June 16, 2024

Uxbridge to Lindsay Rail Trail

One rail trail I wanted to do for a while is the Uxbridge to Lindsay Rail Trail. Back in 2020, I did a short portion of the Omemee Rail Trail from Peterborough to the Doube’s Trestle Bridge, though the trail continued all the way to Lindsay. Both are part of the Trans Canada Trail. Yesterday with the weather finally co-operating, I took GO Transit to Uxbridge to cross that trail off my bucket list.

GO Transit

The earliest transit trip available was the 7:43 AM Bus #71 from Union Station to Uxbridge. It was the first time I used the new Union Station Bus Terminal which was very modern and easy to navigate. The information screens were clear and directed you to the appropriate gate and/or zone.

While not the clearest photo, the bus racks were easy to use, and they held the bike safely for the entire ride. This bus also had USB outlets to charge your phone, though it would have been nice to have them on all GO buses and trains.

Uxbridge Station

The GO bus stops at the former Uxbridge rail station. There used to be a “York Durham Heritage Railway”, but it permanently shut down earlier this year. The train tracks from Uxbridge to Stouffville are owned by Metrolinx as with the rest of the Stouffville line, which makes me wonder if/when Metrolinx plans to extend the line to Uxbridge in the future. Another possibility that's been floated around is to convert the railway from Uxbridge to Stouffville (or at least Old Elm) into a trail as part of the future Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park.

Even then, you can still see some of the old York Durham railway cars. Here’s one with my bike.

And one more photo at the station before riding.

Let’s Get Riding

Fortunately, it’s only a 700-metre ride from Uxbridge station to the rail trail entrance. King and Toronto Streets are calm in the area, while Main Street has a painted bike lane to get you to the trail.

Here’s the trail entrance with the trestle bridge crossing nearby.

Another shot of the trestle bridge.

About ten kilometres in, there is a short rocky patch to navigate. Fortunately, the rest of the trail is pretty smooth with some puddles from the recent rainfall.

However, the first stretch of the trail from Uxbridge to Blackwater had many good-sized potholes. Some of them closer to Uxbridge were marked with flags, but these ones weren’t.

The countryside landscapes are nice, but there needs to be safer highway crossings such as at Highways 7 & 12 found in this photo. Something I also noted at Highway 26 along the Georgian Trail from Collingwood to Meaford in 2020.

About 16 kilometres in, you will come across the Blackwater trail fork. While Jun N’s blog post from 2022 covered the trail to Cannington, I turned right to continue all the way to Lindsay.

Once past Blackwater, there were far fewer potholes and wayfinding is excellent. This sign even shows the nearest crossings in each direction.

A rest area was placed at the Eldon Road access point.

The rest area had picnic tables, a wood carving, and an air pump. Unfortunately, a ghost bike was placed for Courtney Arthur who died cycling on Eldon Road on September 29, 2012 at the age of 24. ☹ A reminder that the fight for safe streets is everywhere.

Just past this rest area is a river that made for a nice shot.

After passing Highway 7 – which fortunately has the bike path under the highway – you can see some homes indicative that you arrived at Lindsay.

The trail ends at Angeline Road.

Around Lindsay

After arriving at Lindsay, I ordered a grilled beef vermicelli dish at Noodles Bistro which costed $14 and was delicious. The service was fast and would recommend them for a lunch stop.

While on-street bike lanes are few and far between in Lindsay – including a short stretch on Victoria Avenue from Durham to Russell Streets, I liked how the town closed a couple of blocks on Victoria every Saturday for their farmers’ market. We need more of this in Toronto.

Lindsay is a trail hub unto itself. At Victoria Junction, the Victoria Trail takes you to Fenelon Falls, Kinmount, and even Halliburton. Will need to rent a car to do this one.

Lindsay has some nice trails next to Scugog River and the Trent Severn lock system. I crossed the bridge at Lindsay Street to do the Rotary Trail.

Unfortunately, this Rainbow Bridge was closed for construction.

At Logie and Dobson Streets lie another trail fork. The trail leading left takes you on the Trans Canada Trail to Omemee, Doube’s Trestle Bridge, and Peterborough. The one on the right takes you south to Bethany. I chose to ride on Logie – which has painted bike lanes – to get back to the Uxbridge to Lindsay trail.

Some vintage trains can be found at Lindsay Memorial Park. I got lost in there trying to get back onto the trail, but eventually found out I needed to go in between the trains to get on the trail.

I also got a bit lost navigating around Fleming College which had poor wayfinding signage. From Logie, I would have recommended taking Linday, Mary, and Angeline Streets to get back onto the Uxbridge to Lindsay Trail.

Back to Uxbridge

Heading back to Uxbridge, there was a sign on the back of the Blackwater fork showing how far it is to get back to Uxbridge (and Toronto).

There was also a little free library at O’Neil Road along with a stick library for dogs.

When I got back to Uxbridge shortly after 4:00 PM, I noticed the bus back to Mount Joy wasn’t leaving until 5:35 PM. While Metrolinx should make this bus service at least hourly, it allowed some time to check out the Second Wedge Brewing Company which has lots of bike parking.

I ordered a flight consisting of the Elgin Blonde, Smoked Wheat, Spice Factory, and 3 Rocks IPA.

Overall, the Uxbridge to Lindsay Rail Trail was mostly flat with nice countryside views and lots of wildlife such as rabbits, birds chipmunks, and dragonflies. However, I disagree with Andrew (a.k.a. Cardiac Cyclist) & Sean Marshall about that trail being among their favourites. Especially since there wasn’t much to do in between Uxbridge and Lindsay. Even so, this trail is worth adding to your cycling bucket list.

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