Monday, July 29th – Sault Ste. Marie to Bruce Mines (73 km)
0 km – Breakfast Location – Delta Hotel
Enjoy breakfast on site at the Delta this morning! Be ready to join us for the official launch ceremony (brief) and start line!
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.
26 km – Welcome to Garden River First Nation! Recommended Stop – Ojibway Park, Home of Laughing Water Beach. [Map 2]:
2628 Highway 17B East. Garden River, Ontario P6A 7B2
Take in the soft sand and glinting water at the beautiful beach on the shores of Lake George.
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. By 1962, the park was opened to the general public and promoted as a family gathering place to enjoy the water, shoreline, camping and beautiful surrounding trees. Recently the park added to cabins for rent. It is an Indigenous owned and operated business.
28 km – Recommended Stop – Loon Dollar Monument and Lake George Marsh Boardwalk [Map 3]:
When in 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!
56 km — Lunch Stop & Optional Shuttle Point to St. Joseph Island – Johnson Farmers’ Market and Township Arena [Map 3]:
1 Cameron St, Desbarats, Ontario P0R 1E0
Lunch features great local farm produce and products served at the Johnson Farmers Market. Check out the Mennonite constructed timber frame pavilion. Today’s lunch is made possible by the Greenbelt Foundation.
Pick up the optional shuttle to St. Joseph Island to visit Richard’s Landing and Hilton Beach for a little retail therapy, a quick dip into the lake followed by a drink or ice-cream. Sample some of the Island’s 80 km cycling loop. 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.
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.
74 km – “Suggested” Stop – Bobbers Restaurant and Bruce Mines Marina – Bruce Mines [Map 4]:
Honestly? It’s not really optional. If you’re on the North Channel, you need a slice of pie from Bobbers.
75km – Overnight Location – Bruce Mines Township Campground and RV Park [Map 4]:
1-15 William St, Bruce Mines, ON, POR 1CO
We spend the night amongst the old-growth pines in this secluded campground.
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
- 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 night cap 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 due to poor ore quality, dropping prices, and a large cave, which finally closed the mines in the area. The locals who stayed after the close of the mines 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
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 protected countryside.
The Greenbelt Foundation is 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.