Rides

Our 2022 Ontario By Bike Rides are currently all sold out, but please inquire about waitlist in case of cancellations. 

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10th Annual & 2022

Cycling in Ontario Guide

View our annual Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario guide online. Find ride ideas, resources and info to inspire your next bike adventure. OntarioByBike.ca/2022

View all past editions at: OntarioByBike.ca/Ten

2022 Award Winners

Ontario's Best Bicycle Friendly Businesses

We are pleased to announce the 2022 Bicycle Friendly Business Award Winners. This is the fourth year of our awards, where we select one Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly business from each of the 13 tourism regions in Ontario.

Find a full list of all 2022 winners at: OntarioByBike.ca/2022AwardWinners

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Over the coming months and in each e-newsletter we will feature each award recipient. Consider stopping in at one of these locations on your next cycling adventure in their region as they have all taken the extra steps offering services and amenities to welcome cyclists. 

Grackle Coffee Company

Schomberg, ON

The Grackle Coffee Company is a well known stop for cyclists passing through or starting and ending a ride in the small village of Schomberg, located in the north west reach of York Region. This charming little cafe, with a large outside patio, serves up nutritious snacks and excellent gourmet coffee. Be sure to step inside to experience the friendly service and eclectic interior, where the walls are covered in constantly changing original art, much of which is for sale.

Explore the area riding the nearby Greenbelt Route which dips into Schomberg as it makes its way east and west following a well signed road route (450km in total), much of which has dedicated bike lanes, plus some trail segments. For a single day ride the 59km Village Roundabout loops down as far south as Kleinburg and circles around Bolton, following long stretches of road through farmlands and some urban pockets. GrackleRocks.com

Our Lucky Stars Cafe

Warkworth, ON

Nestled in picturesque Warkworth, the café and coffee roastery is an ideal place to start and end a trail or road ride in Trent Hills, just south of Rice Lake. With a delicious menu that also has vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free lunch and treat menu options, the cafe is near the town parking lot with space marked for cyclists and a bike repair stand.

Ride on quiet country roads to Campbellford, view the Trent Severn Locks and Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, on a 32km loop or extend the ride to do the full Trent River Truckin’ 62km figure eight route. From Campbellford it is easy to hop on the Trans Canada Trail to Hastings and return via the road route. Also nearby are mountain biking trails at Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area and Northumberland Forest.


In addition to the award winning bicycle friendly places to eat, visit and sleep there are a number of bike businesses that provide services and/or tours located in each region. To recognize all they offer in 2022, special mention and an award goes out to the following in Central Counties - Durham Region:

Cycle Life - With two locations in prime cycling locales, both the Pickering and Port Perry stores are dedicated to helping cyclists find their way. Whether it is sales and service, providing directions and route suggestions, or rescuing stranded cyclists to help with emergency repairs, Cycle Life and its staff go the extra mile.

Ride Destination:

City of Brantford and County of Brant

The City of Brantford and County of Brant truly deserve their title as “The Hub of Ontario Trails”. With a superb central location, over 90km of trails near and next to both the Grand and Nith Rivers connecting to a wide variety of nearby town and cities, this region offers so many opportunities for cycling day trips and overnight tours with scenic river views, historical sites, and enticing Carolinian forests.

The City of Brantford has made some great recent investments in new wayfinding signage specifically designed to guide cyclists and pedestrians at key points around the city, as well as bike rack and repair stations at many parks, to encourage residents to cycle and help cycle tourists travelling through the area. Equally impressive is the Brantford Rotary Bike Park, a city-run stunt biking course with jumps, technical features and obstacles with facilities for beginner to advanced riders, clearly marked so users of all abilities can develop their technical riding skills.

