Three Day Tour Itinerary   

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 - 50 km optional)

Arrive at Forks in the Trail B&B. Depending upon your arrival time, you can complete a short cycle loop before dinner. The routes are all on paved quiet country road passing through forests and agricultural land. There are many rolling short hills which can make even a short ride challenging.

Dinner can be reserved at one of the Horseshoe Valley or Coldwater area restaurants..

 

Day 2 – Horseshoe Valley to Orillia (via Shanty Bay) (50 km)

Today’s ride starts in the Oro Moraine with its hills and rolling paved country roads. The route travels south towards Barrie through flatter agricultural land until reaching the shores of Lake Simcoe near Shanty Bay. From there you 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’ll 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 3 – 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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