Millennium – Rail Trail

Trenton to Picton
Posted on April 19, 2018 / 5834
Millennium – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 49
Double track % : 80
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : crushed gravel, bridges, drains well, gentle hills, open field, rocky patches
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained, bike rentals, pro shop
Trail Fee : free

Length –  49 km (one way)

90 %  rail trail path
5 %  road crossings, detours

Elevation – flat, gradual slope as with most rail trails

Terrain  crushed stone, gravel, grass, some sand (route is being upgraded)

Skill – easy by Wellington, more rough trail towards the ends

Maps – sign posts and markers

Traffic – bicycles, hikers, horses, ATV, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, X-country skiers

Facilities – parking on street, outhouse, shelter

Highlights – wineries, vineyards, farm fields, lake views, cottages

Trail Fee – free

Phone – none

Website – PEC trails,  Prince Edward County,  Facebook

Similar Trails – Omemee, Oro – Medonte, Elora Cataract

Local Clubs – Bloomfield Bicycle Club

Access – Currently the best spot to start is the north end of West St. in Wellington (the Google map satellite photo and Street view is old and does not show the parking lot built)

History – The “Prince Edward Line”was built in 1879 for local transport needs. Then it was sold to the Central Ontario Railway to deliver iron ore from Bancroft to Picton for steel mills in Cleveland. Unfortunately the ore was of lower grade than expected.

By 1919 the CN Railroad ran the line serving local canneries, mills and farms. Soldiers went off to war and children to school on these tracks. Never being a profitable route, the trains stop rolling by 1996.

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As a new trail (in the making), the Millennium Rail Trail holds promise to serve as a convenient and scenic way to travel through Prince Edward County.

At 49 km it swings down from Trenton through Wellington, Bloomfield then on to Picton, the largest town on the peninsula.

This abandoned rail line is being resurfaced and currently upgraded over the next few years with new signage, benches and side trails. Only the middle section around Wellington was finished as of Fall 2017 .

You can try other parts, but expect them to be a rougher ride with perhaps water and bridge issues. So if you are a hardy rider with a MTB, do the whole distance, otherwise start in Wellington.

We rode this more manicured stretch last fall that heads out about 5 km each way from the Wellington trailhead. Beyond, the trail surface becomes more of a double track with grasses and larger gravel. You certainly can go farther but your bike may not like it.

This quaint little village is a draw in this touristy part of Ontario and has some fine dining. (With fine prices too.) Do spend a moment to stroll through town and down to the water’s edge.

On our ride, we passed a few side trails to wineries you could visit. Umm sounds like fun. One passes farm fields, country homes and lake views if you ride farther.  I noted a few ATVs with seniors buzzing around. But nothing reckless to worry about. lol

Heading east to Bloomfield or even Picton makes for a day trip with opportunities to find lunch, lodging or even a bike shop if you need one.

I saw other riders renting bikes from a local shop in Wellington enjoying the countryside. This does make for a good outing by the lake for the weekend all summer.

And if you don’t know about the famous Sandbanks Provincial Park, consider a side trip where you can swim and camp too.

Look to see review updates on this work in progress. Plans are to have six more trailhead/ parking start points along the route to eventually make this a favourite country bike ride for many. 

Millennium Rail Trail map

Total Score 1 REVIEW
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
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