2020 Summer of Adventure!
Kingston and Frontenac
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!
What you will love–Gord Downie Pier and urban sandy beach, touring Canada’s oldest and most notorious prison, funky public art, non-stop views of Lake Ontario, vibrant patio-life and shops and the K&P Trail.
Terrain—Easy terrain, flat paved path in Kingston.
The Plan—Day one: Cycle Kingston’s Waterfront Trail from Lemoine Conservation Area to Confederation Park where you’ll find the Kingston sign (14 km one-way) or all the way to Grass Creek Park and its beach (30 km one-way).
Day two: Ride the Frontenac K & P Trail (part of the Great Trail) from the Invista Center in Kingston to Sharbot Lake and back. This route is almost completely off road, and travels from city to farmland to Canadian Shield. (about 70 Km one-way). Click here for the Ride with GPS routing.
You may need a third day to fit in tours of Fort Henry,and the Kingston Penitentiary. Need a bike? Ahoy Rentals has bikes, kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards for rent. They run 3 hour bike tours of downtown Kingston and sailing charters. They are conveniently located on the Trail.
How to Get There
- By Car– 2.5 hour drive from downtown Toronto using the 401.
- Kingston’s Waterfront pathway is a scenic 8 km walk (one-way) from Lake Ontario Park to the downtown core near 1098 King St. W, to Emma Martin Park, located on shores of the Kingston Inner Harbour. Click here for a map and brochure
- Lemoine Point Conservation Area offers 11 km of hiking trails through woodlands and meadows with great views of Lake Ontario and Collins Bay. Click here for map and brochure
- Rideau Trail–sample a section of this 327km (203 miles) hiking trail from Kingston to Ottawa. Their website is filled with resources that will help you plan your hike.
- Lemoine Point Conservation Area–Stone and pebble beach
- Lake Ontario Park–Cobble Beach and Boat Launch Beach
- Gord Downie Memorial Pier
- Breakwater Park Beach
- Richardson’s Beach
- Grass Creek Park
Waterfront Trail Maps-use maps 1-6 in this section
Maps Day two: K and P Trail. Click here for the Ride with GPS routing.
Day one: Kingston’s Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
An overview map for Day one showing some options. Ride 30km one way from Lemoine Point to Grass Creek Park. Or 14 km one way from Lemoine Point to Confederation Park. If you want to take it slower, start in Lake Ontario Park and cycle 6 km one way to Confederation Park.
Start your ride in Lemoine Point Conservation Area. Bordered by Lake Ontario and Collins Bay, Lemoine Point is 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, with a spectacular waterfront and stone beach.
There are over 11 km of scenic hiking trails. Cyclists need to follow route number 5 (blue markers), which is part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
One of the most intriguing and cool places on the Kingston waterfront is the notorious century-old prison. Closed in 2013, after 178 years of service, the Kingston Penitentiary reopened for public tours in 2015.
The official tours of the Kingston Penitentiary are highly recommended and organizers have adapted the program to enhance the safety of visitors during the pandemic. Want to see what to expect on a tour? Click here.
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts has a terrific patio cafe.
The Gord Downie Pier is a joyous addition to the waterfront–a special place that reconnects people to the water — where you can take a refreshing leap into Lake Ontario.
The pier is the centrepiece of renovations to Breakwater Park, which included a bridge, sandy beach and of course the Pier. Extensive public consultation over a 5 year period, helped to shape the priorities for the award-winning park–so thank you Kingstonians for aiming high when you voiced your dreams for the waterfront.
Breakwater Park was identified as the highest priority for improvements in the City’s Waterfront Master Plan. The project cost of $900,000 was covered by all orders of government and a generous contribution by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Swim Drink Fish Canada.
Kingston’s waterfront, a dedicated path, rich with diversions, demands a slower pace since you are sharing the route with pedestrians and others.
Kingston’s waterfront is home to iconic sculptures such as Time by artist Kosso Eloul. The sculpture was unveiled in 1973 as a gift from the government to celebrate the city’s tercentennial. “Time” is composed of two of Eloul’s signature rectangles that emerge from the ground at an angle and nearly touch.
Kingston’s Waterfront Trail marked by the Bird, Fish, Leaf emblem is also part of the Rideau Trail blazed with the orange arrow.
Kingston Yacht Club
Murney Tower in MacDonald Park is a National Historic Site. The Martello tower was constructed by the British in 1846 to defend against an American invasion. Remarkably effective at withstanding sieges, the thick-walled towers were armed with guns mounted on a flat roof. Their purpose was to fire on attacking ships and stop an enemy landing.
Richardson’s Beach Pavilion.
Confederation Park and the Kingston sign–a must-take selfie station!
Kingston Visitor Centre is great place to get ideas about where to eat downtown.
Located across from Confederation Park, you can dip into the Prince George hotel for a meal or drink. There is a variety of restaurants, pubs and shops in downtown. No would blame you for ending your ride here. However, if you keep riding to Grass Creek Park, you’ll cycle on the shoulders of HWY 2 on rolling terrain. Grass Creek Park has a large sandy beach with a cordoned-off swimming area (no lifeguards).
Day 2: Frontenac’s K & P Trail or the Kick and Push!
Trails only get better the more connections they have. The K & P Trail meets the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail in Confederation Park.
It heads northeast in the old railbed of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway. to Sharbot Lake, with its beautiful, clear lake, sandy beach, great swimming, canoeing, and easy walking distance to restaurants.
As you’ve enjoyed the City on day one, we suggest beginning your K and P Trail adventure at the INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd, Kingston, which will give you a ride of about 67 km one-way. This route is almost completely off-road, and travels from city to farmland to Canadian Shield. Click here for the Ride with GPS routing.
Interested–take a virtual tour of the K&P Trail. http://www.frontenacmaps.ca/tour/
If your heart is set on doing the K & P end to end. Or if you want the shorter option of riding only the Kingston section of the K &P from Confederation Park to Oser Road (22 km one way). Click here for a map.
Custom Google Map
Use our custom interactive Google map to check distances. And points of interest. https://waterfronttrail.org/map/interactive-map-2/
What to bring:
Don’t forget your sanitizer, snacks and water as facilities are not fully open. Please respect physical distancing protocols and call accommodations and facilities in advance to confirm hours.
Accommodations: Wide range of hotels available–https://www.visitkingston.ca/stay/
About the Communities
Visit Kingston: Great resource for cycle-friendly accommodations, bike rentals, cycle tours, and bike shops.
Want a longer ride? Here are two suggestions:
Visit Kingston has 12 great itineraries.
Frontenac Cycling Routes: 8 loops to explore.