Lang Hastings – Rail Trail

Peterborough to Hastings
Posted on August 7, 2021 / 1295
Lang Hastings – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 33
Double track % : 95
Road % : 5
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : paved, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections, drains well
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained, shelter
Trail Fee : Free

Length –  33 km (one way)

90% rail trail path
5% road crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat, with a very gradual slope

Terrain – Fine crushed stone, gravel, asphalt at either end. Use a hybrid or gravel bike.

Skill – Easy 

Maps – Well marked, new map boards and posted signs.

Traffic – Cycling, hiking/jogging, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Facilities – Parking lots, outhouse, benches, rain shelter, food and lodging at either end with not much in between (not yet).

Highlights – Large road underpass tunnel, old rail bridges, waterfront views, locks 

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – None

Website – Lang Hastings Trail

Similar Trails – Omemee ,  Victoria,  Lower Trent

Local Clubs – Peterborough Cycling Club

Access – Suggested parking lots in Peterborough at Rogers Cove Park or Beavermead Park or just out of town on Technology Dr.

Midpoint: Base Line Rd. east of Heritage Line

In Hastings : on Trent Street and at Homewood Ave. & Bridge St. N.


History – No much is known about this rail line link. Owned by the Grand Junction Railway and eventually sold to the Canadian National Railway. Established and developed as a recreational trail after 2012.

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Enjoy a 33 km country cruise, car-free, on the Lang Hastings Rail Trail this summer. Find your way out to Peterborough and cycle through the Ontario countryside to Hastings.

I recently rode the length of this trail with my friend Michael on a sunny day to scout the conditions of the path. I am pleased to say the route is in excellent shape with new signs, benches and is resurfaced with a fine crushed-gravel base.

We started in Peterborough at Rogers Cove Park, a perfect start point 1.5 km back from the official trailhead. This was done for two reasons: no parking lot at the trailhead and extra sights to see by the Otonabee River.

It’s worth going west down Maria St. for a minute; this will take you over a long rail bridge into town. Then double back to start your journey heading SE on the park trail that crosses over the Trent – Severn Canal at Lock 20. You have to walk your bike over the locks, rather novel.

A short jaunt down a paved path alongside Ashburnham Dr. takes you to Lansdowne St. On the opposite side of this busy (take care) intersection is the Lang Hastings trailhead. That was the hardest part to navigate (lol, not hard at all); the rest of the way is easy sailing on two wheels.

This part of Ontario is full of short hills that you do not have to manage. Track builders years ago found a way around these many mounds of glacial deposits to make a level route for trains. This in effect gives riders less of a straight, boring direct route and more of an interesting, winding path to follow.

The trip is a quiet venture into farm country with a few barns in the distance and the odd woodlot and marsh to pass through. We both agreed that sunscreen would help, as it was not that shady a trip.

I do not recall many road crossings on this trek. Most are underpasses with likely the largest road “tunnel” in Ontario going under County Rd. 2.

As one nears the tourist town of Hastings, the path swings down to the end of Rice Lake to give refreshing views over the water dotted with boats.

The odd part of this Rail Trail is that maps show the route crossing over to the other side via the old train bridge. But in actual fact, cyclists can not partake in this crossing for most of the riding season (mid-May to Thanksgiving), as the swing bridge is open. (The same thing happens on the Victoria RT in Fenelon Falls.) 

So plan to ride around it; when you cross Asphodel 7th Line, head north, then east onto River Rd. and take Park Lane to avoid the hill.

Soon you will see the town of Hastings, which has an excellent waterfront pub/patio and a coffee shop to refuel. 

For more mileage, this trail continues on the other side of the town locks and bridge and as the Northumberland Rail Trail. Another 34 kilometres gets you to Campbellford on what they say is a little rougher route (ATVs are permitted).

And Peterborough has many options to continue cycling and refuel if you ride this trail in the other direction. Within reach from Toronto for a day trip or a longer getaway, it’s yours to discover!

Rail Trail Map

Lang Hastings bike trail map

Lang Hastings bike trail map

Total Score 2 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: