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A Tale Of Two Routes
As passionate advocates for our local cycling community and the exceptional cycling routes that our region has to offer, we at Wild Rock were honoured when Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism reached out to us to help curate and guide a two-day cycling trip for renowned travel writer Christopher Mitchell (www.travelingmitch.com). In building the routes and itinerary for this adventure, we decided to draw inspiration from the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Road Cycling Routes and add a gravel spin to them. We knew that Chris would be bringing his Trek Checkpoint gravel bike with him, so opting for a mix of gravel roads was an easy decision as it would allow us to venture onto quiet roads with less traffic and explore more interesting terrain. Over two days, we embarked on an unforgettable 175km adventure that showcased the diverse riding and breathtaking landscapes of this area.
Day One: “Hills, Views, and Pastries (and Gravel!)” - 95KM
Our cycling journey began with a vibrant morning at the Silver Bean Cafe in Millennium Park. Energized by coffee and a hearty breakfast, we set off through Beavermead Park where we briefly stopped to check out the new location of the Canadian Canoe Museum. Within just a few minutes of riding, we found ourselves out of the city and immersed in quiet farmlands. Our route intertwined smooth pavement and rolling gravel roads, leading us to scenic views overlooking Rice Lake. Along the way, we couldn’t resist the allure of an impromptu wine tasting at the Rolling Grape Vineyard! Despite the temptation to relax on the patio and savour the aroma of fresh pizza from the outdoor wood-fired oven, we got back on our saddles and continued onwards.
With spirits lifted, we conquered the hills leading us to Millbrook, a charming town brimming with character. We arrived for lunch at Pastry Peddler where we met old friends and indulged in fine cuisine and tasty treats. We rode back to Peterborough on quiet back roads, enjoying the peacefulness and scenic countryside views. As the day drew to a close, we meandered back through town and along the picturesque shore of the Otonabee River. Continuing along River Road, we eventually arrived in the quaint village of Lakefield, where Chris would spend the night at the Village Inn.
Day Two: “The Cottage Country 100 - Gravel edition” - 80km
Day two ushered in a new adventure as we embarked on a variation of "The Cottage Country 100" route. Starting from the Nutty Bean Café in Lakefield, we pedalled along the south side of Stony Lake taking in all the views that Birchview Road has to offer. A well-deserved break awaited us at McCracken's Landing.
The true highlight of the day awaited us on our return journey to Peterborough. A remarkable expanse of gravel roads, starting with Centre Dummer Road, unfurled before us, revealing some of the region's finest gravel terrain. Despite having to stop briefly to repair a flat tire we continued to make good time. A brief snack stop in Warsaw provided a moment to refuel before our triumphant return to Peterborough, where we concluded our expedition with a celebratory lunch and well-deserved craft beer at the Ashburnham Ale House.
Our two-day cycling adventure through Peterborough & the Kawarthas was a testament to the region's rich natural beauty, the warmth of its local communities, and the unrivalled joy of exploration on two wheels. Many thanks to Peterborough & the Kawarthas and Chris Mitchell for allowing us the privilege of showcasing the area's exceptional cycling opportunities.
If you're seeking a destination that combines awe-inspiring landscapes, a thriving cycling culture, and a taste of local cuisine, Peterborough & the Kawarthas should be at the top of your list. With our diverse mix of pavement and gravel routes, charming towns, and stunning natural surroundings, this region invites cyclists of all levels to embark on their own two-wheeled adventure. Prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking scenery, inspired by the local communities, and forever touched by the spirit of exploration that defines Peterborough & the Kawarthas.