July 2012

Smiths Summer Park, Midland

Submitted by jim on

Smith's campground provides a relaxing respite, situated on a quiet backroad on a grassy knoll beside pretty Little Lake. The lakefront is calm and serene with only small boats allowed. The ancient nut and maple trees provide a home for dozens of the shiny black squirrels. The entrance from King Street is pretty busy, but then you follow a long lane down to the lake - there is no road noise at all. This is a seasonal home for hundreds of Canadians.

Trans Canada Trail - Barrie Area

Submitted by jim on

The Trans Canada Trail converges with the Barrie Waterfront Trail for a short distance but it is very choppy in this area. We attempted to follow it southward from the end of the Waterfront Trail… first it disappeared into a maze of high-traffic streets and then when we were finally able to pick it up again it immediately submerged into a marsh. (Much more work lies ahead for the Trans Canada Trail as for all thru-biker trails so keep up the good work Canada.)

Lake County Oro-Medonte Rail Trail

Submitted by jim on

This 28 km trail roughly parallels the lakeshore between Orillia and Barrie. It’s crushed stone and a little rough in spots so don’t expect to go fast. The trail runs through marshland and fields for most of its length – you can take detours to local lakefront roads which are much more scenic and smoother, but hillier and longer. At Orillia the trail runs right into town and connects with several other trails including the Orillia Millennium trail which runs along the lakeshore for short distance.

Trail Length: 

16.00 miles

Simcoe County Trails (Huronia)

Submitted by jim on

Simcoe County is an area perfect for trail bikers. It includes a roughly triangular area between 3 charming towns – Orillia, Barrie and Midland which are connected by long (if a little rough) rail trails (totaling about 180 km to do just the 3 towns but there are countless side trips). You could easily and happily spend weeks exploring this area with bike and tent. Te scenery is fabulous, trails and campgrounds are plentiful and there is lots to do.

RiverWood

Submitted by jim on

The RiverWood is situated on the banks of the Scugog River, part of the TSW, and less than a mile from the southern portion of the Victoria Rail Trail, making it a natural stopover for Trail Hoppers. It’s a very pleasant shaded campground with mostly seasonal but a large number of transient sites as well. They had really nice restrooms. They did offer free WIFI but only at the store (seating in the laundry room or porch) but once online the speed was excellent.

This is a Passport America campground, so we were able to enjoy this great campground at a discount.

Trans Canada Trail - Kawartha

Submitted by jim on

In the Kawartha-Peterborourgh areas the Trans Canada Trail is a good, hard crushed stone surface (with a few short paved sections near the towns). This is a great riding surface for most bikes, making the trail a pleasant and easy way to get around and travel between towns. The Peterborough Section (aka Kiwanis Trail) is especially lovely and scenic. As it comes in from the west it follows the cool shady Jackson Creek ravine and passes through the lovely Jackson Park. Jackson Park is a lovely deep shaded valley with a beautiful pond and a distinctively Japanese garden flavor.

Hot Belly Mamas and Old Stone Brewery

Submitted by jim on

It was a tough choice with so many inviting restaurants, but we eventually settled on one that offered New Orleans style food, their own brew and a pleasant patio right near the bike rack. What biker could resist that combination? Since we were still biking we went with the lighter versions – the seasonal Summer White which had a light citrusy flavor and the Red Fife Wheat Ale - both were excellent. I had the house special salad with blackened chicken.

St Veronus Cafe and Tap Room

Submitted by jim on

This is probably the ideal trail town restaurant… great beer, fantastic décor and ambiance, and great food. And right on the Trans Canada Route through the town of Peterborough. This is a beer pub specializing in Belgian Beer which happens to be one of our favorites. The pub is in an old bank building, and the interior was completely redone with rich woods rescued from old hotels and pubs with a cozy step-down semi-enclosed bar.

Beavermead Family Campground

Submitted by jim on

This is one of those campgrounds you stumble on and wish you had known about long before. It’s perfect for the Trail Hopper… in town but shady and secluded with lovely waterfronts on lake and creeks and right ON the Trans Canada and Rotary trails! Like many city campgrounds you have to know about it or know what to look for. About half the sites have water and electric. The rates are reasonable and seasonal rates are offered. This would make a great base for a summer of boating and cycling in the TSW area.

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