Rainbow Route – Park Trail

Posted on July 29, 2023 / 733
Rainbow Route – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Location : Northern Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 13
Hiking trail % : 10
Park Path % : 75
Road % : 15
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : smooth soil, paved, crushed gravel, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 13 = 6 + 7  km  (one way)

75% park path
10% hiking trail
15% road detours & crossings

Elevation – Flat, gradual slopes with small hills

Terrain – A mix of paved and crushed gravel paths plus road detours

Skill – Easy – Intermediate, to say on track

Maps – Map boards, new trail markers 

Traffic – Cyclists, joggers, hikers, dogs, kids and occasional road vehicles

Facilities – Parking lots, benches, picnic tables, downtown amenities

Highlights – Board array of sights from inner city to natural creek settings, downtown core, bird rock formations, industrial mining landscapes, Big Nickel & Dynamic Earth museum

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – 1 866 451 8525

Website – Discover Sudbury   Rainbow Routes

Similar Trails –  Kinsmen in N Bay,    The Hub in Sault    Guelph Royal 

Local Clubs –  Sudbury Cycling ClubBike Sudbury

Access –  Plenty of entry points but not so many convenient parking lots. Here are a few suggestions and good start points:

Adanac Ski Hill
Rotary Park Trail
Downtown Paid Parking – Elm St or Elgin St
Lilac & Norman St
1200 Kelly Lake Rd

Vol 2 Bike Trail Book Ad

Recent improvements with the Sudbury bike scene has prompted me to give you my version of their Rainbow Route. I am using 13 kms of this trail network to string a diagonal ride from the north end through downtown Sudbury, south out of town. I think you will like where it goes.

It is a mix of urban creek riding, cruising by neighbourhoods and industrial areas. It is also a mix of riding terrain, changing a few times from a crushed fine stone base to paved asphalt. None of it is overly hilly, and the route has lots of variety to it.

What makes it more of an Intermediate ride is not getting lost. Unlike many of my other published rides that take little thought, you need to pay attention. There are a few more nuances to this route to stay the course. I did see a few gaps in signage and in some areas trail surfaces need “refreshing” but for most of it, it connects well.

You can as always start the ride at any point. Do the 6 km north section or only the 7 km south section, or both ends. Three road detours are required to make the connections. Sorry, there is no other way to make a long enough route, without a little street riding. 

I found it tricky to find free parking downtown but let’s start this ride description from there anyway. Going north, the trail starts at Hnatyshyn Park, a narrow band of trees that line Junction Creek. This is where Paris & Lloyd Street meet. In no time the path forks at Mountain St. Stay on the creek trail and ride up it into Percy Park. Then east to the other side to find Percy St. 

I found an easy shortcut to the other forked trail. Pedal down five blocks to the end of Percy and cross the tracks (carefully) to Myles St. Jog down and over on Leslie then Harvey St to find the start of the Rotary Park Trail. This part is beautiful as it winds between the wetlands of the creek you saw earlier and against a huge stone “mini mountain”.

In 2 km it ends at the Adanac ski hill parking lot. You would have seen before this, a trail that spits and goes up to a platform lookout. I have never ridden it or know if one can. It has stairs on the other side so it does not carry through. To get back, go back the way you came or you can shorten it by taking Mountain St south to meet the path later.

Reaching the south trail from Hnatyshyn Park requires less than a kilometre of road riding. This is done by zig-zagging through…


Read the rest of this review and 59 others in my NEW book, Volume 2 of Best Bicycle Park & Rail Trails in Ontario.

(Note – In an earlier review for the book, I mention the gravel/dirt trail along Kelly Lake as an added ride. A visit there this summer (2023) finds it only suitable for MTB riders.)

Rainbow Route bike trail map

Rainbow Route bike trail map

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