Cyclists from across Canada and the U.S. are packing for a seven-day cycling holiday that will take them across Canada’s Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA), including through Chatham-Kent.
From Aug. 6-12, 150 cyclists will ride 550 km from Point Pelee National Park on Lake Erie, to the Rouge National Urban Park on Lake Ontario, enjoying a different section of the 2,100 km trail each day.
The route passes through Erieau and Rondeau on Aug. 7 to 8, with an optional stop at Bayside Brew Pub and Rondeau Joe’s restaurants.
“Canada has a history of creating paths and connecting communities, and in the 10th Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, we celebrate our heritage through cycling along the extraordinary Great Lakes coast,” Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust, said in a release. “This year, the GWTA is showcasing 24 of the Trail’s 114 communities from national park to national urban park, where participants will stay, explore and discover what makes each of these communities so unique.”
Distances between destinations vary from 40 km to 105 km, and the riders will have time to explore national parks, shop, enjoy craft beer, local wines and food while taking in the history of the Great Lakes communities.
Recognized as an Inaugural Trail of Distinction by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail uses signed paths and roads to connect 114 communities and First Nations along three of Canada’s Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
The Trail was created to protect and connect the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes, and in the coming year will add another 650 km by expanding into Manitoulin Island, Huron, Bruce and Grey counties, with support from the provincial government.
CAA South Central Ontario, a long-time supporter of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, will provide participants with CAA Bike Assist support along the 550-km ride. CAA Bike Assist is a CAA member bike service, much like roadside assistance for their cars.
“We are committed to keeping our members safe whether they are travelling on four wheels or two,” said Tracy Nickleford, manager of community relations, CAA South Central Ontario, in a release. “The growth of cycle tourism means that we will continue to see more cyclists on the roads and it’s important that we can all explore Ontario’s Great Lakes communities in an enjoyable and safe way.”
“The GWTA plays an important part of our community as it brings people outdoors and connects history, nature and culture with our Great Lakes,” added Koehler. “We wish everyone a safe and fun ride.”