Omemee – Rail Trail

Lindsay to Peterborough
Posted on April 7, 2018 / 10473
Omemee – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Total Trail Km : 35
Double track % : 95
Road % : 5
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : sandy spots, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections, drains well, gentle hills, open field
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : free

Length –  35 km (one way)

95 % rail trail
5 % road crossing, detours

Elevation – flat, gradual slope

Terrain – wide path, crushed stone, gravel, some sand, large bridge

Skill – Easy, Intermediate if you go the distance

Trafficbicycles, hikers, horses, X-country skiers, snowmobiles 

Facilities –  parking on street, services Omemee

Highlights – trestle bridge, towns of Peterborough, Omemee, Lindsay locks

Trail Fee – free

Maps – map at a few trailheads, good signage on trail

Phone – none

Website – Trans Canada Trail

Similar Trails – Uxbridge, Victoria South, Kissing Bridge

Local Clubs – Peterborough Cycling Club ,  Kawartha Cycling Club

Access –  many crossroads to find a place to park

History – Originally planned to be part of the (Grand Trunk) CP Canada network. Proposed connecting rail line from Toronto to Ottawa (T&O Railway).

This section was built in 1883, but soon abandoned a few years later in 1889. Likely due to competing lines and money troubles.

There was also a connecting rail line heading south from Omemee to Port Hope. Some of that track bed is now Ski Hill Rd. hwy 38.

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The Omemee rail trail is a popular 35 km bike ride in eastern Ontario from Peterborough to Lindsay. An easy ride on crushed gravel makes for a good outing with family or friends. Being part of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) system it is well maintained and free of motorized toys in the summer.

This is Southern Ontario farm country and you will see a lot of farms, fields and occasional woodlots as this rail bed winds slowly towards Lindsay.

If you do just half of the trail, (and for most that is plenty), may I recommend the Omemee to Peterborough half. This end is more scenic than the Lindsay side.

A good outing would be to start in Omemee and have lunch in Peterborough before heading back, about 40 km return.

Starting from Peterborough, what’s left of the rail line begins on Aylmer St. N. between Brock and Hunter St.

As you work your way through the neighborhood over a few road crossings it finally  enters Jackson Park. This old rail line continues through a very pretty ravine, up out of town along the creek over and under bridges, to the peaceful countryside.

A highlight is Doube’s Trestle bridge, over 200 meters long, at about the 14 km point out from Peterborough. It is an old high train bridge that now has guardrails, thankfully.

Along the way, Omemee has services with little else to be found en route in between, so pack water and snacks for the ride. This is about the midway point as you would cross the iron bridge over the Pigeon River.

If you wish to camp halfway, try Emily Provincial Park just north of the town.

Eventually when you get to Lindsay, it ends at a suburb but can be quickly joined up to another rail trail (the Victoria South branch) to take you into town via a short road part. It ends at the locks and places to eat across the river.

Open Street Map,  Google Map

Omemee rail trail map

Omemee rail trail map

Total Score 2 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • June 14, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    We had looked forward in anticipation to riding this trail, based on our experience on the rail trail from Uxbridge to Blackwater. What a major disappointment. The trail starting near Lindsay towards Omemee has very deep screenings and is a very difficult ride on our hybrid ebikes. Not safe at all. We gave up . Not a pleasant ride at all. Do not recommend this trail

  • August 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    A more popular and well maintained rail bed. Great way to enjoy the solitude of the Ontario countryside on a car free bike ride. Connects up with other rail trails on both ends. Don't miss the trestle bridge.

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