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  1. #1
    Junior Dinosaur ecpowertap's Avatar
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    Lake Ontario, over or under?

    So I'm in ND right now so I've got a little time to work this out. I'm going to a town on the St. Lawrence river in New York pretty close to Brockville Ont. I know the southern and northern route reasonably well by highway but I've never biked either. I've heard bad things about biking through western NY and having once lived outside buffalo I not too surprised. I'm unsure but I think the american route is slightly shorter but that doesn't mean better.

    So has anyone ridden around lake ontario and have suggestions? I havn't decided where to cross if I do go north, possibly north of Detroit and Windsor and cut over to Ottawa then down old 16

  2. #2
    tuz
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    I rode around lake Ontario from Pickering to Cornwall, following the waterfront trail. Nice ride. Some rolling hills next to the lake but it gets quite flat next to the St Lawrence river, which starts close to Brockville.

    Scenery is nice in prince Edward county, no so much closer to Toronto. The river is beautiful.

    There are tons of bike paths in quebec: the route verte.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
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    I don't know the bike route from Niagara to Toronto by the north side. There have been several blogs, and there is some very nice country in theory.

    I like driving through Toronto, and I like driving east of Toronto. I think that is some very nice bike country. I live on the water just east of toronto, and the bike paths here are excellent though a little indirect. The road itself becomes the best route east of Oshawa, and I really enjoy that trip all the way to Montreal, highly recomended:

    Here is a good site for the TO east stuff:

    http://www.hedney.com/waterfront.htm

    The bike trails there have changed a some since this was written up, but that only affects a few miles east of Toronto. If I was around I would gladly pilot you through.

    If you can google earth it, you might do a run through. Some people coming thorugh souther Ontario think that it will be like a short nip through Alaska. I haven't checked stats recently, but a very rough comparison is that Canada is short of California in economic production, and probably about 1/4 to 1/3rd of that is between Niagara falls and the Oshawa (30km east of TO). East of Toronto is roughly like New England. This isn't wilderness unless you go a hundred or so miles north.

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    I cycled around Lake Ontario, and both the Ontario and New York sides were nice. The big difference is that on the Ontario side there's the long stretch of urban riding through the Greater Toronto Area.

  5. #5
    Junior Dinosaur ecpowertap's Avatar
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    thankyou everyone for the suggestions. I've been down the 401 many times and I was going to try to avoid the metro TO area and shot a little north and either shot down and follow the shoreline of lake ontario so I could make a stop in kingston, which is a town I really like, or stay north and shot across to Ottawa and then go south to the boarder, I guess I'll do some hypatheical routes on google maps when I get the time.

  6. #6
    Hooked on Touring
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    Generally, I can hold my breath about 1 minute - maybe longer - -
    But I don't think that's long enough to bike all the way under Lake Ontario.

  7. #7
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Consider the erie canal path. Plenty of towns along the way and no cars (obviously). It might be a little out of your way, but would be worth it.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    I'm doing the tour around Lake Ontario on the 23rd of September. I plan to travel in a clockwise direction beginning in Toronto. I plan to tour the Erie Canal towpath. Hope to see you there.
    Hockey

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    "thankyou everyone for the suggestions. I've been down the 401 many times and I was going to try to avoid the metro TO area and shot a little north and either shot down and follow the shoreline of lake ontario so I could make a stop in kingston, which is a town I really like, or stay north and shot across to Ottawa and then go south to the boarder, I guess I'll do some hypatheical routes on google maps when I get the time."

    A lot of cyclists hate the northern route through Ontario, not terribly interesting and a narrow heavily travelled road. Since there are bike paths and decent urban roads through the city, I would recomend that. Of course if you are starting way north around the north of the whole great lakes, you probably don't have much choice.

  10. #10
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    Toronto is a great place to visit, but Toronto and the surrounding cities are not bicycle friendly. So unless you have a specific reason to visit the area, consider taking public transportation around or through the Toronto area.

    To get into Toronto, the "Go Train" is probably the best bet. It runs between the outlying areas to the city core. A couple of years ago, rather than ride through the city, I took a 15 minute Go Train ride to Scarborough, where I began my tour along the north shore of Lake Ontario toward Kingston.

    You can travel right across Toronto, east - west, by subway, but you cannot have a bike during morning or afternoon rush hours.

    A patchwork system of bicycle paths and lanes exists in Toronto, but it's not easy to get from A to B unless you know the city well. Along at least one route, bicyclists share a lane with buses, taxis, and any vehicle that needs to make a right turn!

  11. #11
    tuz
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    I'd like to recommend the waterfront trail. It goes around lake Ontario from Niagara to Kingston, then to the Quebec border. You can get the maps (very detailed!) online. From Toronto it basically follows highway 2, and sometimes diverts to the lakeshore (mainly when hwy 2 has no shoulder). Lots of signs.

    If you pass by Toronto I'd too suggest taking the go train, say from Oakville to Oshawa. You can take a bike on weekends and between rush hours.
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  12. #12
    Member ImaGoTourNow's Avatar
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    The only city near Toronto that didn't have dedicated bike lanes was Mississauga... and a good portion of that city was bypassed on the waterfront trail..

