2020 Summer of Adventure–Celebrating 25 years of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

Celebrate 25 years of trail-building and work to protect and connect our Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterfront with the 2020 Summer of Adventure by getting out to enjoy parts of the trail that are new to you, or trying out old favourites.

Experience Lambton County’s Blue Water 

Spend two days in Lambton County cycling along the blue waters of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. This itinerary packs 4 short cycling trips into a couple of days, first, the beloved St. Clair River Trail, and then the Waterfront Trail in Sarnia, and Point Edward, Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation, and Port Frank. When you are not riding, enjoy patios, ice cream, craft beer. You’ll visit some of Ontario’s best beaches. And don’t forget to take in one of Lake Huron’s gorgeous sunsets.

Elgin County’s Ports–Port Burwell to Port Stanley

3 ports, 7 beaches and 90 kilometres. Spend a couple of days riding through Ontario’s farmland, visiting historic fishing hamlets, strolling along sandy beaches and eating from fresh farmstands. This trip is packed with intriguing heritage gems like a cold-war submarine, lighthouses, and an old jailhouse.

Kingston and Frontenac

Week 8 takes you to the historic City of Kingston where you will spend a day riding 6, 11 or 30 kilometres of wonderful waterfront, enjoying a mix of beaches, public art, patios and impressive historic sites. It’s great for cyclists and walkers–and you may even decide to try kayaking or take a chartered sailing tour. Day 2 is puts you on the lovely K&P Trail, a converted rail trail with gorgeous scenery and ending at Sharbot Lake beach.

Gananoque to Brockville along the 1000 Islands

Week 7 continues along the St. Lawrence River from the picturesque town of Gananoque to Brockville along the Thousand Islands. 39 km of scenic dedicated path through the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This is the week to include great off-bike activities including kayaking, boat tours, swimming, and hiking in your tour of the iconic Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

Cornwall to Long Sault, South Stormont

A favourite section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Spend two days immersed in the picturesque St. Lawrence River landscape, enjoying 40+km of protected and restored wetlands, forests, meadows thanks to the conservation leadership of St. Lawrence Parks Commission. This region is home to one of the waterfront’s most compelling stories–the 1958 Inundation to create the International Seaway. All that, while enjoying the vibrant city of  Cornwall and its lovely waterfront.

Essex Windsor Peninsula

Wander to the southern reaches of Ontario and the shores of Lake Erie and the Detroit River to spend two days cycling along quiet country roads and trails from Kingsville to Windsor and back. Wineries, beaches, an outdoor art gallery on the Windsor riverfront, and a remote rail trail this 140 km, mostly flat loop, makes for a perfect weekend for cyclists of all levels and for walkers too! Extend the trip with a visit to Point Pelee National Park!

Northumberland-Glorious Ganaraska 30km ride & 2km AK Sculthrope Woodland Marsh walk

Head east to Northumberland’s Port Hope to take in rolling hills, lush farmland, beautiful heritage architecture and great food cycling the signed Glorious Ganaraka route. The 2km walk from East Beach to the Mouth of Gages Creek through the AK Sculthrope Woodland Marsh is a real treat and a gift bequeathed to us today by conservation leaders from the past.

Georgian Bay—Collingwood to Meaford

Off to Georgian Bay’s cerulean coast where families can enjoy a scenic hike or ride on the Georgian Trail (now part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail). The Georgian Trail is a popular 34 km multi-use path, once a railway, connecting the heart of the town’s waterfront to the village of Thornbury and Meaford.

Lake Huron North Channel-Massey to Espanola

Never mind the Big Smoke. Welcome to big northern hospitality. Spend 2-3 days riding through gentle foothills of the ancient LaCloche mountain range, experience the breathtaking beauty of the falls at Chutes Provincial Park, swim in the Spanish River, take a dip into Espanola’s Clear Lake. Lots for history buffs too!

Durham West — Rouge River to Oshawa Harbour

From the mouth of the Rouge River to Oshawa Harbour is 40 km of scenic Lake Ontario waterfront. Connected with a combination of dedicated trails and quiet neighbourhood roads, this is a great area to begin exploring with your family. Whether you choose to do a  5-km walk, 20 km or 40 km bike ride you’ll enjoy great waterfront views, bluffs, beaches where you can stop to cool off with a dip.

St. Clair

CAA – Waterfront Trail Select Trips

From our partner,  the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA South Central Ontario), these select trips along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail focus on journeys in central and southwestern Ontario. Visit the Toronto Waterfront, the scintillant shores of Lake Erie, Port Burwell with its resident submarine, the HMCS Ojibwa, Sarnia, and the relaxing beaches of the Pinery and Grand Bend. Each trip includes suggested accommodations and restaurants, Google map, travel conditions (surfaces) and difficulty level.

Whether you are new to or an old-hand to riding or driving, take CAA’s cycle safety quiz! And check out important cycling safety tips from CAA.

15 Legacy Itineraries celebrating Ontario’s 150th

Ride itineraries in Bike Friendly Communities and Ontario By Bike ride destinations developed to showcase the iconic Greenbelt Route and Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and make cycling a permanent legacy of Ontario 150. This initiative was a collaborative partnership between the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Friends of the Greenbelt FoundationOntario By Bike, and Share the Road Cycling Coalition, building on two decades of investment in cycling infrastructure in Ontario.

Thank you photographer, Martin Lortz for creating such inspiring and beautiful photo stories for each of the 10 weeks!

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With its beautiful vistas, restored wetlands, protected forests, expansive sand dunes, the Trail is the critical first step toward protecting and restoring the natural heritage of the Great Lakes ecosystem.