For recreational cyclists, the Gordon Glaves Memorial Pathway, a 15km trail running through the heart of Brantford, features beautiful views along the Grand River, passes through historical sites, and is close to many amenities, washrooms and parking facilities. This pathway forms an artery through the city connecting to regional trails heading out in many directions from the city – the SC Johnson Trail leading 14km to historic Paris, through farm fields, prairie grasslands, and scenic views of the Grand River. Other trail connections from Brantford are easily made to the picturesque 33km Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail leading east to Dundas and Hamilton, and the 6km LE & N and 20km T.H. and B. Trails connecting south to the Norfolk County Rail Trails and Port Dover.

Find more information at: Discover Brantford - Cycling & Discover Brant - Trails.

Be sure to visit Ontario By Bike's: City of Brantford and County of Brant - Great Places To Cycle Page.

(Photo Credit: Discover Brantford)

2022 Cycling Events

Visit our new for 2022 Cycling Events Calendar. With the new format, events can be displayed in your choice of list or calendar view, search for events by categories, and find all the useful info you need to plan ahead and sign up to participate at events that suit your ride style in 2022.

View the full 2022 calendar here: OntarioByBike.ca/Events

Upcoming Events

Cycle Aurora

June 1-July 1 - Aurora

Cycle for Sight

June 18 - Alliston

Bike the Creek

June 18 - Brampton

The Baga - Fundraiser

for G2G Trail

June 18 - Blyth

BT 700 Grand Depart

June 19 - St. Jacob's

Carbon Cycle 2022

June 25-26 - Hamilton

Ride for Mackenzie Health

June 26 - Vaughan

Bike for Bones

June 26 - Ajax

Tour de Guelph

June 26 - Guelph

Velocity Ride to

Support Seniors

July 1 - Caledon

Summer Epic 8 Hour

MTB Relay

July 9 - Hardwood Ski and Bike, Oro Medonte

Reggie Gravel Fest

July 9 - Warkworth

Le Tour de Norfolk

July 17 - Delhi

2022 CDN MTB Championships/Ontario Cup

July 21 - Oro Medonte

Northern Pass

Aug 6-7 - Gravenhurst

Bike Month: June

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Bike Month is an opportunity for people to try riding a bike for the first time, learn new skills, or simply have fun and connect with new people. It’s taking the time to rekindle the youthful magic of exploring your neighbourhood by bike or share that joy with the next generation of bike riders. Bike Month is a celebration of cycling!

Across the GTHA, and many other municipalities, Bike Month returns this year with in-person events and a hopeful outlook that cycling can bring people together for some healthy, sustainable fun. From bike rides, festivals, film nights, workshops, seminars, and get-togethers head over to BikeMonth.ca to find out more.

VIDEO: Experience the Highland Hustle

Get a sample preview of all the wonderful stops and ride experience that await along the Highland Hustle route. This 195km road route that incorporates the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Greenbelt Route is well mapped out with all the details you need to ride self-guided over 2 days.


Or consider signing up for the 1 or 2 day Farm Fresh Cycle Tour, September 17 and 18, for what is sure to be a great ride.                                         (Youtube link HERE.)

Great Lakes to Greenbelt Watershed Network -The Highland Hustle

In the News: Bikes & Travel

In case you missed it:

June 10 - Radio Interview: Lake 88.1 - Cycling & Bike Month in Lanark County

June 6 - Kingston earns silver-level cycling designation

June 6 - Groups celebrate Bike Month in Sudbury by hitting the trails together

June 2 - Caledon adding 50 km of new bike routes to map

May 30 -  First of two BIA bike-repair stations installed in downtown Stratford

May 30 - Saugeen Shores Takes Part In Bike Month

May 26 - Yantha Cycle of Pembroke named one of Ontario's best bicycle friendly businesses

Find more articles at: OntarioByBike.ca/IntheNews

Ontario By Bike Network

Project of Transportation Options

850 Coxwell Ave ~ Toronto, ON ~ M4C 5R1

Office: 416-827-2774

Toll-Free: 1-866-701-2774

Email: [email protected]


Want to read more: Link to our e-Newsletter archive HERE

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