Monday, July 29th – Sault Ste. Marie to Bruce Mines with optional side trip to St. Joseph Island (73 km to 95 km)
73km Sault Ste. Marie to Bruce Mines – lunch at Johnson Township Community Centre. Gravel grind 10km.
Up to 95 km Sault Ste. Marie to lunch at Johnson Township Community Centre, ride to St. Joseph Island, short loop on the island, shuttle from Hilton Beach to Bruce Mines.
7 to 8 am
Breakfast –Delta Hotels by Marriott Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel–Algoma Ballroom West Centre, 208 St Mary’s River Dr. Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5V4
Enjoy breakfast on site at the Delta this morning! Be ready to join us for the official launch ceremony and group photo at the start line at Roberta Bondar Pavilion.
Official Ceremony and Group Photo at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion, 65 Foster Dr, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5N1
We will be slow rolling out of the start at the sound of the cruise ship’s horn. Please ride slowly and in single-file since we will be starting along a multi-use path.
Route note: At the end of River Rd, the route uses 400m of unassumed roadway and a narrow trail that runs parallel to Trunk Road, a busy regional road. Please dismount to use the paved boulevard.
9 am to 10:30 am
26 km – Biish Noonktan (Water Stop) and Welcome by Garden River First Nation! – Ojibway Park, Home of Laughing Water Beach, 2628 Highway 17B East. Garden River, Ontario P6A 7B2 [Map 2]
Watch for the Anishnaabe style-moccasin guiding you to the glinting water and beautiful beach on the shores of Lake George in Ojibway Park.
Ojibway Park, Home of Laughing Water Beach, was set aside for the women and children of Garden River First Nation to gather traditional medicines during the early 1950s. Today it is a successful Indigenous owned and operated park and campground with cabins for rent.
9 am to 10:30 am
28 km – Photo Stop – Loon Dollar Monument and Lake George Marsh Boardwalk, Macdonald Meredith and Aberdeen Additional [Map 3]:
Staff from the Township will be on hand to help you take a group photo at the Loon Dollar Monument–an iconic landmark. It was created to honour local artist Robert R. Carmichael, who designed the first Loonie (Canada’s dollar coin). The giant Loonie is near to the entrance of the George Marsh Boardwalk with excellent views of the provincially significant wetlands. Public washrooms are available beside the Environmental Centre adjacent to the Boardwalk and the Loonie Park. You can refill your water bottle there as well.
When in the village of Echo Bay visit the Village Bakery, Danielle’s Country Market, Lucey Loo’s and Bucci’s Place for a quick fuel-up!
Early settlers to Laird Township were drawn by the promise of rich agricultural lands. As you ride through Laird, you’ll see many century farms, farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 years. The Township is also home to the Superior International Motorplex a popular raceway located at the Laird Fairgrounds. Make sure to keep a keen eye open near Neebish Road as a herd of elk is rumoured to live in the area!
11:30 to 1:00 pm
56 km — Lunch Stop – Johnson Township Community Centre , 1 Cameron St, Desbarats, Ontario P0R 1E0 [Map 3]:
The Greenbelt Foundation is hosting a lunch today providing local food from a selection of vendors from the Farmer’s Market including a variety of excellent salads, wraps and sandwiches and a fresh citrus punch. Housed in a beautiful Mennonite constructed timber frame pavilion, the Johnson Farmers’ Market is a celebration of what’s local. Enjoy traditional music by members of The O’Schraves including championship fiddler Áine Shryer-O’Gorman.
Optional Ride to St. Joseph Island
St. Joseph Island is renowned as one of Algoma District’s favourite cycling destinations, is one of the top producers of maple syrup in Ontario, and the 7th largest freshwater lake island in the world. Pick up the optional shuttle to St. Joseph Island to visit Richards Landing and Hilton Beach for a little retail therapy, a quick dip into the lake followed by a drink (ask for Northern Superior’s Red Maple) or ice-cream. Shop for puddingstone jewelry, pick up a bottle of the famed Gilbertson’s maple syrup, take a selfie at the Old Town Jail in Richards Landing. Sample some of the Island’s 80 km cycling loop. Be sure to check out the plaques describing the Island’s history.
