N. Simcoe + Tiny – Rail Trail Penetanguishene to W of Barrie
Posted on February 25, 2018
N. Simcoe + Tiny – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Total Trail Km : 52
Double track % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : sandy spots, smooth soil, crushed gravel, gentle hills, open field
Faclities : parking, food close by, trailhead map, good signage

Length – 32 + 30 = 52  km

90%  rail trail path
10% road crossings, detours

Elevation – flat grade with a gradual northward climb

Terrain –  crushed stone, gravel, asphalt, gets rough on south end and certain sections, sideroad detour in the middle

Skill – easy, some section are Intermediate rated where it gets “rough and rustic”

Maps – signs at cross roads – North Simcoe Tiny Trail

Traffic – bicycles, hikers, horses, (ATV, dirt bikes on some sections)

Facilities –  parking on street, services in Elmvale, Wyevale, Anten Mills, Penetang.

Highlights – Fort Willow, Mayer’s Marsh,  Minesing Station and Wetlands

Phone – none

Website – Simcoe Country – map

Similar Tails – Oro – Medonte, Victoria South

Local Clubs – Barrie Cycling Club

Access – at cross roads, parking lots at Hwy 26, Flos Rd. 4 W., Hwy 92 Elmvale (halfway point), Concession Rd. 3 E., Concession Rd. 5 E. Wyevale, Main St. & Beck Blvd. in Penetanguishene

History – Stage coaches ran this route with a tavern every 2 km for passengers to possibly rest. Then the North Simcoe Railway was built in 1878 putting the 37 taverns on the route in jeopardy.

Primarily serving the lumber businesses on Georgian Bay, it was eventually abandoned by CN in 1991 to become a multi use recreational trail.

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This 32 km North Simcoe Rail Trail also includes the 20 km Tiny Rail Trail north to Penetanguishene that was originally route of the North Simcoe Railway.

This route covers scenic farmland, large wetlands and a few historic points.

Some sections are well treed but expect to be out in the sun for sections of this ride. This is a typical rail trail in the area with the south end it appears getting more travel than the north half.

Perhaps because it has some very straight stretches, still being part of the Trans – Canada trail you will see other riders.

Actually above Elmvale it runs straight with  hwy 6 for 12 km then curves gradually to “Penatag” through more quiet wooded areas.

Along the route there are 11 interpretive signs of historical interest to enlighten the traveler in you.

Many old railway bridges are along this trail before you get to the pretty harbour in Penetanguishene.

A rebuilt Fort Willow, on a high point, once housed military supplies for the War of 1812. Minesing Station on Hwy 26 has parking and info.

Elmvale has a few old homes from the time the trains ran.

The trail climbs north to a view of the valley when you get to the road crossing Horseshoe Valley Rd.

Much of the north half of this trail is getting covered over by weeds and gets rough, so you may find your trail path to be that of a double track.  Look to detour west around a farmer’s field just south of Elmvale. (see map)

The start of the trail on the south end does not have a definitive point or a parking lot (it should).

Beyond Sunnidale Rd. the trail south gets really rough and peters out, so I would suggest here or the two cross-overs spots up the road on Pinegrove Rd. to start heading north.

Yours to explore and ride on this strip of history.

Open Streetmaps
North Simcoe rail trail map

North Simcoe rail trail map

Reviews
2.5
Total Score 3 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • October 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    There is a big section of the trail missing between Elmvale and Phelpston that makes the trail almost unusable for biking. The snowmobilers get to use it in winter, but the original rail space is now a farm field in the summer. Please fix this by at least providing a path between the fields for use by walkers and bikers.

  • July 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I don't recommend the Elmvale to Wyevale stretch. If you have tires designed for the road, the loose gravel and deep sand patches may catch you off guard. Also, where 27 and County Rd 6 meet the trail has been rerouted east. The original section of trail is all grown in now. Hate to be a downer but this is one of my least favourite trails. I didn't pass one person in 25 km so I'm guessing I'm not alone in my opinion. Will stick to Georgian Rail Trail.

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Fun to explore and plenty long. Quite , gravel path with one long slow climb.

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