About the Greenbelt Route
More than 475 kilometres of signed cycling adventures await you in the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s Greenbelt. From Niagara to Northumberland, enjoy lush forests, winding rivers, welcoming communities, and family farms as you pedal through some of southern Ontario’s diverse and stunning landscapes. Have a look at the 34 downloadable and printable paper maps!
A Growing Network of Cycle Routes
The Greenbelt Route is the newest addition to a growing network of long distance cycle routes in Ontario, providing endless opportunities for exploring this gorgeous province from the seat of your bicycle. Together, the Waterfront Trail and the Greenbelt Route form an impressive 1000 kilometre signed and mapped loop around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Start your cycling adventure from nearby cities by pedalling along the Waterfront Trail to the Greenbelt Route or simply jump on the vast GO Transit system with your bike, and begin or finish the ride in St. Catharines, Cobourg, Hamilton, or countless other communities.
With Something for Everyone
Sections of the Greenbelt Route can be challenging for the most experienced of cyclists, including the punishing inclines of the Niagara Escarpment. On the other hand, if you’re looking to bring your children or grandparents on a leisurely ride, the Caledon Trailway, northwest of Brampton, offers 30 kilometres of path along an historic rail bed. Instead of trains, you and your family will be sharing this part of the route with walkers, joggers, and the occasional trotting horseback rider.
- At nearly two million acres, Ontario’s Greenbelt is the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt—larger than Prince Edward Island!
- The Greenbelt’s natural heritage system protects about 535,000 acres of lakes, wetlands, river valleys, and forest, which are essential for filtering, cleaning, and bringing us the water we drink.
- The Greenbelt is consistently one of the province’s most popular initiatives, garnering support from nine out of ten Ontarians.
- The Greenbelt is home to the Niagara Peninsula Tender Fruit and Grape Area, and accounts for over 80 per cent of the province's production of peaches, grapes, cherries, plums, and apricots.
- With lush forests and ancient trees, the Greenbelt offsets 137,000 tonnes of carbon annually.
- Home to Canada’s largest network of hiking trails, Ontario's Greenbelt contains more than 10,000 km of trails.
Read more about the Greenbelt Route! John Barber took a test ride and loved it!
- The Bruce Trail, which runs through Ontario's Greenbelt along the length of the Niagara Escarpment, is Canada’s longest and oldest footpath.
- The Greenbelt intersects four major watersheds: East Lake Huron, East Georgian Bay, North Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
- Wetlands can trap up to 60% of metals and 90% of sediment in water runoff. The Greenbelt protects wetlands.
- The Greenbelt protects 535,000 acres of lakes, wetlands, river valleys and forests.
- The Greenbelt produces fresh air, in fact its forested area alone stores the carbon equivalent to 27 million cars driven over one year!
- With its 161,000 full-time jobs, the Greenbelt provides more employment than the fish, forestry, mining, quarrying, and oil extraction industries combined.
- The Greenbelt’s ecosystems help sustain the health and well-being of many Ontarians. With an estimated value of $2.6 billion annually (an average of $3,487 per hectare), the Greenbelt’s forests, wetlands, and other natural features are irreplaceable.
- From end to end the Greenbelt Route spans more than 475 km of protected Ontario countryside—that’s equal to the length of 269,966 average bicycles!
- The Greenbelt Route benefits human health and well-being by providing active recreational opportunities and a connection to nature.
- A growing body of research suggests Canadians feel happier when outdoors, and that the social and mental health benefits of ‘green’ environments include better cognitive functioning, better decision-making skills, and greater resilience to stress.
- More than half of the people living in central Ontario are likely to take advantage of the tourism and recreation possibilities of the Greenbelt (i.e. hiking, camping, skiing, fruit-picking, wine-tasting, tours, and spas).