The Grand River Cycling Route is a super day ride since it is located about one hour west of Toronto along a very scenic valley. You start in south Cambridge at the canoe launch site next to the Petro Canada. This is always active area with kayakers, canoeists & cyclists getting ready for their day in the parking lot. In addition commercial companies are hauling trailers of canoes and inflatable rafts to this location.
The bicycle trail also starts here, and is a rail trail that heads for about 70 km to Hamilton, but we are only going to follow part of the route today. So to start follow the trail (hard packed gravel) for the next 18 km but do take the time to stop at the various viewpoints along the way to admire the Grand River and the canoeists.
Although hard packed if you have trouble with the rail trail go on the parallel East River Road which was the original route prior to the bike path. It is very scenic with some easy climbs.
When the bike path reaches the paved East River Road, turn right and follow it as the road passes the canoe take out point where it curves left. Take the next right turn at William Street. Washrooms in the recreation centre on the corner. Cross the Grand River and into Paris. Continue straight turning right on Broadway West and following it out of town. Left on Silver and follow it out of town past the fairgrounds.
Right on Ayr Road with gentle hills and follow into Ayr. Centennial Park is great place for lunch. There is a covered area and adjoining grocery store overlooking a small pond with wonderful landscaping.
Continue north on Northumberland Street where soon adds a bike lane. Continue north to Alps Road which is within sight of Hwy 401. However you are turning right along a great paved roller coaster of a road. This rolling country road is bordered by elegant horse farms, shaded forested areas and large farms as you are riding about for about 11 km along.
As you reach the edge of Cambridge turn left Spragues Road (County 75) and continue down the hill and into the city. Turn right on Cedar Street and passing old warehouse which have been converted into interesting shops cross the Grand River again.
Immediately across the river turn right and take the bike lane back to the start for a total distance of around 60 km. and a great day along the Grand River Cycling Route.