Bikepacking the Trail Towns
Extend your stay with a scenic tour across Kawarthas Northumberland
Bikepacking is a fantastic way to get to know a region, whether you’re planning a epic ride that can’t be completed in a single day, or just taking in a shorter ride at a leisurely space. Regardless of which approach best suits you, you’ll find the quiet road and trail network of Kawarthas Northumberland ideally suited.
Both of these routes options pass through several Trent-Severn Trail Towns, scenic communities along the Trent-Severn Waterway with excellent visitor amenities. If you’re planning a multi-day excursion, that means you can choose the stops that best suit your interests and abilities.
Although these routes are generally well-maintained, cyclists should be aware long sections of the route are unpaved hardpack, with patches of loose gravel a possibility. Hybrid bike tires are an excellent choice here.
We’ve listed roofed accommodations, but note camping is available to visitors arriving at most lock stations by bike; Hastings and Peterborough are notable exceptions. See here for more info and be sure to plan ahead if choosing this option.
Option #1: Point-to-Point
- Total Distance: 116km
- Starting Point: Campbellford
- End Point: Fenelon Falls
This is the shorter of the two options, yet it still hits six Kawarthas Northumberland communities, four of which are Trail Towns. As a point-to-point ride, you’ll need to arrange your own pickup and drop off.
Section 1: Campbellford to Hastings (17km)
Beginning in Campbellford means your ride opens on gentle country roads that rejoin the Trent-Severn Waterway in Hastings. This popular fishing town is home to Lock 18 and numerous services. If you’re hungry, McGillicafey’s Pub offers several Taste of the TSW dishes, in keeping with your ride’s theme. If you’re looking for a place to stay, consider Hastings House Bed & Breakfast or The Water Lily & Lockside Guest Suite.
Section 2: Hastings to Peterborough (37km)
This section is mainly rail trail, and features a mix of shady wooded stretches and open pastoral views. As the largest destination you’ll visit on your ride, there are too many excellent restaurants and accommodations to list—and since you’ve almost reached the halfway point, it makes a great choice if you’re breaking things up into a multi-day trip.
Section 3: Peterborough to Omemee (22km)
Riding out of Peterborough you’ll pass through the city’s picturesque Jackson Park along the Trans Canada Trail en route to one of Kawartha Lakes’ unique attractions, Doube’s Trestle Bridge. The historic bridge spans Buttermilk Valley and marks an undisputed highlight of your ride. The town of Omemee is smaller than some you’ll visit, but a grocery store and dining options are available if you need to fuel up.
Section 4: Omemee to Lindsay (17.5km)
The Trans Canada Trail continues northwest to Lindsay. You’re closing in on the end of your ride, but if you’re tempted to linger, near Lock 33 you’ll find Old Mill Park, a pleasant green space accented by the ruins of an historic mill. Gusto Grande offers a fine dining experience if you’re craving a treat after a long ride. The Coach & Horses Pub is a more casual comfort food option. Days Inn & Suites is officially Trail Town Friendly and a good choice for spending the night.
Section 5: Lindsay to Fenelon Falls (22.5km)
Almost there! The Victoria Rail Trail is popular with cyclists for a reason—you’ll pass through Ken Reid Conservation Area and get great views across Sturgeon Lake as you follow the former CN line north to Fenelon Falls. You’ll be spoiled for choice if you decide to cap the evening with a meal—pair dinner with a local beer at Fenelon Falls Brewing Co., enjoy a hearty burger at the Cow & Sow, or dine beside Lock 34 at Murphy’s Lockside Pub & Patio. For a bit of luxury, consider overnighting at Eganridge Resort.
Option #2: TSW Loop Route
- Total Distance: 278.5km
- Starting and End Point: Campbellford