By Ken Hook — My wife Cathy and I have had the opportunity to explore all twelve of the Lennox & Addington County Trails road cycling routes over the course of a summer and fall. We cycle a lot and were excited to tackle these well-marked bike routes. Each of the loops are unique and, no matter what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it within this cycling network.
Safety is always a concern for a cyclist. Many of the County Trails have wide, paved shoulders enabling riders to bike with added safety – up to 1.5 metre wide. On the more rural roads there is much less traffic so cars and trucks sharing the road is not an issue.
What’s our favourite route? That’s a good question because the routes are so different.
We usually like to stop for lunch and experience the local fare. If you do the same, be sure to ride the Napanee River or Hay Bay routes and enjoy a lunch in Napanee (The Loaf & Ale and The Waterfront River Pub & Terrace are our favourites) or the Newburgh Route (don’t miss Abram’s Bakery). For a longer ride, try the 63km Camden Route (Jiffy Grill in Odessa has great food).
The 2021 Discover L&A Ride is on September 25th
What’s better than wine tasting while cycling? Check-out the Shoreline Route and experience Bergeron Estate Winery on Highway 33. Be sure take a backpack or saddle bag like we did to take home a bottle… or two. (J&P’s Family Restaurant in Bath is a great meal option along this route if you’re looking for a bite to eat). And speaking of Highway#33, this is the one of the best roads around for serious biking. Part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, wide paved shoulders allow drivers to share the road with cyclists. You will often see the speedy cyclists from throughout southern Ontario spinning away on this stretch of roadway.
For sheer natural beauty, and peace & quiet, it’s hard to beat the challenging Buckshot Lake Route. We cautiously rode this in 2 days, leaving a vehicle at Buckshot Lake overnight. It is a 102 challenging kilometres and some areas you would swear there is no flat land – just uphill or downhill. We suggest cycling counter clockwise on this route, especially if there is a west wind. An experienced cyclist could do the entire Buckshot Lake Route in a day. Riding counter clockwise will give you some amazing downhills on Highway #41. Being a provincial highway the paved shoulder is less – only about a half metre wide so use extra caution. Luckily, traffic is very light on this northern highway.
If you have extra time, be sure to ride into Bon Echo Provincial Park (cyclists can enter for free) to check out ‘Canada’s Gibraltar’. There is pavement all the way to the Narrows – the best place for viewing the rock with just a short trail at the end (walk your road bike). Mazinaw Rock is 100 metres tall and is famous for it’s awesome echoes and collection of aboriginal pictographs numbering in the hundreds. Check out the ferry ride for guided tour of the Rock, the history and the pictographs.
You’re sure to have a great ride no matter where you cycle in Lennox & Addington County. Hope to see you out on the road!
Ken & Cathy Hook are longtime Lennox & Addington County residents based on Skootamatta Lake near Cloyne. They are very active in the community and are great ambassadors for the region.