Lanark County is a cyclist’s paradise with its variety of routes suitable to many different skill levels. The Canadian Shield lands provide great training hills, while the flatter farmlands allow for speed – or a rest. All of this is nestled into some of the most gorgeous scenery anywhere – a mix of rocks, forests, wetlands, meadows, lakes and rivers. There are plenty of towns, villages, hamlets, parks and conservation areas to explore along the way. Come, visit and enjoy the perfect journey!
For information on cycling routes and trails, plus certified bicycle friendly places to eat, visit and sleep in Lanark County, see www.ontariobybike.ca/lanark
To see a route for “gravel bikes”, click HERE.
To Cycle from Ottawa to Carleton Place, route information is available at the following link: http://gobiking.ca/local-rides/ottawa-to-carleton-place/or try the new Ottawa-Mississippi Friendship Loop described at the following link: https://mmbm.ca/friendship-trail/ (map)
1. Glen Tay Loop
This 15-km short, flat route along paved roadways is an excellent beginner route that takes cyclists along the upper Tay River past heritage farmlands and through the scenic village of Glen Tay. Start from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where you will find ample parking and washrooms. View Glen Tay Cycling Route.
2. Perth to Murphys Point
Challenge yourself with this 41.3-km route that takes you through the hilly terrain marking Canadian Shield country from Perth to Murphys Point Provincial Park. Start from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where there is parking and washrooms. Take a break or hike through the park. Buy some fresh local produce from farm stands on your way back to town. View Perth to Murphys Point Cycling Route.
3. Harper to Balderson
This lovely beginner route takes you along 26 km of flat paved roadway featuring beautiful farmland and some must-stops. Enjoy the delectable treats at Balderson and the scrumptious baked goods and cute mini critters in Glen Tay. Start from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where there is parking and washrooms. View Harper to Balderson Cycling Route.
4. Maberly to Mcdonalds Corners Route
For a challenging route over the hills and dales of west Lanark County, try this 92.8-km journey along paved roadways. Pause as you pass through the charming villages of Maberly, Glen Tay and Bolingbroke. The route begins and ends from the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where you’ll find parking and washrooms. View Maberly to McDonalds Corners Cycling Route.
5. Lanark to Fallbrook Route
This 24.8-km intermediate route starts from the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village and follows paved roads through rolling hills and beautiful countryside, past golf courses, historic churches and through charming hamlets. Park at the municipal office. Washrooms are available when the building is open. View Lanark to Fallbrook Cycling Route.
6. Lanark to Middleville Route
This intermediate route along 31 km of paved and gravel roadways features some rolling hills and a great deal of lovely scenery. Explore historic treasures along the way, such as the Middleville Museum, and the ghost town of Herron Mills on the Clyde River. Park at the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village. Washrooms are available when the office is open. View Lanark to Middleville Cycling Route.
7. Lanark to McDonalds Corners
This longer route along County Roads 12 and 8 offers some challenging hills and scenic viewscapes as it passes by conservation areas, natural gems and lovely bed and breakfasts and retreats (where you might want to rest when you are done!). Most of the 39.8-km route is paved, but there is some gravel. Park at the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village. Washrooms are available when the office is open. View the Lanark to McDonald’s Corners Cycling Route.
8. Lanark to Ferguson Falls
This 24-km intermediate route along paved roads and through rolling landscapes showcases some fun stops along the way – including a gorgeous golf course, a woolen shop, a campground on the Mississippi and a sugar bush operation near the hamlet of Ferguson Falls. Park at the Lanark Highlands Municipal Office at 75 George Street in Lanark Village. Washrooms are available when the office is open. View Lanark to Ferguson Falls Cycling Route.
9. Town of Perth Tour
Roll past some of Perth’s compelling sites on this easy, short route (that could be walked). Start at the Big Ben monument in Code Park, opposite Fiddleheads, and meander through the downtown streets to learn a little about the town’s history and lots about the great shops, restaurants and facilities on offer. Park behind Fiddleheads. Washrooms are available in Code’s Mill atrium. View Town of Perth Cycling/Walking Route.
