Peterborough to Omemee rail trail

This is why I don’t understand why people pay to ride stationary bikes in windowless gym basements.

Risa and I rode the 22 km from downtown Peterborough to Omemee this weekend via an old railway that’s now part of the Trans Canada Trail. Starting from its origin in Peterborough, this rail trail runs between backyards and along a small stream before quickly leaving the city, pavement, and crowds behind on the way to Omemee and beyond.  It has everything you’d expect along the way: scenic vistas, a well-maintained gravel bed, planked-in bridges and trestles like the one shown above, and an utter lack of traffic and hills. The trail continues past Omemee to Lindsay, where you can connect to other trails that will take you to Uxbridge, Fenelon Falls, or all the way up to Haliburton.
Peterborough to Omemee rail trailThe trail is an easy and relaxing ride for the entire length. It passes a few rural intersections and driveways at grade, while busy Highway 7 and some other driveways are carried over the trail on bridges. The urban intersections in Peterborough are similar to the ones on Toronto’s Beltline, but have curb cuts to actually let cyclists cross at the trail. The trail itself is well-maintained and can be ridden by the most casual of cyclists. Along the way you are treated to views of farms, valleys, and the rolling hills that you are not constantly climbing up and down. That’s the real joy of rail trails: you may be climbing, but the grade is so slight that it doesn’t hurt when you’re going up and it’s like having a slight tailbreeze when you’re going down.

Check out the short gallery with some of the sights along the way after the jump.

8 Replies to “Peterborough to Omemee rail trail”

  1. Brilliant! I used to have a cottage in Omemee growing up and I can remember some beautiful train bridges up there; would love to ride this route, thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice pictures, I’m looking forward to trying this.

    GO Transit buses allow one to make the trip from Toronto without needing a car. I’m considering doing Uxbridge to Peterborough via Lindsay (the stop for lunch) one pleasant, cooler weekend this year, with GO on either end.

    1. I just completed the entire Uxbridge-Peterborough trip with a stopover in Lindsay, I’ll write about that when I have some time and a working computer at home. The Uxbridge-Lindsay section reminds me of what you wrote about Peterborough to Hastings. While officially part of the Trans Canada Trail, it’s inconsitant. Within Durham Region, the trail is in varying levels of maintenance. The bridges are not suitable for bikes as they are not fully planked, at times the gravel is deep and slippery. Beyond Blackwater Jct, the trail was closed entirely for construction, without warning or a suggested detour (though a hopeful sign of better things to come). But after crossing Simcoe Street and into Kawartha Lakes, the trail was great and smooth, apart from needing some weeding.

      From Lindsay, one can ride all the way to Haliburton Village on the Victoria Rail Trail, or south to Bethany on the old CP Bobcaygeon Sub.

      1. I look forward to reading your account of the Uxbridge to Lindsay section. I’ve been doing a bit of reading about the trail through the Kawarthas and it’s clear that the trail groups are well organized and very aware of the huge benefits and relative low cost of extensive, well-maintained trails. I’m not so sure that knowledge has filtered over to Durham yet, where most developed cycling infrastructure is within 1 km of Lake Ontario.

  3. I’ve got to put this on my list of trails to try. I don’t have a car, so it’ll be a slog getting their via GO, but it looks like it’d be worth it.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the ride. I had been hoping to make the ride again during the fall but it’ll probably have to wait until next year.

  4. Used this trail in July 2015 when I was crossing the province of Ontario. Excellent condition for road or mountain bike when bicycle touring.
    The sceneries are worth the additional km’s and slower pace than riding on shoulders od roads.

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