The Greenbelt Route is a new cycling trail running more than 375 km from Niagara to Northumberland. It is now officially open! It showcases communities en route and provides links with urban centres along the Greenbelt, as well as connections to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
It is the newest addition to a growing network of long distance cycle routes in Ontario, providing wonderful opportunities to explore our beautiful province. Together, the Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route form an impressive 1000 km signed and mapped trail loop around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
The Greenbelt Route is a great for all ages and abilities. Sections of the Greenbelt Route can be challenging even for the most experienced cyclists, particularly on the punishing inclines of the Niagara Escarpment. Other parts of the Route offer a leisurely ride, such as the Caledon Trailway, a 30 km path along a historic railway bed northwest of Brampton.
The Niagara Escarpment portion of the Greenbelt Route begins just outside Niagara Falls and extends through St. Catharines, along Lake Ontario to Hamilton, around Burlington and Milton through to Georgetown and Caldeon, where it continues along through the rest of the Greenbelt.
There are also a handful of regional loops, ranging from 23 km to 59 km, that connect to the main Route and are perfect for day trips. The regional loops showcase tourism highlights in each region. A few of the loops are on the Niagara Escarpment or offer great views, such as the Fruitland Ramble in the Niagara Peninsula, the Escarpment Expedition in Hamilton, the Leather Town Spin in Halton, and the Credit River Ride in Peel. The regional loops are not signed, so be sure to bring along a map.
The 36 km Fruitland Ramble will take you through wineries and farms in Beamsville and Grimsby, offering lovely views of the escarpment. The 23 km Escarpment Expedition loop begins in Ancaster and passes through Dundas and Hamilton. Along the way you can stop at the Dundas Valley Trail Centre and learn about the Niagara Escarpment at the Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre. The Leather Town Spin is a little more challenging and goes 38 km through Georgetown and Acton, past Limehouse Conservation Area and through scenic forests and wetlands. Finally, the Credit River Ride is an advanced 30 km cycling loop passing the Cheltenham Badlands and Forks of the Credit Provincial Park.
There are some great resources available to help plan longer journeys with overnight stays. Downloadable maps are available for all sections of the Route as well as the regional loops. On this interactive map you can view campsites along the Route as well as shops, country stores, and restaurants. You can also view a range of attractions that you might want to visit during your trip. Ontario by Bike has great information on bicycle friendly accommodations, places to eat, and attractions.
The Greenbelt Route is a wonderful way to explore the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine, and Ontario Greenbelt. Be safe and have fun!