Challenge yourself to this 87-km journey from Perth to Westport and back. This route follows paved roadway through farmland and Canadian Shield country and past gorgeous lakes. Take a rest at scenic Narrows Lock on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal. Enjoy shopping and restaurants at some of the hamlets along the way and in Westport and Perth. The route begins and ends at the Crystal Palace/Tay Basin in Perth, where you’ll find parking and washrooms. View Perth to Westport Cycling Route.
11. Golf Club Road & Bay Road
From the Beckwith Street Bridge in Smiths Falls, ride south on Brockville Street (Hwy. 29) past the County Fair Mall for a scenic 28-km tour through the countryside. You’ll be treated to views of fields, forest, lakes and marshlands as you make your way along this loop that traverses paved roads with a stretch of dirt.
12. Kelly’s Road
This 21.9-km loop starts from the Beckwith Street Bridge in Smiths Falls and takes you south on Brockville Street (Hwy. 29) through scenic countryside along country roads, linking up with the Cataraqui Trail for a short stretch. The route is mostly paved road with some dirt and gravel stretches.
13. Matheson Drive & Code Road
For a shorter route along paved roads, this 18.8-km loop leaves from the Beckwith Street Bridge and heads out of town to Rosedale Road South into Montague Township. When you head back into town, the route takes you into the park where you can relax.
14. Matheson Drive & Rosedale Rd.
This 18.4-km route along paved roadways is the southern loop of Matheson Drive, taking you from the Beckwith Street Bridge out of town. Along the way you’ll encounter the scenic Rideau Canal and Old Sly’s. Stop in at the Heritage House Museum.
15. Kilmarnock Route
Starting from the Beckwith Street Bridge, this 24.9-km route along paved roads follows Hwy. 43 to the Kilmarnock Road over the lock and past the beautiful apple orchard. As you head back to town via the Jasper Road, you can return to Beckwith Street or follow the path along the river in Lower Reach Park.
16. Poonamalie Road
Combine biking and walking with this 17.6-km route along paved roads with rough and dirt patches. Depart from the Beckwith Street Bridge and head southwest on Lombard Street to Poonamalie Road. Visit the Poonamalie lockstation, where there is a short walking trail on the opposite side of the lock – a nice break before heading back into Smiths Falls.
17. Birders on Bicycles
Leave from Mill St. in Almonte and cycle to where the birds are on this 18-km route that mostly follows paved roads. The hamlet of Blakeney and Mill of Kintail are along this route, and be sure to check out the Almonte Waste Sanitation Ponds – a great spot for birding. Parking is available in the market square.
18. Naismith Loop
Start from the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area (where you can park) and take in some area history at the museum before setting out on this 22-km ride through picturesque farmland and forests on the way to Clayton. There is a mix of gravel and paved roads on this route. When you return to the museum, you’ll find a picnic area, washrooms, nature trails along the Indian River and a play structure for kids. View the Naismith Loop Cycling Route
19. Pizza Hut Ride
For a quick ride, park at Almonte’s Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge St. and head out of town on Country Street. The 11-km route on paved roads passes the new municipal building, affectionately dubbed the “Pizza Hut” for its red roof. This ride can be extended by going out the 7th Line or even the 6th, then heading back to town on Old Perth Road. The hill back to Almonte will keep you strong!
20. Reva’s Museum Tour
This 41-km journey along mostly paved roads and some hard-packed gravel features stops at four local museums. Start anywhere along the route and take in the Mill of Kintail’s R. Tait McKenzie Museum and the Dr. James Naismith Collection, the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte and the North Lanark Historical Museum in Appleton. Enjoy the beautiful Mississippi along the way. Parking at the museum. View Reva’s Museum Tour Cycling Route
21. Tour de Mississippi Mills
This 100+ km route along paved and hard-packed gravel roads can be completed in four stages. It winds through Almonte and all four Mississippi Mills hamlets: Appleton, Blakeney, Clayton and Pakenham. Start anywhere along what is dubbed the “grand dame of Bicycle Month routes.” Cross the Mississippi and Indian rivers multiple times and enjoy varied landscapes, along with stops at several historic landmarks along the way.
