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.