Uhthoff – Rail Trail

Orillia to Waubaushene
Posted on October 6, 2023 / 785
Uhthoff – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 42
Double track % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : smooth soil, paved, crushed gravel, bridges
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained, shelter
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 42 = 32 + 5 + 5 km (one way)

90% rail trail path
10% road crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat, with a very gradual slope down to Georgian Bay

Terrain – Paved in town, out of town a mix of crushed stone, gravel, sandy soil, tall grasses, and doubletrack sections

Skill – Intermediate (’til they finish resurfacing the path)

Maps – Map boards and signposts keep you on track

Traffic – Cyclists, hikers, naturalists, equestrians, Nordic skiers, and snowmobilers

Facilities – Parking lots, washrooms in Orillia, benches, rain shelters, food

Highlights – Lively waterfront, shaded woodlots, quiet country cruising, communities of Coldwater and Waubaushene

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – 705 326 4585

Website – City of Orillia

Similar Trails – Simcoe + Tiny RT,  Thornton-Beeton RTClearview RT

Local Clubs – Mountainview Cycling Club

Access – As always, the quiet side roads that the rail trail crosses offer some parking spaces on the shoulder where you can safely start riding. My list of suggested parking lots along this route:

  • Bridgeview Park or Coldwater Rd, Waubaushene
  • Coldwater
  • Orillia Waterfront, Tudhope Park

Rail History – only available in the book



The 32 km Uhthoff Rail Trail is a section of a much longer old rail line (as all rail trails tend to be). So I am including the 5 km portion along the Orillia waterfront in this review, as they merge well and it’s the best part, and another 5 km RT past the waterfront.

Most riders will be driving up from southern homes, so I will start my description of the trek at the south end. You can park and start your ride on the waterfront anywhere along the Orillia Millennium Trail.

You can start east up to the narrows or on the other side, which requires you to cross on the road bridge (until they replace the unsafe swing bridge within a few years).

Wherever you pick up the trail, it is a very pleasant paved tourist cruise, with the original train station and other signs showing it was once a rail line. Other parts on this strip are manicured parklands, busy marinas, kids’ playgrounds (with a miniature train ride)—it’s all here, with a beach, of course.

Frankly, you could make this area the sum of all you are going to ride. Enjoyable park trails lead to the end of the Tudhope Park peninsula, one of four points you could explore at the bottom of this lake.

Venturing east across the narrows will connect you to a short extension: the tiny Ramara RT that just ends after 5 km. You could carry on along gravel roads if that’s your thing: perhaps to Washago, then back down, looping around Lake Couchiching.

However, if your intent is to go on the Uhthoff RT (which, after all, is what I’m suggesting), then ride the other direction: north to Couchiching Beach Park. Here the bike path veers off the shoreline onto Jarvis St into the woods.

There may be a bit of confusion, as you will notice two paths start here. These used to be two parallel train tracks heading into Orillia. You can ride either one for a kilometre, but after that the left trail veers off and ends. So get on the right-hand (east) trail—there should be a sign—to continue up and out of town on the RT to Waubaushene.

The first part of the ride snakes into the forest for 30 minutes, a cool, shady spin. After this, the trail opens up…

 

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

…and FYI – Try the Simcoe Loop one day. One of the most popular Rail Trail loops in the province.

Vol 2 Bike Trail Book Ad

Uhthoff rail trail map

Uhthoff rail trail map

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