2020 Summer of Adventure!

Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron: Sarnia and Lambton

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-Riverside riding along the St. Clair River and blue waters of Lake Huron. Rare Oak Savannah habitat, coastal sand dunes, rare kettle geologic formations. Many opportunities to enjoy beautiful sandy beaches or sit by the shore watching sailboats and freighters. A first-time visit to a First Nation community and getting to see another side of Sarnia.

Terrain—Easy terrain, flat paved path, bike lanes, some sections on road.

The Plan–2 days cycling in Sarnia/Lambton area on the St. Clair River Trail.

Day One: Arrive in Sarnia and cycle from Gutherie Park, Corruna to Sombra on the St. Clair River Trail (21 km one way). Download Maps-See Map 27

Spend the evening enjoying Sarnia and Point Edward waterfront. Download Maps-See Map 28b

Day Two: Drive from Sarnia to Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, and Port Franks (cottage community). See Map 30 in this package

Other things to enjoy Canatara Beach, Sarnia or cycle the Howard Watson Rail Trail.

How to Get There

By Car–2.5 hour drive from downtown Toronto.

Walkers/hikers

  • Sarnia/Point Edward Waterfront Trail from the Point Lands (foot of Seaway Rd) to Canatara Beach is scenic 5.2 km one way.
  • Downtown Sarnia Waterfront Trail from the Point Lands (foot of Seaway Rd) to the Refined Fool Brew Company near Bayshore Park 2 km one-way.
  • Lambton Shores Nature Trails–choose from 15 hikes in the Port Franks and Ipperwash area. Download the brochure.

Beaches

  • Canatara Beach-sandy beach with playground and petting zoo on the Lake Huron shoreline.  The park is located on Lake Chipican Drive, Sarnia; Just 1.6km north of Highway 402 off Christina Street North. Download Maps-See Map 28b
  • Ipperwash Beach, at the foot of Army Camp Road is a quieter alternative to Grand Bend.

Day one: Gutherie Park to Sombra 21 km one-way or 42 km return.

To keep it relaxing, we suggest beginning your ride in Gutherie Park, Corunna. You can ride from Sarnia to Sombra if you want to add 22 km (both ways) to the day. There is a short section by Vidal Road in Sarnia that can be busy on weekdays. Bev MacDougall, former County Councillor, is one of guides today and a wonderful champion for the Trail!

Enjoy a beautiful riding experience along the St. Clair River. Today you’ll sample 21 of  35 km St. Clair River Trail. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is grateful and proud that to have the beloved St. Clair River Trail as part of our system. The facility uses a combination of dedicated paths and bike lanes— and gorgeous views.

Be sure to allow yourself to wander off the trail and into the parks to get close to the River.

The province formed the St. Clair River Parks Commission in 1966 with the municipalities along the river, to create parks and recreation facilities as a tourism attraction. In addition to the parks, they developed marinas, campgrounds and a golf course. Disbanded in 1996, the Commission’s legacy was turned over to the municipality.

Docks off the river give people a chance to feel almost surrounded by the River and afford lovely views of pleasure boats and freighters.

The Riverside holds many stories, told through heritage plaques. St. Clair Township is home to two terrific museums: the Moore Museum, and Sombra Museum both closed due to Covid unfortunately.

Relaxing ride with great views of the River and US shoreline. On the US side of the River, the  Bay to Bridge Trail. is a popular route between Marine City and Algonac using County Rd 29/River Rd.  There used to be a ferry in Sombra that would take people to Marine City on the US side.  In 2018 severe ice damage forced the closure of the facility and ended the popular service which began in 1951.

Enjoy an ice cream break at Crystals Ice Cream Shack in Sombra.

Heading back to Gutherie Park and Corunna.


Day One- Sarnia/Point Edward Waterfront Trail  3.5 km (one way)

Spend your evening taking in the Sarnia and Point Edward Waterfront. The route is completely off-road from Bayshore Park (marked with A on the map above) to the Point Edward Waterfront Trail under the Bluewater International Bridge (marked with a B on the map above). We recommend grabbing a brew and light snack from the Refined Fool Brewing company and taking in the sunset at Canatara Beach.

Bayshore Park, Sarnia. In the distance, (upper right of the photo) is Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, with 60 chemical plants and oil refineries in a 15-mile stretch.

Thanks to decades of dedicated work by local champions involved with organizations such as the Bluewater Trails and Lambton Wildlife, people can enjoy a beautiful water’s edge cycling and/or walking experience, largely off-road within the heart of Sarnia and Point Edward.

Watching freighters pass under the Bluewater International Bridge, heading to Lake Huron.

Heading back to the hotel in Sarnia.

Relaxing and scenic ride that shows the massive scale of the Great Lakes waterway.

Centennial  Park is home to the MacPherson Fountain, installed beside the St. Clair River nearly 30 years ago by Canadian artist Ron Baird, and funded by the late philanthropist Jim MacPherson.  The work of stainless steel and ABS tubing creates an illusion of swimming black fish.


Day 2: Kettle and Stony Point First Nation and Port Franks

Make today a drive and ride day to visit Kettle and Stony Point First Nation and the cottage community of Port Franks. Of course, if you want a longer ride, Sarnia to Ipperwash is about 77 km one way. The first ride is along the waterfront from Kettle Point Park to Ipperwash Beach. Then head to the Port Franks, beginning your ride on Port Franks Rd (9.3 km one -way). Please don’t complete the loop by riding on HWY 21, there are no cycling facilities on this busy road.

Start at Kettle Point Park, where you’ll find rock concretions called kettles. Formed 370 million years ago, they are unique to only a handful of locations.

The ride along the Lake Huron shore of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation offers spectacular views of the lake.

Beaches of flat shale rock invite you to test your skill at skipping stone.

Ipperwash Beach Club,6543 W Parkway Dr, is a great place for lunch!

Bring your suit to enjoy a dip at the Ipperwash Beach–a quiet alternative to the very popular Grand Bend beach.

Park on Port Franks Road or the Port Franks Community Centre.

Home to spectacular coastal dunes, wetlands and woodlands, the area is designated as a unique Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.

Lovely range of landscapes in this short trip–here a wetland.

The Port Franks Community Centre has lovely kiosks that frame beautiful art pieces created by Jeffrey (Red) George of Red Dog Art Studio, a local artist from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.


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 often working on restricted hours. Please respect physical distancing protocols and call accommodations and facilities in advance to confirm hours.

Accommodations

Sarnia Waterfront Hotels:

Hampton Inn by Hilton Sarnia/Point Edward

Holiday Inn Express, Sarnia/Point Edward

Best Western Plus Guildwood Inn, Sarnia

Camping

There are three campgrounds in the Township of St. Clair, which are closed due to Covid for the 2020 season.

About the Communities

Lambton Outdoor Club hosts a variety of cycle and hiking activities Rides are organized to suit the pace you enjoy from fast to slow and leisurely.

Tourism Sarnia – Lambton for travel information.

Kettle and Stony Point First Nation

Ontario’s Blue Coast

Village of Point Edward-List of accommodations

St. Clair River Trail–maps, list of amenities and facilities


Want a longer ride?

Check out the Pelee Island to Grand Bend, a 5-day, self-guided itinerary based on the popular Great Waterfront Trail Adventure 2016 Itinerary.