22. Verna’s Text Book Tour
This 42-km route on paved and hard-packed gravel is named for naturalist, historian and geologist Verna McGiffin and takes you on a ride into history. The route starts at Pakenham’s Five Arch Stone Bridge (where you can park) and features prehistoric shorelines and beautiful vistas. Rugged rocks and trees mingle with charming heritage architecture to tell the story of this settled land. Check out Verna’s books in the Pakenham library. View Verna’s Text book Tour Cycling Route.
23. Mountain Biking
With the plethora of trails and landscapes throughout Lanark County, there is no shortage of experiences for mountain-bike enthusiasts to enjoy. The Trans Canada and K&P are examples of several multi-use trails in the area offering long and shorter routes and a range of difficulty levels. Some private resorts also offer open trails for mountain biking. Visit links to some of the listed trails or contact local experts at Sport X at 613-284-1632.
24. Carleton Place Route One approx 4.5 kms
This ride begins at Centennial Park. Enjoy the water and a picnic lunch at the Park then hop on your bikes to work off dessert!
This route is good for families and meanders through residential neighbourhoods. All road surfaces are smooth. Remember to respect the traffic lights and be careful when crossing town line Rd. There might be some exposure to parked cars, so watch for opening doors.
Begin at Centennial park and follow Joseph St north west (cross Town line Rd at traffic lights) stay on Joseph to Prime. Turn right on Prime Place to Quarry Rd. Turn left on Quarry Rd to Julie Anne Crescent. Turn right onto Julie Anne Crescent and circle back to Quarry Rd. Turn left onto Quarry Rd and follow to Bridge St. Cross Townline Rd at Bridge St one block to Herriot St. Turn right onto Herriot St and follow to Flora. Turn left onto Flora St and continue back to Centennial Park.
25. Carleton Place Route Two approx 7.5 kms
This ride begins at the Information Centre, Gallery and Gift Shop. Stop in and enjoy the Artwork of local artisans before beginning this family friendly tour. This route takes you along the Mississippi Riverwalk, and past the historic town hall, past Riverside Park and the Canoe Club. The Riverwalk trail is narrow and heavily treed. Go slow and enjoy the fantastic scenery or get off your bike and walk along this section. Be careful when crossing Bridge St and use the pedestrian crosswalk.
Take the bike paths along Coleman to Hooper St. Turn left onto Hopper and follow to Lake Ave E. Cross Lake Ave E onto Crampton. Turn right at Stonewater Bay to arrive at the Riverwalk Trail. Walk or bike the trail to its end at Princess St. Turn right onto Princess to Mill St. Follow Mill St past the town hall. Cross at Pedestrian Cross walk and turn left on Bridge St one block to Allan St. Turn right onto Allan St the left onto Victoria. Follow Victoria to John St. – turn right. Follow John to Riverside Park to travel on bike paths in the park, just past the Canoe Club, take bike paths to boat launch then turn onto Lake Ave West. To Mississippi Rd. Take Mississippi Rd to Woodward – turn left onto woodward turn right on Boyd then left on Arthur. Follow Arthur and it turns into Coleman. Return to Info Centre. View Carleton Place Cycling Route Two.
26. Carleton Place Route Three – approx 12 kms
Start at Riverside Park. Enjoy the splash pad and park! This is a nice family ride but stay single file along heavily trafficked sections.
Lots of parked cars along Mississippi Rd so watch for moving traffic and doors opening. Follow the lights when crossing Hwy 7 onto Lake Park.
