Every April I and a few of my cycling friends go for some spring cycling along Lake Simcoe shores located a short drive north of Toronto.
Starting in the town of Keswick we head along Lake Road to Sibbald Point Provincial Park before heading inland and returning along a very hilly route, a total of 63 kilometers.
The road is a signed bicycle route with few cars at this time of year and even they travel slowly to take in the great views of the lake and islands offshore. The route is lined with expensive cottages and lots of hedges, uncommon in this part of the country.
Their is one store mid-way along the route where the owner always seems to be cooking hot dogs on the BBQ just outside the shop. There always seems to be several cyclists outside any time I pass by.
Every year I never know what to expect regarding the weather as it can be raining, warm, cold and sometimes windy. One year giant ice floes packed the shores and the wind blowing off the floes created a natural air conditioner. This year it was a bit cold but once cycling it was fine.
Further along we enter the town of Jackson’s Point, best known as ice fishing center in the winter months. At this time of year it is quiet as the summer tourists have not yet arrived.
We do a turn onto Hedge Road which is quite interesting as you ride along a narrow road with hedges on both sides. Behind the hedges is the Briars Resort and its adjoining golf course.
The chapel located near the entrance to Sibbald Point Provincial Park is where the famous Canadian author Stephen Leacock is buried. Starting in 1910 he wrote about a book a year many well known for their humour in describing this area where he spent his summers. In the winter months he lectured at McGill University in Montreal.
If a beginner you can turn around and retrace your steps here for a fairly flat ride.
Sibbald Point is a great lunch spot and was named after the Sibbald family who also created the Briars Resort. Continue your ride out the park entrance and north on County Road 18, turning left Black River Road and passing the ferry loading area for the nearby islands.
Heading a few kilometres inland to Old Homestead Road which is paved with little traffic provides the opportunity to practice some climbs up a few hills to better get in shape. And a neat side trip is heading up McCown Road, onto Mount Pleasant Road to the top for great views. Continue down the long hill on Kennedy Road before turning left on Old Homestead Road and returning back to Lake Simcoe.