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Rockport: Brockville Bakery Run (72km)

Cyclists gather in Rockport
Trail information: 

This is a fairly quiet yet scenic cruise route from Rockport to Brockville and return.

This route also provides myriad opportunities to cruise further by adding in segments of the "Brockville West" collection of routes.

Rockport is an historic village in the heart of the 1000 Islands, and a delightful place to make your weekend base for bicycle tours exploring the surrounding area.

Leaving rockport, cross the 1000 Islands Parkway and climb the hill on the Rockport-Escott Road.  You're climbing up and over (yes, you'll have a nice downhill run) a granite ridge paralleling the river, with exposed rock cuts.  Descending from the ridge, you'll pass under Hwy 401 perhaps without even realizing it's there.

The rest of the ride along the road to Escott is well-paved and very quiet, through rural farmland -- some dairy, some goat herds, some active ranches.  You'll also pass the recently opened Eagle Point Winery, the first producing vineyard to be planted between Prince Edward County and Morrisburg (thanks to climate change for Ontario's expanding wine regions).

At Escott, you'll come to a T-stop at County Rd 2, with the historic Escott Public Library on your right.  Check their website for hours and tour possibilities.

From Escott, head east on County Rd 2 towards Mallorytown. While there are no paved shoulders, this road is almost always very quiet. In Mallorytown, there's a large general store with a washroom, located at corner of Quabbin Rd (a.k.a. Cty Rd 4) and Cty Rd 2.

From Mallorytown, continue east on County Rd 2.  From Mallorytown to the Hwy 401 interchange, a distance of about 10 km, there are well-paved shoulders that are generally clear of gravel and debris.  This route runs parallel to a ridge line and alternates flat, straight stretches with twisting gentle hills as it winds around granite outcroppings.  Along this segment, you'll go straight on past intersections with County Rd 5 and Yonge Mills Drive, both of which provide alternative, longer routes as shown in the Brockville West collection.

When County Rd 2 crosses Hwy 401, watch for merging traffic as motorists adjust from 401 high speed cruising to the slower speed of the county road.

From the 401 interchange at Long Beach, you'll pass the signs for Butternut Bay and Brockmere Cliff Rd on your right.  This is the route between Cty Rd 2 and the 1000 Islands Parkway corridor if you choose this alternate route out or back.

Continue along County Rd 2 east roughy 8 km to Brockville.  This segment has a few gentle grades and is lined along both sides with loosely spaced homes.  The road is four lanes with a median, and at one time it was planned that this would be the route for Hwy 401.  There is little traffic along here, although speeds are in the 80 - 90 km/h range.  There are no paved shoulders.  Your best strategy is to ride a straight line about 1 to 1.5m out from the curb to remain as visible as possible to motorists approaching from behind, or entering the road from the right.  With two lanes in each direction, there is always ample room for vehicles to pass.

Approaching Brockville, you'll pass historic cemeteries on both sides of the road, then the intersection for Lyn Rd (see the "Brockville West" route collection for alternative routes using this road), and the Brockville Country Club.

A bit further on you'll come to St. Lawrence Park on your right.  The park has a concession and a public sand beach for swimming. 

After passing St. Lawrence Park, turn right onto Rivers Ave and wind through a quiet, treed residential neighbourhood to downtown Brockville.  Alternatively, instead of turning, if the traffic is light, you may choose to simply follow Cty Rd 2, which is now King St, straight on into downtown.

In downtown Brockville, there are many heritage and other interesting places, including the Brockville Arts Centre, Canada's oldest railway tunnel, Courthouse Square and Fulford Place, where you can learn all about Pink Pills for Pale People and the heyday of patent medicine!

If you're looking for a snack, try one of Ogies, Boboli, or Tait's clustered near each other on the main downtown block.  Each features great coffee, baked treats and lunch fare.  As an added bonus in Boboli, you can admire owner Cathy's collection of actively ridden bikes which call the cafe home when not out on the road.

When ready to head back to Rockport, you can either retrace the outbound route, or combine it with some longer options using segments of the "Brockville West" collection, or the 1000 Islands Parkway corridor.

Start Location: 

Rockport waterfront, adjacent to lodging, restaurants and the tour boat docks.

Terrain: 

A few moderate hills between Rockport and Escott in both directions, and along County Rd 2.

Distance: 
36km each way for a total of 72km
Climbing: 
90m each way.
Bike Suitability: 

Paved all the way.

Notes and Cautions: 

There are no paved shoulders except for a 10km stretch of County Rd 2 between Mallorytown and the Hwy 401 interchange.  Traffic is usually very light.

 

Starting and ending on the waterfront in the historic village of Rockport, this is a pleasant if somewhat longer recreational cruise to Brockville.

In Brockville, enjoy the waterfront, the heritage attractions, a summer festivals that's likely underway on any given weekend, or stop at one of the delightful cafes downtown that feature delicious baked treats.

Alternatives routes include using the 1000 Islands Parkway corridor one or both ways, or combining this route with segments from the "Brockville West" collection.

This route works equally well in the opposite direction, starting and ending in Brockville, and pausing for coffee and a snack, or lunch and a boat cruise, in Rockport.

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