Start at Canoe Club and follow bike path along the river to boat launch. Take Lake Ave W to Mississippi Rd. Follow Mississippi Rd to Hwy 7, cross carefully at lights to Lake Park Rd.- turn right onto Lake Park at stop sign . Continue down Lake Park Rd to Timberwood, turn left and take Timberwood to 10th line of Beckwith, turn right onto 10th line to Carlbeck Dr – follow Shanna Dr back to Lake Park Rd. – turn right onto Lake Park Rd and continue back to Riverside Park
27. Carleton Place Route Four- approx 15 kms
This is one you’ll want to take slowing and even stop at times along the way. There is some traffic so ride single file! This is paved but parts of River Road can be bumpy. There is a hill on River Road so hands on brakes here. This is a very scenic route. If time allows stop for a rest near the falls in Appleton.
Park at Trans Canada Trail Head just off Cavanagh Rd past McNeely Ave. Take the Trans Canada Trail east to Appleton Side Road. Go left on Appleton Side Rd and follow to River Rd. Follow the loop on River Road and loop back to Appleton Side Rd. View Carleton Place Cycling Route Four.
28. Carleton Place Route Five – option one 16 kms / option 2 – 28 kms.
Choose your routes depending on the length of the ride you want to take. This is a very pleasant ride mostly on paved roads. Portions that are not paved are smooth and well packed.
From TCT Trail Head on Cavanaugh Road go East on the Trail, Left onto Appleton Side Road, Left onto River Road, Cross Bridge at APPLETON, Left on Wilson St, left onto Fairway Cres to end, follow Trail, Left on Glen Isle Road, right onto Booth Drive straight through to T, follow Centenial Trail, left on Maple Lane, under Bridge, William St. Follow William St, Left onto the Paved OVRTrail (just before Mullett St), Cross Bridge, left on Franklin St (next street), Cross Princess St to Riverwalk Trail on right side, Follow Riverwalk Trail to Park, Exit Park to South (on the left side), right on Peckett St, cross Lake Ave, South on Hooper St to Cavanagh Road/Trans Canada Trail.
1. Alternate is to extend the ride to the River Road then back to Appleton.
2. Alternate CP is to go under McNeely Bridge then up and across the bridge, cross the road at the next Lights, (or Waterside Parking Lot) Trail South to TCT on the right. View Carleton Place Cycling Route Five.
Bike Rentals are available at:
Almonte Old Town Hall
14 Bridge St. Almonte, ON
Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce
170 Bridge St. Carleton Place, ON
Heritage Bikes & Rentals Perth
39 Gore St E, Perth
Lanark County’s network of roads and trails provides for an endless array of possible running routes that offer amazing sightseeing opportunities for a range of skill levels, whether you prefer easy, flat terrain or a challenging workout. Set out and blaze your own path or choose from this sampling of some of the county’s challenging running routes.
1. Blueberry Mountain
One of the official “Seven Wonders of Lanark County,” this is the highest “peak” in the county. There is a sign-in start at the bottom, then head up the wide path. It is mostly a medium grade – tough, but runable – but the last 50 metres is more of a light climb than a run. The view at the top is excellent, especially in the fall. It is 2.5K to the top, but be cautious on the way down as the decent is too steep to run without risk in a couple of sections. There are several other paths on the same mountain with lots of variation in destination. For anything but the main route, one should alert/contact the house at the trail start.
2. Dalhousie Lake Run
This 10-mile run features some paved roads and goes all the way around Dalhousie Lake through McDonalds Corners. A more challenging version is the Bridge to Bridge route, where there are no flats longer than 100 metres and there are several 2+ minute leg-numbing hills. If you like quiet dirt roads along the lake, this is for you. Start at the top of the lake on the bridge near the beach, head north and then along the lake. It comes out on the bridge near the golf course and Sylvania Lodge, then return. View the Dalhousie Lake Running Route.
3. Otty Lake Run
This 20K run starts at Gore and South streets in Perth and takes you out the Rideau Ferry Road past Jebb Creek and onto the Canadian Shield (hilly!) landscapes along ElmGrove Road. Turn right onto Long Lake Road and enjoy abundant lakes, cottages and wetlands. Turn right onto Narrows Lock Road and look forward to a break when you turn right onto the Scotch Line (County Road 10), where you’ll find flatter farmlands and head back to your starting position. View the Otty lake Running Route.