When it comes to enjoying leisurely summer activities, there’s plenty to do in Brantford. Thanks to the conversion of many kilometers of unused railway lines into recreational rail trails, cycling has quickly risen to the top of the list. Riding these trails is scenic, fun and safe. The absence of automotive traffic makes them especially attractive for families with children. Choose a short route or a longer one. There’s something for every ability.
To get started, there is a very popular loop of trail that follows along the Grand River, eventually crossing over into West Brant. There are several handy access points that offer vehicle parking. Hardy Road, Wilkes Dam and D’Aubigny Creek Park are three of the more popular ones. Here you’ll ride along a section of trail that overlooks the Grand River, eventually making your way across the river via a bridge, to Brant Park. From Brant Park pedal to Oak Hill Drive. From there it’s a smooth ride through West Brant on the Ballantyne Drive bike lane to the Brantford Casino.
From the casino, an additional section of trail makes its way to Mohawk Park, passing by the Earl Haig waterpark and the Mohawk Chapel along the way. If a bigger ride is what you’re looking for, you’ll find this trail continuing on through rolling farmland and Carolinian forest, ending in Hamilton. The access point for this trail is at the bottom of Locks Road.
You may want to ride from Brantford to Paris, which can be a little challenging due to some hills. From Paris you can enjoy a shaded section of rail trail that pauses in Glen Morris. For a longer ride, continue on from Glen Morris and pedal your way to Cambridge. You’ll find access to parking at all three points.
A newer trail that is gaining in popularity begins just outside of the Maple Leaf plant, with parking once again at D’Aubigny Creek Park. It’s a great route to ride in all four of the seasons due to changes in scenery as the year progresses. There is a duck marsh that is lush with greenery in the spring, dry in the summer, colorful in the fall and frozen white in the winter. The expanses of farmland and woodland along the way also experience change. This trail contains a large paved section in addition to the usual compressed dirt surface. A scenic afternoon or evening ride can be enjoyed by riding to Mt Pleasant or continuing on until you reach Willow Lake Park. For the more determined, this is the trail that makes its way to Waterford and Simcoe, eventually ending in Port Dover.
Fill up your water bottles, pump up your tires, grab your helmets and some riding companions and discover Brantfords rail trail system. You’ll want to ride the trails time and time again.