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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.

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

Leaving Rockport, cross the Thousand 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, hayfields and pastures – and country homes.  At Escott, you'll come to a T-stop at County Rd. 2, with the historic Springfield House, built as a hotel in 1871, now housing the Escott Public Library on your right.  Check their website for hours to tour the building, which has public washrooms and WiFi.

From Escott, Ride east on County Rd. 2 towards Mallorytown. While there are no paved shoulders, and this road is often quiet, be cautious of traffic. In Mallorytown, there's a Freshmart grocery with cold drinks and snacks, at corner of Quabbin Rd./ Cty. Rd. 4 and Cty Rd 2. Just beyond on Cty. Rd. 2 is the Mallory Coach House, with very interesting history displays including Canada’s first glass works which was on the west edge of the village – and there are washrooms.

From Mallorytown, continue east on Cty. Rd. 2. and to the Hwy. 401 interchange, a distance of about 10 km, there are well-paved shoulders, generally clear of gravel. This route runs parallel to a ridge line and alternates flat, straight stretches with twisting gentle hills as it winds around granite outcroppings, fields and streams.  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 other Brockville-based routes.

When Cty. Rd. 2 crosses Hwy. 401, watch for merging traffic as motorists exit from 401. From that 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 Thousand Islands Parkway corridor, if you choose this alternate route out or back. Continue along Cty. Rd. 2 east about 8 KM to Brockville, with a few gentle grades and lined along both sides with 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 light traffic along here, but speeds are in the 80 - 90 km/h range, and 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 visible to motorists approaching from behind, or entering the road from the right.  With two lanes in each direction, there is ample room for passing vehicles.

Approaching Brockville, you'll pass historic cemeteries on both sides of the road, then the intersection for Lyn Rd., and the Brockville Country Club. Further on is St. Lawrence Park on your right. The park has a concession, a public sand beach for swimming, and washrooms.  After passing this park, turn right onto Rivers Ave. and wind through a quiet, treed residential neighbourhood to downtown Brockville.  In downtown Brockville, there are many heritage and other interesting places, including the Brockville Arts Centre, Canada's oldest railway tunnel, Courthouse Square, Fulford Place, where you can learn all about Pink Pills for Pale People from the heyday of patent medicine, and discover the river and Frontenac Arch story at the Aquatarium.

For great coffee, tea, baked treats and lunch fare, try one of the several specialty spots on the main downtown block.  At Boboli, you can admire owner Cathy's collection of actively ridden bikes in the cafe when they’re not out on the road.

When ready to head back to Rockport, you can either retrace the outbound route, or take the Recreational Trail that parallels Thousand Islands Parkway. For this, ride back west to just before the Cty. Rd. 2 and Hwy. 401 interchange, and turn left onto Brockmere Cliffs Drive. This neds at a T-stop with the Parkway. Cross carefully, and come to the very excellent paved cycling path – shared with walkers. Along the way you’ll ride down a valley and across the scenic Jones Creek, and at the top of the hill beyond, for a tree-top adventure, stop into Skywood for zip lines and canopy suspended walkways. A little further still is Browns Bay Park on the river, with sandy beaches and washrooms. At Mallorytown Landing is Thousand Islands National Park, with a visitor experience area.  With all these things to experience, it seems a very short ride back to the quaint river village of Rockport – and a leisurely relax at the Cornwall Pub or for ice cream at the River Rock Shoppe.

Start Location: 

Rockport waterfront.

Terrain: 

A few moderate hills.

Distance: 
72km
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.  

 

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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