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FAB East Countryside Tour - Brockville – Prescott – Kempville – Merrickville

Trail information: 

This may well be a two-day tour, a ride through the pastoral countryside at the east side of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. It’s a look at history, farms and communities from Loyalist settlement.

Start from Brockville, and east to Prescott. The Great Waterfront Trail is along County Rd. 2, but because there are narrow shoulders on this road, alternatively take County Rd. 2 to just east of Brockville to turn north on Sharpe’s Lane, which becomes Kelly Road as it crosses Hwy. 401. Turn east on Concession 2. This concession road runs parallel to the Waterfront Trail route, but north of the Highway 401 on a quieter road. 

Assuming the alternate route, ride east on Concession 2 and about a kilometre past the intersection with the Blue Church Road, this concession road jogs north to Campbell Rd., then a short distance to McIntosh Rd., going east to County Rd. 18. 

At this point, you may want to turn south on County Rd. 18 which becomes Edward Street to go to downtown Prescott. Prescott has a lot to experience, the Forwarder’s Museum and Fort Wellington Nation Historic Site among them. If you choose to continue on the loop, follow County Rd. 18 north. At the village of Roebuck, Cny. Rd. 18 intersects Cny. Rd. 21. To stay on the route, turn left/west and Cty. Rd. 18 again turns north from Cty. Rd. 21 in about a half kilometre. However, you may wish to take a detour east instead to see some historic features. About 800 metres east of Roebuck on Cty. Rd. 21, on the south side of the road is an historic plaque to mark what was, about 600 years ago, one of the largest Iroquoian villages to be found, with some 80 longhouses and a population of around 2,000. Further east at Spencerville is the Spencerville Mill and Museum, a very active place.

If you’ve see enough for one day and want to loop back to Brockville, about 7 KM north of Roebuck, the Branch Rd./County Road 6 intersects Cty. Rd. 18 at a sharp bend in the road. Take the Branch Rd. southwest, through the village of North Augusta and on into Brockville on Cty. Rd. 6/North Augusta Road, which ends on King Street.

On towards Kempville, Cty. Rd. 18 jogs through rural countryside, through the villages of Bishops Mills and Oxford Mills, both of which were founded to centre around the quiet waterpower of Kempville Creek. Into Kempville, Cty. Rd. 18 becomes Clothier Street – and a short distance past Prescott street is Grahame’s Bakery, with Ontario’s oldest and still operating wood-fired ovens… and tasty energy after a long ride.

To head on to Merrickville, go north on Prescott St., which is Cty. Rd. 44. A long block north of the traffic light at Cty. Rds. 44 and 43 is the Ferguson Forest Centre, and walking paths through growing groves of native tree species for forest restoration.  About 3.5 KM north of the Cty. Rds. 443/44 light, opposite the golf course, turn left/west on River Rd. – paved, narrow but lightly trafficked and scenic. In about 13 KM you’ll come to the picturesque Burritts Rapids Lock Station of the Rideau Canal. Another 200 metres and River Rd. intersects Cty. Rd. 23/Burritts Rapids Rd. Shortly after that you may want to turn right on Grenville St. into the quaint historic village of Burritts Rapids.

County. Rd. 23 will turn south, and end at an intersection with Cty. Rd. 43, in two KM into Merrickville. There’s lots to explore in Merrickville, and great places to eat, and stay. The locks, the museum in the old defensive blockhouse and the architecture make the village an attraction that draws people year ‘round.

Turning south again on this loop, follow St. Lawrence Street/Cty. Rd. 15 out of Merrickville and onto the countryside. Past log and stone farmhouses and fileds, it’s about 20 KM to the hamlet of North Augusta. Turn right/west onto Cty. Rd. 6, North Augusta Road, and back to Brockville. 

Terrain: 

Most of this route is on level terrain, some gentle hills at the north end of this loop.

Distance: 
133km, not including side trips in notes
Bike Suitability: 

This is a route for road and touring bikes.

Notes and Cautions: 

Most of this route is on country roads, but without paved shoulders – and so be aware of traffic catching up to you, and passing vehicles.

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