End your afternoon on St. Joseph Island at the marina in Hilton Beach where volunteers will load your bikes into shuttle trucks and you can catch the school bus shuttle to the Bruce Mines campground.
Trail Note: The WRT is working with the communities on St. Joseph Island and the Ministry of Transportation to have Great Lakes Waterfront Trail signs installed along the island and establish a connector route on the Island to Desbarats. Check out this article about cycling on St. Joseph Island.
75km – Overnight Location – Bruce Mines Township Campground and RV Park [Map 5]:
1-15 William St, Bruce Mines, ON, POR 1CO
We spend the night amongst the old-growth pines in this quiet campground. Visit the info tent to pick up your free Greenbelt t-shirt and tote bag.
6:00 to 7:30 pm
Dinner — Bruce Mines Community Centre – 9180 Highway 17 East, Bruce Mines, ON. Just a 7-minute (600 m) walk from the campground.
Volunteers from the Bruce Mines Royal Canadian Legion will run a cash bar from 6 to 8 pm. There is a Royal Bank ATM to the east of the community centre on Highway 17. Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm. Suggested attire: Greenbelt t-shirt (convenient, no?)
Off-Bike Activities in Bruce Mines
- Explore the Bruce Mines Historic Mines Hiking Trail
- Tour the Simpson Mine Shaft historic site (closes at 4pm)
- Tour the Bruce Mines Museum (closes at 4pm)
- Sample a small mountain of lemon meringue at Bobbers
- Get some home-made ice cream from the Red House across from Bobbers
- Grab a coffee from Copper Bean Cafe featuring locally coffee beans from Superior Roasters and Copper Country Coffee Roasters. Order the Bruce Mines Fog– a Georgian Bay tea blend with vanilla and steamed milk.
- Those in need of a time-out can sit on the Liar’s Bench while they visit the Bavarian Inn
- Take in the sights at the Bruce Mines Marina and Park
- Grab a snack to go and prep a nightcap with a visit to Foster’s Fresh mart and the LCBO, both on Robinson Dr (both close at 6pm)
- Campfire? Yes please.
Copper mining in the mid-1800’s established Bruce Mines one of the region’s most significant towns. In 1857 Bruce Mines’s population (500) was larger than Sault Ste. Marie’s (400).
Settlers were drawn to the area by the stories of ‘native copper’ used and worn by the First Nations people, which then caught the attention of the mining industry. In 1847, the first Canadian commercial shipment of copper was exported from Bruce Mines. By 1876 mining was in decline and locals who stayed turned to farming and lumbering.
Take in a section of the Bruce Mines Historic Mines Hiking Trail to see what is left of the mines. For a guide to the Trail: http://www.brucemines.ca/mine%20trail.html
Partner Focus: About the Greenbelt and Greenbelt Day
Great Lakes to Greenbelt to Great North: The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is proud to partner with the Greenbelt Foundation. Together we are creating a network of cycling routes throughout the Greater Toronto Bioregion and watershed to promote the protection and conservation of our Great Lakes coast and Ontario’s protected countryside. The Greenbelt Route and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail provide over 3600km of exceptional cycle tourism experiences and give us an opportunity to appreciate two iconic landscapes.
As part of the Great Lakes to Greenbelt to Great North initiative, the Greenbelt Foundation and the Trust designate today, Greenbelt Day.
The Greenbelt Foundation is the steward of over 2 million acres of farmland and environmentally sensitive forests, green spaces, watersheds, urban river valleys and the moraines that provide clean water for over 6 million Ontarians. We help mitigate climate change, increase biodiversity and restore naturalised areas so they can do the work of keeping Ontario healthy. We have invested and leveraged $50 million into farming, environmental protection, tourism, recreation and, Indigenous-led initiatives to make the Greenbelt a great place to live, work, play and grow. A world-class model for preservation, Ontario’s Greenbelt is the largest of its kind and provides a template for Greenbelts all over the world.