5 places to go for a bike ride near Toronto
Toronto is blessed with some excellent if mostly flat road biking routes, but those willing to travel outside the city will find the southern Ontario landscape offers a host of scenic and physically challenging rides. From the Niagara Escarpment to back country roads, there's an adventure within a short drive of the city that will suit all stripes of road cyclists.
Here are five places to go for a bike ride near Toronto.
Beyond the Zoo / Taunton Rd.
If you can't drive to a cycling destination near Toronto, your best bet is to ride out to the zoo, winding through the lush landscape around Rouge Park until arriving at Steeles and the Scarborough-Pickering Townline. Head east along Taunton Rd. (Highway 4) and then loop around the concession roads of Durham County.
Rattlesnake Point / Milton
One of the most savage climbs in all of Ontario is located just west of Milton as Appelby Line twists up the Niagara Escarpment right beside Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area. Even if the climb is a bit much for recreational riders, the entire area is great for cycling. A good route strategy is to loop around the side roads that connect with Derry Rd. Tip: Bell School Line also has a tough climb.
Grimbsy / Beamsville
You can head here to crush yourself on the various climbs that head up the escarpment (Woolverton is the toughest) or to meander around wine country at a leisurely pace. There are few places nicer to ride within an hour of Toronto, as the combination of vineyards, low-traffic sideroads, and elevation change is pretty much ideal. Park at the Beamsville Town Centre and head to Mountainview Rd.
For my money, this is the best cycling region in the province. From backbreaking climbs (Scenic Caves Drive and Grey Road 19) to vistas of the Blue Mountains, the scenery and terrain here are just about ideal. If you're not staying at Blue Mountain, there's a parking lot at a soccer field complex (10th Line and Sixth St.) that serves as a great access point to riding the region.
Niagara River Recreation Trail (Niagara Parkway)
This is a long and flat trail the follows the Niagara River from the Falls all the way to Fort Erie. It's not overly challenging (though a headwind can be a pain), but it's a wonderfully scenic and nearly deserted route that encourages long distance rides even for those who don't get out on the bike as often as they'd like.
What did I miss? Add your suggestions in the comments.
Photo via Grey County Tourism.
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