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Waterfront trail North of Huron

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Waterfront trail North of Huron

Old 10-19-23, 08:02 AM
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Waterfront trail North of Huron

Part of our western Iowa to New York tour this year was on the Waterfront trail in Ontario north of Lake Huron. This is a relatively new section of Ontario’s Waterfront route (see the Waterfront Trail website for route). After crossing the International bridge from Michigan into Ontario at Sault Saint Marie, we followed the route east which roughly parallels Hwy 17, eventually on Hwy 6 and to the Baymouth-Tobermory ferry on the south side of Manitoulin Island. The route is a mix of side roads and stone trails that keep you off of 17 where it has no shoulders and on 17 if the shoulders are good. Hwy 17 is the Trans-Canada in this area, not fun to be on without shoulders. The ride was often along scenic farms roads, at times along lakes or rivers. We enjoyed the route very much, the Waterfront trail group did a great job.
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Old 10-19-23, 10:11 AM
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Ontario being the biggest obstacle between me and the Rockies, it's good to see that alternatives to its shoulderless highways are becoming available.
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Old 10-19-23, 11:30 AM
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The southern portion of the Waterfront Trail is also nice.

Southern point on Lake Huron near Sarnia, Ontario

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Old 10-20-23, 06:10 AM
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I did this route last month on 32mm front, 35mm rear Schwalbe Marathon tires. Fully loaded. This route has a large amount of poor traction gravel and compacted dirt. I found it difficult to ride on my tires.

I didn't go down to Manitoulin Island. Sucked it up and went straight toward Ottawa on Highway 17. Ticked Ontario off my list. Done it once, won't be doing it a second time in my lifetime.
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Old 10-20-23, 07:27 AM
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A more pleasant route to Ottawa would be after the Tobermory ferry, hugging the Georgian bay, then north of Barrie, east of Lake Simcoe, then south to Lake Ontario on to the waterfront trail. After Kingston, backroads to Ottawa. I would not say that the route North of Huron before Espanola had a lot of stone. I recall a 5 mile stretch and a few miles elsewhere here and there. On 2" tires it was good. What really sucked was the road east of Grand Marais in the UP. The sand was so thick for a number of miles we could barely walk the bike let alone ride.

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