Stoney Lake Circle : 109+ km
With new full shoulders on Hwy. 28, this great cottage country route is accessible to everyone.
Stoney Lake is one of the most scenic of the big lakes in The Kawarthas and riding the south shore has long been a favorite of local cyclists. Hwy 28 with its busy, narrow lanes has always been a significant stumbling block for people wanting to circle the lake however. Larger groups can travel the highway in a pack, commanding the lane and keeping themselves safe that way, but solo riders and small groups have no such protection.
That all changed, summer of 2018, when the MTO undertook to pave full shoulders on 28 from the north end of Lakefield to Bancroft. This is going to dramatically change the nature of touring cycling in the region, and that’s a post for another time. For the purposes of this ride it means that you can safely ride the north shore and back down again without stress or hassle. Noise? Sure. Lots of vehicles passing, but it’s a small price to pay for safe cycling access to the north side of the Kawartha Lakes.
As of August 2018, shoulder are complete to Apsley and the projected project finish is October.
- It’s equally fun to start the ride by riding up to Lakefield and then north, either on Hwy 28 or Young’s Point Rd. and then out along Birchview Rd through McCracken’s Landing. Overall ride distance stays pretty much the same. Or you could ride Centre Rd. -> 3rd -> Cedar Cross Rd. -> Payne Line out to Warsaw for some of the region’s best gravel/dirt roads.
- I like the 1km gravel detour down Gilchrist Bay Rd past Pine Vista Resort, it’s an old school family resort that reminds me of the place my family used to go to every summer at Turkey Point on Lake Erie.
- If you’re not looking for an extended stop anywhere on the ride but wouldn't mind a decent, quick, pitstop around the halfway point, stay on Northey’s Bay Rd. to 28 and hit the Woodview General Store.
- At 70km there’s another dirt option up Big Cedar Lake Rd. and west on Don Wilson Rd. back to 28. Adds negligable distance to the ride and is very nice dirt.
- If you hang a left on to Old Burleigh Rd, at the south end of the bridge over Burleigh Falls, you’ll get a great view of the actual falls a few hundred meters up the road and see why it’s a popular white water kayaking destination.
- Once you hit Youngs Point on your way south you have the option of getting off 28 and heading your way down to Lakefield via Youngs Point Rd.
One unique aspect of this ride is the sheer number of places to stop for food and drink at regular intervals. You couldn’t, wouldn’t, want to hit them all in a single ride. Here’s the list:
- 24 km: The Butter Tart Factory in Warsaw
- 36 km: Harbour Town at McCrackens Landing
- 44km: Stoney Lake Market at Crowes Landing
- 65km: The Boathouse Cafe at Viamede Resort
- 68km: Woodview General store
- 74km: The Market at Burleigh Falls, The Burleigh Falls Inn
- 75km: Stella’s Getaway
- 83km: Lockside Trading, Patio 27 at Young’s Point
- 92km: The entire village of Lakefield
I figure that stopping at all of them would result in a 9-10 hour 100k and a couple of pounds of weight gain. Might be fun to try someday...