Version Date : Fall 2017
Major Update, Fall 2017
Airport Rd. Reconnection
After many years of negotiotions, Airport Rd. once again runs completely around the eastern edge of the Peterborough Municipal Airport. It was cut off when the main runway was extended in 2011, eliminating a quiet, almost car-free alternate route to Millbrook.
As of September 2107, the replacement road is officially open and will become the preferred route into the city. Wallace Point Rd. is still a perfectly suitable route, but this one is just that little bit nicer, keeping you on quiet country lanes until the airport. At that point you’re just a few minutes from downtown.
The maps have been updated to reflect the new routing.
One caveat: The road is still unpaved at this point despite being officially open (long story involving lawsuits, basically the city had to have it open by fall 2017 by court order). The surface is tight, hard packed gravel and perfectly fine for any bike, including skinny tired racing bikes. The half km section of Mervin Line which connects the new road to the old one is gravel-free dirt and usually hard packed and a pleasure to ride. If it’s been raining though, Mervin will be a mud bath.
So fair warning, if it’s been rainy and you don’t want a filthy bike, stay on Wallace Pt Rd. into the city.
I’ll update this the conditions on Mervin change. Hopefully the city will lay down gravel in the spring.
Full Route Version 1 : Trans-Canada-Trail Route
This version incorporates the Trans Canada trail to the east from PTBO through Hastings to past Campbellford.
As you can see, plenty of lumpy bits in the west, much more gentle in the east. As you head north out of Bowmanville, you’re basically climbing the Oak Ridges Moraine until Pontypool. But you know what? It’s worth it just to say you’ve visited a place named Pontypool.
Riding the route east-to-west, you’ll find the ride down to Bowmanville full of brisk downhills.
Trans-Canada Trail Notes
- The section between PTBO and Hastings is smooth fine limestone screenings and rideable with any kind of bike.
- The section between Hastings and Campbellford is rougher, hard packed dirt with some gravel and rocks thrown in. Still very rideable but 700x35 or 26x1.5 tires would be recommended and the going will be slower as you need to be a little more aware of the trail.
Full Route Version 2 : Road Route
The route to the east is exactly the same here as the TCT version of the route with larger elevation gains. The route to the west is also quite lumpy. Lots of short, steep climbs over the east-west running drumlins and eskers. It’s a route for people that like hills but has a real mix of terrain, there are some long-ish flatter sections too. I quite like it.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to avoid some dirt sections in Peterborough and the Kawarthas and this route is no exception. For the most part, dirt roads in the region are in excellent shape and are usually nicer to ride than most chip-sealed roads. Indeed, riding dirt on road bikes is a local tradition.
Dirt is indicated and there’s not much more than 5-6km in total, but there it is. Dirt.
Amazing fun fact! Despite what appear to be significant differences between the 2 routes to the east, there’s only a 5km difference in length between them.
"Hey, I'm looking at this on a map and aren't you missing something obvious?" You ask, because that's the sort of person you are.
Most people looking at a map would assume that heading south from PTBO down to County Road 2 and across the top of Rice Lake would be a decent route choice, and in some ways it is. However this is cottage country and 2 has no shoulders and can be quite busy with distracted drivers racing out to their cottages mixed in with the inevitable lane-and-a-half wide land barges and lots of F-150 King Cabs towing fishing crafts on trailers that tend to wander. Also, add in some heavy truck traffic during the week as 2 is a direct route between PTBO and Hastings, the first bridge to the south on the east of Rice Lake.
Locals know when 2 is okay to ride, as quite often it is, but sometimes it’s not. Very not. So I’m not going to suggest it as a route for just that reason. I don’t know when you’ll be riding, you probably don’t either at this point. So I’m offering routes that have lower, and in most cases much lower, levels of traffic.
Note: Even if you did take 2 to Hastings and continued to Campbellford from there, the overall distance would be longer than the Trans-Canada-Trail route and identical to the other, more northern route I’m recommending even though that route appears to be much longer! Isn’t route design fun?
If you feel you really need to ride on 2, below are two quiet routes to get there. The northern route, out Division to Indian River and south is very drumlin rich (ie. hilly) if you like that sort of thing. North route is 2km longer.