Perth Harvest – Rail Trail

Millbank to Goderich
Posted on October 10, 2020
Perth Harvest – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Western Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 88
Double track % : 85
Road % : 15
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : smooth soil, crushed gravel, bridges, drains well, open field
Faclities : parking, lodging, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length –  88 km (one way)

85% rail trail path
15% road crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat with a very gradual slope to Lake Huron 

Terrain – Fine crushed stone, gravel, asphalt

Skill – Easy

Maps – Map boards, trail distance makers

Traffic – Bicycles, hikers, horses, Nordic skiers

Facilities – Parking, info kiosks, benches

Highlights – Menesetung bridges, open big sky country, Blyth, Goderich 

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – None

Website – G2G Trail

Similar Trails – Kissing Bridge, North Simcoe, Omemee

Local Clubs – Guelph Off Road Bicycling Assoc.GORBA

Access – Many enter points along the route. Officially I have not seen designated parking marked on a map. Finding where the rail trail cuts across a road or through town there will be always room on the shoulders of the road to park safely if you can not find the lot. Look for the trail kiosks.

HistoryBuilt in 1907 by Canadain Pacific Railways during the golden age of rail to service the transport of goods, produce and people from the port in Goderich to Guelph and beyond.

The  CPR ran this line till it was abandoned in 1988. The Ontario government purchased the land and it eventually was resurfaced by local groups in 2020 for recreational use.

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Crossing Ontario’s farming heartland cyclist can now ride the new Perth Harvest Pathway to Lake Huron.  Here it ends at Goderich after running west for 88 km from Millbank.

I am finally pleased to post that it has been resurfaced this summer and it is now ready for your enjoyment. 

A few years back I had cycled the Kissing Bridge section that continues from Guelph to Millbank. Beyond this, the terrain started to get unfriendly for causal road riders and yet not that interesting for the mountain biking crowd. So it was not really suitable for anyone to post. (Some of you have been asking why it’s not been on this site.)

I had encountered an uneven grass/gravel path of tall weeds, mud and gopher holes. Now with great effort, enthusiasm and cash, a dedicated group that runs the G2G trail network has made this route viable. (please give them some support $)

I have yet to ride this newly resurfaced section but from the photos they sent me, I wish to let you all know that it’s ready. 

The trail base has been levelled with the usually fine crushed stone you will find on most rail trails. New kiosk map boards, distance marks and benches have been added.

The scenery on this route is big sky country. A flat part of Ontario with large farms and fields that go on forever. About half of the route is tree-lined and shady the other parts are out in the hot sun and it could get windy.

From the town of Millbank where the Kissing Bridge trail ends, there is a minor road detour. Unfortunately when the tracks were removed, so went the bridges. The next town Milverton has a larger 5 km road detour too. Traffic is lite in this region so it should not be an issue.

This old rail line bends to the right and then goes linear for 37 km through the villages of Monkton, Walton and Blyth. Likely the longest straight path in the province.

Though there is a subtle decent of 250 m to the lake you won’t notice this till the end. After Blyth, it starts to get interesting as it curves down to the Maitland River. Here again, a large bridge is missing and a 10 km detour is in order. 

It sucks but till funding can restore the span with a suitable recreational bridge crossing, hit the road. That said not all the original bridges were sold for scrap. Thankfully as you reach Goderich the Menesetung Bridge gives riders a spectacular view high above the river.

The trail continues to a Lake Huron shoreline park trail with beaches for a little more meandering and an opportunity to refuel and rest.

Goderich is a beautiful city to explore and stay over. Along the Perth Harvest Rail Pathway (in the county of Perth), if you search for eats and lodging there are a few options but not many, not yet.

For those cyclists who desire wide-open scenery, quiet, long rides, bikepacking touring this route can give you many kilometres under your wheels.

Perth Harvest rail trail map

Perth Harvest rail trail map

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