Regional cycling update

New mountain bike trails, improvements to the St. Lawrence Recreational Trail, Eastern Ontario Summit – there’s a lot going on around the region. 

Jones Creek Mountain Bike Trails
Some of the best mountain bike trails anywhere are right here on the edge of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere around Brockville.   The terrain varies wildly, including smooth granite, glacial till rock fields, pine needle beds, black mud bogs and sand pits.  And, it’s about to get even better!

St. Lawrence National Park staff are in the early stages of developing a new mountain biking trail network at Jones Creek.   With a committed budget and assistance from the local mountain bike community, early project planning is underway. The trails will include something for every level of riding ability, with trail combinations offering up to 3 – 4  hours of fun and challenging activity on a variety of terrain.  Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses through design and construction.

Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit: Connections – Pathways and Partnerships
Mark Friday May 13 on your calendar for this 3rd annual event, this year at the North Grenville Community Centre in Kemptville.

The event will feature local and guest speakers, panel discussions, workshops and a “Mayor’s Slow Bike Race” at lunchtime.  Attendees include municipal reps and staff, tourism partners, healthy community reps and other stakeholders keen to see Eastern Ontario capture our share of cycling’s ability to help grow healthy and economically robust communities. Stay tuned for more information.

1000 Islands Parkway Bridge Replacements
The 1000 Islands Parkway bridges over Jones Creek and Landon Bay will be rebuilt, with construction starting this summer.  The project consultants have committed to retaining continuity of the St. Lawrence Rec Trail, separated from motorized traffic, through the construction period.

St. Lawrence Recreational Trail Crossing at Hwy 137
There’s another St. Lawrence Rec Trail project underway too, one which will create continuity of the off-road trail across the Hwy 137 overpass at the Ivy Lea bridge approach.  Reconfiguration of one of the merge lanes will free up space on the bridge for the Trail to cross.  MTO is doing the work as part of the bridge rehabilitation there, with funding for the trail portion coming from cycling infrastructure funding committed as part of Action Plan 1.0 of #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy.

Brockville Cycle Tourism Outlook
For the sixth year in a row, work has started in cataloging the cycle touring groups that will be visiting Brockville this summer.  Once compiled, it’s published as a newsletter to DBIA and Tourism partners to ensure they’re ready when groups transit through town or the nearby countryside.

Over the past five years, numbers have varied quite a bit, largely dependent on the size of the larger tour groups. On average, between organized groups and independent cycle tourists, at least 3,000 visitors per years pedal into Brockville. Some are passing through and stop to rest and refuel.  Some stay overnight in local accommodation or at our “always room for cyclists” St. Lawrence Park campground.  All enjoy the friendly welcome they receive.

Transition Gananoque Screening of “Bike City, Great City”
On Sunday, April 17th from 1 – 3 pm at the Gananoque Public Library, the recently formed Transition Gananoque group will be screening David Chernushenko’s documentary film “Bike City, Great City“.  The movie will be followed by a group discussion on how to make Gananoque more bicycle friendly.

Cycling Advisory Efforts In Gananoque
A group of interested residents has started discussions leading toward working with SLPC, TLTI and Gananoque on improving the bicycle friendliness of the town, starting with the Ontario Waterfront Trail route connecting downtown to the St. Lawrence Rec Trail. Stay tuned for more!

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.