The 46 km Millennium Rail Trail project in beautiful Prince Edward County is now ready for cyclists. Developed over five years, this path is one of the best examples of what a community can do with an old rail line.
I first mentioned this RT when I put it in my book as a promising new ride when only a fraction of it was ready. In the middle of the summer of 2022, I revisited this trail to check out the progress that had been made.
I was delighted to see a well-managed trail base and good signage. But there are also extra features to enhance the experience, like stylized wooden shelters with maps and insightful history signage at three trailheads. There are clean outhouses, bike repair stations, picnic tables, and free parking for a dozen cars. I am told more locations are coming; this always takes years to do.
We rode the stretch from the Wellington parking area west to the official end at Hwy 64. The trail does go farther, but that’s the responsibility of the next county, which has not done any upgrades. Because of this, unfortunately, you would need a MTB to ride this section into Trenton.
Along our trek west, I saw farms, vineyards (with signs to veer off and visit), forested areas, Slab Creek Swamp, and Hubbs Creek Marsh. At one point the swamp waters came up almost to the trail. Yet the path stayed dry and there were no bugs, which was surprising, considering all the standing water around us.
The highlight is crossing Consecon Lake, as the train once did, on a narrow embankment that cuts across the open water. You’ll want to take some pics when you get to the photogenic bridge.
Along the way, you get a few glimpses of Lake Ontario, but the trail does not actually go close to the shore. (You can take a short jaunt off the trail to find a beach in Wellington.) And one of the best beaches in Ontario is at Sandbanks Provincial Park 10 km away. The sand dunes are a hoot to hike over.
I believe the westerly direction we took from Wellington is the more scenic way, whereas cycling east to Bloomfield then Picton would give you more opportunities to stop along the ride to eat or stay over. These historic towns are worth exploring by bike or on foot.
New signage has been erected with helpful milestones so you know how far to go and how far you have gone. I saw two signs posting the speed at 10 kph in the middle of the bush, close to nothing! What?! Yes, that’s slow. I don’t even know how slow 10 kph is.
My immediate thought, after I chuckled, was WHY? A little digging found an article reporting that they were put up to reduce the impact on wildlife. They had also been vandalized (although those signs have been replaced since then).
Had they stated on the signs that the speed limit was to spare injury to snakes, turtles etc., then the public would perhaps have a better understanding and be more mindful—and might be allowed to ride faster than a mere 10 kph.
Make plans to drive out here and visit a pub, patio, or fine dining restaurant, after your ride. A look on Google maps will show you the many wineries and craft brew enterprises that are popping up everywhere.
The Millennium Rail Trail is one of my top RT in the province. With its Loyalist history and plenty to see and do, it’s ready for you to explore and enjoy. And if you’re from the city, remember to take it easy: life moves a little slower out here in this scenic area of the province.
This new ride update is not yet published in my book but 64 other great destinations are, with better maps, parking suggestions & train history. Available as an eBook or paperback.