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  1. #1
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    Family Riding in Markham

    We have just moved to Markham and wanted to know if there was any Family Friendly biking in the area. Can seem to track down any bike paths? Are there any good conservation areas or city parks that would have enough paths?

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Zebra Treker's Avatar
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    Hi. For a start, try Googling 'markham ontario bike trails' I found a neat site called Bikely.com. People upload all kinds of routes that you can view on maps. Pretty neat. Good luck.

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    Thanks Treker,

    I did see this site previously and unfortunately my suspicions have been verified. Markham just does not have a family friendly way of biking right now. I am referring to pulling a kid cart behind my bike with the little dude it it enjoying a leasurely ride. The closest that we have gotten so far is driving on side streets, some of which are marked with a "bike route" sign between point A and B however until my little guy gets big enough to ride his own bike, the trails are really off limit except for hiking for us.

    Thanks again for your reply.

  4. #4
    Zebra Treker's Avatar
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    25K, I understand. I'd like to suggest the rural roads around Markham but given the population and vehiculur density, I don't know if they would work. Here in Ottawa, I can think of dozens of relatively quiet rural roads just south of Ottawa where I'd feel secure in taking a kid-trailer (if I had one). How wide are the road shoulders up there? Is it feasible to cycle rural roads in and around M~?

    BTW, from where did you move to M~ and what kind of bike are you using?

  5. #5
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25KCommute View Post
    We have just moved to Markham
    Biggest mistake you've ever made in your life.

    Here is some info on Markhams pathways. Looks like your best bet is fairly short loops at Milne Park. They do have plans to expand the pathway network, but, given the priority such projects typically get, by the time they actually do something your children will probably be approaching retirement age.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

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    thanks Chephy for the link. We will also consider Toogood pond as an option as well. Good picnicing and good paths. BTW, we have just found the York Regional Forests trail system. Some of them seem to fit the bill, however we have just been hiking them over the past week. Surprisingly, there are about 50 formal trail systems in York so we will be pretty busy in to the fall and maybe get out on the Cross country skies in the winter (have to find a way to cart the little one who loves the outdoors though).

    Treker, shoulders here we are are pretty tight. You are correct that Ottawa is a great place but what else do you expect from the nations capital. We have considered moving there in the past but the stars have not aligned. We are originally from North Bay so the romantic notion of moving back up north is always in the back of our mind. Rural roads are typically narrow two laners here. Good for biking but not trailers. We lived in Milton for 4 years prior to moving here with our jobs. The hour commute got to us and as you are aware, we now have a little boy (2.5 years).

    thanks for your input!!!

  7. #7
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25KCommute View Post
    We lived in Milton for 4 years prior to moving here with our jobs. The hour commute got to us and as you are aware, we now have a little boy (2.5 years).
    Hey, Milton - some cool biking there. Even some paths. But yeah, hell, you don't want to commute between Milton and Markham every day!
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  8. #8
    Senior Member VintageRaleigh's Avatar
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    I lived in Unionville for a long time

    There are light trails in around Toogood pond, and the ravine right North-west of there. In the ravine there are some paths trodden mostly by drugged out teens at night but they're pretty ok for more challenging trail biking. Then go to main street for Coffee etc.

    I like riding my bike for more utility purposes (to do errands etc) so I keep a bike in Unionville so I can ride to the different shopping areas, save on gas. They've put in a bike lane behind the Embassy Suites hotel that you can ride over to the Chapters/Cineplex/Longos plazas over by Woodbine and 7. Then you can ride back to the 7 and Warden plaza, and from there are some short cuts by Sablewood park if you head directly east that will bring you right to Main Street Unionville.

    People complain about biking in the suburbs as a means of real transportation, but you can get to all the necessary retail within the Unionville area by bike comfortably and safely. If you need to get to Markville mall from Unionville, you can go down main street, and down at the end Maple (I think it is...) at the end there is a shortcut that brings you to the trails by Walden pond which will pretty much bring you right to Markville.


    I copied this from what I wrote on a another thread

    But one thing I mentioned here that I didn't see on this thread is Walden pond. Walden pond is a good way to get to Unionville from Markville Mall and I'm sure you know how close Markville is to Milne. Then of course, once in Unionville there is Toogood pond...

    Markham/Unionville is a great place to live I hope you like it.

  9. #9
    Zan
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    wait, so what are you looking for in Markham (hey i live here!). you want trails as in "lets putter around slowly with a trailer with kids in the back" trails, or "hey lets try some single track!" trails?

    If you're sticking to the roads, I could describe my 30km loop to you if you're interested. Mostly nice roads with little traffic. as for official paths in parks, markham sucks. milne conservation area is one spot. too good pond is another. then there is a park (north of 7... west of markville mall, east of kennedy), which has some paths. all these paths are extremely short, however.

    there is a somewhat fun little single track trail near 48 + 7. made mostly by hikers, but tidied up for riding by me and my buddy. it's about 9km (i think?), and is a loop that runs 'round the milne lake (starting from 48), through milne, under the bridge of 48, along the river into the golf course near 14th and 9th, and then back up along the river to 48.

    i can send you a map if you're interested. just give me some feedback/recommendations!
    Last edited by Zan; 06-26-08 at 07:26 PM.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

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    Hi Zan, I'm in Markham for a bit and was wondering if that trail you were describing on 48/7 is still in existence? Also, would you know any other good spots (singletrack, doubletrack, etc.) near the Too-good pond area, I'm not quite clear on the location of the "Ravines" on the northwest end of Too Good.

    Alan

  11. #11
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    I used to live in markham around the highway 7 Leslie area and whenever I see bikers they just use the sidewalks because it's extremely rare to see anyone walking on them and the roads are just congested with cars cars and more cars up there thanks to urban sprawl. riding on the road would be just frustration cause cars aren't used to bikes at all up there and most won't leave enough room from the curb which you'll end up zig zagging down the street. I Guess you pretty much get zero pedestrian traffic because everything is just sooo far apart up north that it was built for the car first and everything else was secondary. Hopefully they'll change, since I moved back to Toronto bikes are more of a common sight there and downtown is a zoo for bikes as they zip past all the cars stuck in traffic .

    The biggest Laugh I had was when they promoted bike week and told people to bike to work. The roads up here past highway 7 cars are flying by you at 80km/h! no thanks! No bike trails on paths.

    BUT there is one sidewalk i know on major mackenzie east of highway 404 where it is just smooth black pavement 2meters wide and went east to kennedy or so! that's an ok 4km ride if you live up around there. Very smooth and you can get to the community center through that trail.

  12. #12
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    York region publishes a cycling map. There is a paper version. You can view a PDF linked online at http://www.york.ca/Services/York+Cycling/default.htm but it is very hard to read and navigate on-screen - the paper version is better for viewing.

    There are a few MUPs scattered around York region but most of the marked paths are "shared roadways" (mostly in Richmond Hill, IIRC). There is a bit of "paved shoulder" around, but in general I stick to residential roads and the occasional sidewalk. As for parks, Richmond Green might be a nice place to bike, but is probably far from you.

    My personal feeling is that cycling is safe on in-city roads where the vehicular speed limit is up to 40kph, after that, it is extremely dangerous.

    I attended the Vaughan Cycling forum a few months ago. Apparently there is a York region cycling and pedestrian master plan that wins awards but implementation is sort of only starting. It seems like it will take a looooong time to be implemented -- environmental assessments, consultations studies, each stretch out the process to maybe 1 year per step. IIRC, someone mentioned Mississauga's plan took 20 years to implement. The comment on your kids approaching retirement age is prescient.
    Last edited by dchsueh; 06-05-12 at 09:36 AM. Reason: clarified master plan

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