Killbear – Park Trail

Hwy 559, Parry Sound
Posted on June 17, 2022 / 211
Killbear – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 6
Park Path % : 97
Road % : 3
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : crushed gravel, can be muddy, flat sections, drains well, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, change rooms, lodging, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Park permit

Length – 6 km (one way)

97% park path
3% road crossings

Elevation – Mosty level, with a few quick climbs and turns

Terrain – Wide crushed-gravel path with a few mud patches

Skill – Easy to Intermediate

Maps – No map board was seen, basic milestone markers

Traffic – Bicycles and hikers and deer

Facilities – Parking lot, comfort stations, park store, camping, beaches, swimming, hiking

Highlights – Rocky coastline, wildlife, peaceful

Trail Fee – Day pass or camping permit

Phone – 705 342 5492

Website – Ontario Parks

Similar Trails – AwendaPinerySeguin RT

Local Clubs – None

Access – Drive 13 km north of Parry Sound on Hwy 400, then take Hwy 559 west for 19 km to get to the park gate. The bike trail is easily accessed from any of the campgrounds.



Considering the number of parks and the amount of land we have in Ontario, this is one of only a few rides that I can recommend at a provincial park. Most parks have little to cycle beyond the dirt roads circling the campgrounds.

My hopes are that Ontario Parks will add more interesting and longer trails to bike on. With the surge in cycling during Covid and the extra money the Ministry made at packed parks, in the last few years, this is warranted.

Up in cottage country, Killbear Provincial Park has 6 km of forest trail to cycle through for the whole family. It offers a peaceful outing, well shaded and car free. Though not long at 12 km return, it has a few hills and fast dips, so it’s not all flat, easy going.

Killbear is located on a peninsula west of the town of Parry Sound. As a three-hour drive from Toronto, this ride destination is best suited for campers at the park or those staying at a local cottage doing a day visit.

I was introduced to Killbear decades ago, when I was here with the High Park Cycling Club, now the Toronto Cycling Club. I returned a few years ago with the family to refresh my memory and found it worthy of this small review.

The bike path runs parallel to the park access road for the whole distance, but by no means is it straight and boring. It’s separated from the road by a line of trees, which give the trail lots of little twists and rock outcrops to watch for.

We were delighted to encounter deer on the route that were so tame, they did not run off when we stopped to take pictures. I suspect they have seen many campers before us do the same.

This trail is wide and the base is crushed gravel for most of the way. There are a few muddy patches, but they may have been filled since then. 

From the gatehouse, the path ends at the lighthouse point, a good spot for some hiking, pictures, and maybe a dip (the lighthouse is not photogenic). Killbear has a beautiful, rocky coastline with windswept pines, a favourite for picturesque views of Georgian Bay sunsets.

If you wish to expand your ride, beyond the park trails there are quiet secondary roads leading to secluded bays. Map out a route to Pengallie Bay (2.5 km away)  or Snug Harbour (9 km away) for extra mileage and lunch at the marinas. When my group did it, skinny race tires were getting flats, so I recommend thicker treads when exploring the gravel side roads.

So now you know where to go when making plans to get out and relax on your two-wheeler. As for getting a campsite, book early!  The season fills up fast.

 

This new ride review is not yet published in my book. But 65 other great destinations are with better maps, elevation graphs and more parking locations. Available as an eBook or paperback.

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Killbear bicycle trail map

Killbear bicycle trail map - blue dots

Reviews
3.6
Total Score 1 REVIEW
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • June 17, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    A fun ride when you are visiting the park and you need some exercise. Good hiking at the end of the trail at the point. Though the path is close to the road, you hear few cars. There will be bugs here in early summer.

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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: