Five Day Tour Intinerary  

The Huronia district of Simcoe County is one of the most historic and scenic parts of Ontario. French explorers, led by Samuel de Champlain, made contact with the Huron Indians in 1615 near Penetanguishene. Jesuit missionaries subsequently moved into the area establishing many missions in their attempts to “convert the natives”. The Hurons were an agricultural tribe spread out in many villages across the region. Unfortunately, they were eventually all but wiped out by disease and the Iroquois.

Huronia covers the area of land between Penetanguishene, Midland, Orillia and Barrie. It is characterized by a variety of geological features including rolling forested hills, large freshwater lakes (including Georgian Bay), flat expanses of farm land and the Niagara Escarpment to the west. The cycling routes in this region provide great beauty along with great challenges.

 

Day 1 – Intro Ride (25 - 40 km optional)

Arrive at Forks in the Trail B&B. Depending up your arrival time, you can complete a short cycle loop before dinner.

After a swim in the pool, enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants in the Horseshoe Valley area

 

Day 2 – Crossing Huronia to Midland (60 km)

Today’s ride covers a variety of terrain starting with paved roads in Oro-Medonte through flatter agricultural land. The elevation rises up near Mt. St. Louis as we cross Hwy. 400 and head north toward the Village of Coldwater.

Coldwater is a quaint village with many interesting shops and a few good cafes for a coffee break or lunch. If the weather is good, enjoy lunch on the patio at the Mill Bistro right beside the Coldwater River.

Leave Coldwater and continue off-road on the lakefront Champlain/Tay Shore Trail passing many historic sites including Port McNichol (location of the S.S. Keewatin steam ship museum), Ste. Marie-Among-the-Hurons (the old Jesuit mission) and the Martyrs’ Shrine Catholic Church (erected in memory of the Jesuit martyrs). The trail starts as crushed limestone in Coldwater but is paved from Waubaushene to Midland.

After checking in to your B&B in Midland, walk/explore the downtown shopping district and select one of many great restaurants for dinner.

 

Day 3 – Midland to Barrie (65 - 75 km)

After leaving Midland, head west to the beaches along the shores of Georgian Bay. Alternatively, get a lift from Midland to the beaches and save 10 km of cycling.

Follow the Tiny Beaches Road south past large sand dunes, country homes and cottages. Wasaga Beach, known for its long sand beaches and party atmosphere, is a good lunch stop.

The second portion of the route goes inland through agricultural land on a variety of paved country roads. Continuing south you will eventually come to Midhurst and cycle south on St. Vincent St. into Barrie.

There are paved bike paths along the Barrie Waterfront and a great selection of downtown restaurants within walking distance of your B&B.

 

 

Day 4 – Barrie to Orillia (45 km)

This route takes us out of Barrie along the waterfront trail until connecting with Ridge Road (a favourite ride for local cycling clubs) or the Oro-Medonte Rail Trail (crushed limestone surface). Both routes are quite flat as they follow in close proximity to the lakeshore. A portion of the route approaching Orillia follows Lakeshore Drive passing many homes, cottages, parks and marinas. You will pass through the Village of Hawkestone and by several general stores (the Carthew Bay Store is a good spot for snacks or ice cream).

The route continues along the lakeshore through the south end of Orillia to Lake Couchiching. The Lightfoot Trail is a paved bike path along the waterfront to the Narrows (where Lakes Couchiching and Simcoe meet). In addition to being Gordon Lightfoot’s home town, Orillia was immortalized as the “fictional” Mariposa by humorist Stephen Leacock. Don’t miss the statue of Champlain in Couchiching Beach Park or the stores lining Orillia’s main street.

The B&B’s in Orillia can assist you with dinner reservations in either downtown Orillia or at Casino Rama.

 

Day 5 – Departure (40 km)

After breakfast, depart from Orillia and ride back to Forks in the Trail B&B to pick-up your car for your return home. The route retraces yesterday’s route into Orillia along the Oro-Medonte Rail Trail. However, you will then turn north cycling on paved township roads through reasonably flat agricultural areas until the uphill climb back up the Oro Moraine to Forks in the Trail B&B.   

 

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