Riverside – Park Trail

Belleville
Updated June 15, 2019
Riverside – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 12
Park Path % : 85
Road % : 15
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : paved, crushed gravel, flat sections, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, good trail signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 8 + 4 = 12 km (one way)

85% park path
15% road, crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat following the water’s edge, with short climbs over/under bridges.

Terrain – Almost all paved, with some gravel sections.

Skill – Easy cruising

Maps – Map boards, a few trail markers; just follow the centre line.

Traffic – Not busy, typical park path users: walkers, joggers, and cyclists.

Facilities – Include parking, toilets, benches, picnic tables, gazebos, and local pubs nearby.

Highlights – Moira River, historic buildings, waterfront parks, gazebos, marina, Bay of Quinte.

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – None

Website – Belleville on Bikes, Great Lake Waterfront Trail

Similar Trails – Grand River, Speed River

Local Clubs – Nothing local,  Northumberland Hills Cycling Club

Access – At the North end just below Hwy 401, parking is west side of the Moira River at the north point of North Park St., in Riverside Park.

The South end at the lakeside, has free parking at the east side marina Jane Forrester Park, located at the bottom of South Front St., or go to the west side in Zwicks Park.

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On the shores of the Bay of Quinte, I found last year 12 km of leisurely bike paths in the city of Belleville. Just off Hwy 401 in eastern Ontario, this bike route runs down the Moira River to the harbour and beyond.

These easy and well maintained park paths consist of 4 sections. There is on the north end right off the Hwy, Riverside Park, with Zwicks Park on the south west side of the mouth of the river, and the Bayshore trail on the east side. Connecting the three park areas is the Parrott Riverfront Trail running up along the river.

The city of Belleville is trying to promote cycling and has made connections with these snippets of trail to make this a safe and idyllic journey with varying scenery.

I did not see tons of signage but a look at a map would remove any confusion, and by just following the center line we never felt lost.

A likely start to your ride would be at the north end coming off the highway at Riverside Park. Here you can leave your car and do a few loops in the park before heading down the path to the bay.

Take note of the Quinte Mall just west of the park to find lunch on your return perhaps.

On your way down there is “pirate ship” playground to amuse your kids. The trail splits briefly to fine gravel by the river’s edge or the asphalt path by the street.

As you make your way down, numerous dams and concrete barriers in the river tells one the Moira River must have a long history of spring flooding that needs to be managed. Natural waterfalls cascade over the riverbed made of layers of sedimentary stone.

Eventually, this trail will take you over a large dam to the other side. Now the path travels right on the edge of the river along a concrete walled route. Though not very natural in this section, I can see it serves to protect the banks from flood damage.

The path backs onto Front St. in the old downtown core. It’s worth a look as they are revitalizing this sleepy town with some newly landscaped sidewalks and storefronts.

The last underpass at Dundas St. requires a decision to head east or west. Both require about a 600 metre road detour. I would suggest going east first by heading  down to the marina and pier, then east along the water’s edge to Bayshore Park.

Travelling this winding, quiet path along the Bay of Quinte, with pockets of parkland, gardens, benches to stop at, produces photo opportunities if you have a good eye.

The path does continue past Herchimer Ave. as more of a short, overgrown gravel hiking trail to Farley Ave., if you feel the need.

As you ride back, you now have the option of crossing the road bridge at Dundas St. over the Moira River to add 4 more kilometres to your ride by looping around Zwicks Park, or head back up along the river.

If driving 2 hours from Toronto for this outing seems intriguing, may I suggest staying overnight and also biking a local Rail Trail – either Millenium or Two Lakes.

With little else in the area as off road pleasure riding, I am pleased to mention this location for you to explore on two wheels in this belle ville.

Belleville bike trail map

Belleville bike trail map

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3.8
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