    I rode from Niagara to Toronto last week, using my own hand-made maps, and I would make this decision based on what kind of riding you want to do... If you like the open wine country, go south.... If you like the trails and city experience, go north.

    The wind was a HUGE factor while traveling West (both north and south of the lake)... But I would say that while I was south of the lake, the wind was worse... probably because the northern cities helped break the wind up.

    The waterfront trail was sometimes hard to follow, but always easy to find again if I had to take a city road.

    www.strangerthanfact.com/tourcn07 << my route/pics/etc..

  13. #13
    dutret has a posse ryand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman View Post
    Consider the erie canal path. Plenty of towns along the way and no cars (obviously). It might be a little out of your way, but would be worth it.

    Mark
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  14. #14
    Forever CLYDE ! cyberpep's Avatar
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    I have biked around Lake Ontario and up and down the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall this summer. The absolute worst part of the trip was Toronto. It is nasty urban riding and if it was my choice I would go through NY either using the Erie Canal, the Seaway Trail or a combination. These are great cycling routes with lots of campgrounds if you are camping. You could cross on the Wolfe Island ferries to Kingston and then east to Brockville. From Ganaoque to Brockville there is the 1000 Island Parkway trail, this is a excellant trail. If you take the ferries then you don't have the climb over the bridges at Ivy Lea. Note that you are not allowed to cross the bridge at Ogdensburg on a bicycle and after seeing this bridge I can see why. If you really want to cross southern Ontario the Waterfront Trail is a good route and you could bypass Toronto by crossing the city on the GO train system, you can take your bike on them as long as it is not rushhour. Happy touring
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  15. #15
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    If you're in North Dakota, I'd keep going east through the upper peninsula of Michigan, enter Canada at Sault Ste Marie. I would continue going east until you hit Sudbury, and then go south on highway 69 to Perry Sound. Then head southeast to Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, through the Muskoka lakes area. From there you can head south through Orillia and head on down to the Lake Ontario coast east of Toronto. I've toured all these areas, as well as most of the areas that you would be likely to travel through if you entered Canada north of Windsor, in the Sarnia/Port Huron area.

    The route that I suggested would be by far the more scenic route.

    This is the general idea of what it would be like on Google maps:
    http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?ie=UT...8732&z=10&om=1
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  16. #16
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    Holy cow! Some people might be a little geographically-challenged. Some of the route suggestions represent hundreds of extra miles. Better actually look at a real paper map. It's a lot easier to sit down on the floor with a map than trying to do this online. Use a string to measure distances, and you'll quickly see what I mean about the extra hundreds of miles.

  18. #18
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    If you're talking about my route suggestion, I believe you are mistaken. It would be longer to go south, around the southern tip of Lake Michigan, if the original poster is going to be riding from North Dakota. He could take a ferry across Lake Michigan, from Milwaukee to Muskegon, or from Manitowoc to Ludington. But if he wants to go north of Lake Ontario, and he doesn't want to use a boat as a shortcut, he'd save himself some miles by not dropping way down to the south. Plus, the northern route is a heck of a lot more scenic.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    whats wrong with the new york side?

    I grew up in Buffalo and now live in Rochester I think it would be a lot easier to go that way. On the US side you can stay on the waterfront the whole time on the "seaway trail"

    Here is a link to some info on it. It is more of a scienic drive than a bike route.
    http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2200/


    or take the Erie canal bike path across the state in the middle.
    Here is a link to the state map

    https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/p...-bureau/biking

    On the Canada side is is a lot more congestet, just get around toronto would be a pain in the Neck.

    I have never bike on the north side so I admit that i am biased by my experance. On the US side I would avoid some of the areas in the Niagara Falls or Rochester and Buffalo, but i am sure the same can be said of Toronto.

    good luck with your trip

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    HOw long will it take you to get Lake Ontario?

    You are going to run out of warm weather soon. I have camped in late september in north Ontario and it is really cold at night.

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    HOw long will it take you to get Lake Ontario?

    You are going to run out of warm weather soon. I have camped in late september in north Ontario and it is really cold at night.

  22. #22
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    Very good point. The temperatures will be getting pretty low in the next month. Getting as far south as possible might be advisable if the OP doesn't have good cold weather gear.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherdan View Post
    Very good point. The temperatures will be getting pretty low in the next month. Getting as far south as possible might be advisable if the OP doesn't have good cold weather gear.
    I am not 100% sure, but I think that winters arrive earlier and are more severe on the American side of Lake Ontario, at least in the western part of the lake. Buffalo is famous for its snowstorms -- and let's not forget the fires in Cheektowaga! A few dozen miles further north, we see little or none of it. (By "it" I mean snowstorms, not house fires!)

    Nevertheless, north or south shores of Lake Ontario are not ideal for long, multi-day tours at this time of year. Nights are cool, it tends to rain, and the first hard frost usually hits the second or third week of October. (in Toronto, anyway.)

    Further north in Ontario: Don't even think about going without proper equipment and preparation. But a good place for day trips at this time of year!

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