Click Map PDF at the bottom of the page for a printable trail description
Learn more about the Amazing Places you can find on this trail
This loop circles through country roads to the scenic and perhaps the most photographed of all of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site lock stations – Jones Falls.
Start the journey from Delta, and the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site. Be sure to visit the mill for a tour either as you start or finish this loop. The mill was brought back from neglect to a vibrant site that is the oldest and still operating flour mill in Canada. Delta was once noted for its industries powered or enabled by the waters -- its foundry, carriage shop and boat builders. You'll see several street names reflecting this heritage. Note the many fine heritage homes such as the Denault Mansion – now a terrific B&B - in this community founded on the headwaters of the Gananoque River system over two centuries ago.
Ride north out of town Cty. Rd. 42 passing through exposed rock cuts, rich in an iron ore called hematite. As you peddle towards Phillipsville, scene of a political uprising in 1837, you'll note that the granite of the Frontenac Arch dives down under an overburden of bedded Nepean sandstone. At almost 7 KM from Delta, turn right onto Cty. Rd. 8 past Phillipsville and spin through flat farmland sitting on the sedimentary rock of the St. Lawrence Lowlands.
Peddle through Elgin (food/facilities here) to the stop sign at Cty. Rd. 15. Cross Cty. Rd. 15 to continue west on Davis Lock Road. Just over a kilometer from Cty. Rd. 15, turn left onto Bush Rd. and in less that 2 KM, right onto Sand Lake Rd. Follow Sand Lake Road (rough pavement!) south to Jones Falls, past heritage farmsteads among field and mixed forest. Turn left onto Cty. Rd. 11 at a T intersection, and in 300 metres watch for the sign pointing the way to Jones Falls, turning right at the sign for the "Stone Arch Dam" lane and either walk or carefully ride down the gravel lane to the Stone Arch Dam. When it was built in the 1820's, this dam was the greatest engineering feats of its kind in North America.
Follow the gravel lane across the top of the dam, past the defensible Lock Master's House, near to the smithy, the great Jones Falls flight of four locks and across the bridge to Hotel Kenney (built in 1877) where there is a restaurant and facilities. After exploring, follow the paved Kenny's Road uphill past the hotel, and back to Cty. Rd. 11.
Turn right onto Cty. Rd. 11 and follow its winding path through typical Frontenac Arch landscape of forested hills, marshes and rugged granite geology. To where it ends at the T-stop at Cty. Rd. 15, turn right. CAUTION: Cty Rd 15 can be quite busy at times. After a short stretch of about 400m, cross the Morton Creek bridge and peddle into the hamlet of Morton. Once Morton was the site of a garrison to protect the Rideau Canal. Several mills used water power from Whitefish Falls. Come back to Morton with your canoe or kayak and explore the water trails accessible from here.
In Morton, turn left onto Briar Hill Rd., also known as Fortune Line Rd. Just past the corner, on the hill up to your left is a unique octagonal school house nicknamed the "Pimple". Continue east on the scenic and hilly Briar Hill Rd. At the T-stop at Cty. Rd. 33, turn left towards Lyndhurst - it's just under one kilometer to town with its food and facilities.
Entering Lyndhurst, cross over the oldest stone bridge in Ontario, built in 1856-57. It was designed by John Roddick, an employee at the local mill; and built by Miles Fulford and Simon Ransom. The picturesque, three-span bridge was built of local field stone, laid in random courses, and unadorned except for the sandstone wall caps and arch surrounds.
Lyndhurst, once a bustling mill village on the Gananoque River system was first called Furnace Falls, the site of the first iron smelter in Upper Canada. You'll find washroom facilities in the park at the east side of the bridge. Explore the village’s quirky shops!
Follow Cty. Rd. 33 northeast out of Lyndhurst, curving and climbing towards and turning left on Hicock Rd. At the T-stop where Hicock Rd meets Cty. Rd. 42, turn left and follow Cty. Rd. 42 for 2.3 km back into Delta.
Thanks go to Doug Bond for this route.
Some flat stretches, some hillier stretches.
All paved except for one short gravel stretch. Suitable for road, touring or hybrid bikes.
Notes and Cautions
On peak summer weekends traffic on the usually quiet country roads is busier.
Starting and finishing in Delta, this shorter route travels some beautiful landscape in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere and Rideau Heritage Waterway, which come together in this area.
The shorter distance of this route provides plenty of time to stop and explore the geology, ecology and heritage of this area, starting with the Old Stone Mill in Delta, a National Historic Site.
This route was created by Doug Bond and is published on the Township of Rideau Lakes website.