Sip, Savour and Cycle with the Greenbelt Foundation and Waterfront Regeneration Trust this Fall
August 30th, 2022
Ontario's Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route offer great cycling experiences every season. From August 7-12, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT), in partnership with the Greenbelt Foundation, CAA and Simcoe County, hosted a six-day, 450-kilometre event.
The 2022 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) featured a circular route, starting and ending at the Blue Mountains, and it took riders from South Georgian Bay's coastline to Lake Simcoe's shores and back.
Enjoy this event recap. Hopefully, it will whet your appetite to join us on September 17 and 18 for our GWTA weekender Farm Fresh Tours.
One by one, 150 riders trickled into the registration area at the Blue Mountain Inn to pick up number plates and maps, then headed out to explore locally. Some chose to ride the renowned Apple Pie Trail, while others stayed close to the water's edge along the Georgian Trail to paddle a canoe or take a hike.
In the late afternoon, we gathered for the Taste of Grey and Greenbelt Reception, featuring tastings from some of Grey County’s finest craft alcohol producers and a chance to mingle with new friends and old. In the evening, Blue Mountain Village and Collingwood set the stage for some good times out on the town.
Over the next five days, we beach hopped along the shores of Georgian Bay, pedaled through forests along quiet country roads, explored local communities, ate, and danced to the sounds of local musicians.
Highlights, there were many. Simcoe County hosted the GWTA Celebration Dinner, with delicious food and fabulous entertainment by the music of Ariko, a celebrated family Francophone fiddle group based in Tiny, seeing the Big Chute Marine Railway in action, lunch under the umbrellas at Em's Cafe in Coldwater, the waterfront in Barrie, and the welcome wagon in Elmvale. Sand, sun and selfies at Wasaga Beach on our last day and rolling into Collingwood under blue skies and sunshine.
Also, of course, the Simcoe County Loop Trail was a big part of the 2022 GWTA. The 160-kilometre, mostly off-road loop made for scenic riding. A big thank you to all the communities, organizations and businesses that welcomed and supported us along the way and made this adventure one to remember.
Whether or not you rode the GWTA this summer, the cycling fun is far from over. The WRT has created the weekend edition Farm Fresh Cycle Tour on September 17 and 18. Sample seasonal food and drinks at the rest stops from several local farms and businesses along the way, including Tyrone Mills, Haute Goat and Sargent's Dairy, Chronicle Brewery and Ganaraska Brewing Company.
During the two-day event, cyclists will enjoy breathtaking views of the fall colours along the Oak Ridges Moraine, while taking in curated experiences at local merchants and family-run businesses.
On day one, we will ride the 60 km Highland Hustle West. Highlights include delicious stops at the historic Tyrone Mills, downtown Orono, and Sargent's Family Dairy.
On day two, we take on the 77 km Highland Hustle East. Visit Clarington Farmers’ Market, the goats and alpacas at Haute Goat, watch the salmon climb the Port Hope fish ladder, and sample craft beverages at the Ganaraska Brewing Company in Port Hope.
The fully supported tour concludes each day with a complimentary lunch at a craft brewery.
Martin Lortz is a photographer, writer, and content creator for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust focusing on outdoor activities, adventure, and lifestyle. All images are taken by Martin Lortz.