Relax and forget your worries as you cruise along the 19 km Whitby Waterfront trail on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s the perfect new destination for a summer cycle with family and friends.
This meandering park bike path winds through open fields and parklands, up and around bays, and across bridges at wetlands.
A wide, paved park path in decent shape follows the edge of the lake. The water is not always within sight, but certainly the stillness and cool breeze that come from the lake are apparent.
Stop at some point to walk to the edge. There are small clay bluffs along the way with opportunities to look out over the water or climb down to the beach.
Map boards posted show you the way, but simply following the painted divider line on the path keeps you on track. This parkland is a popular area, so expect traffic on nice days. I saw plenty of benches, rain shelters, and a few washroom stops along this ride.
Twice you need to ride through quiet neighbourhood streets to reconnect back to the park path; it’s all very enjoyable on this well-established bicycle route.
We did not start this ride at the very beginning, which is on the other side of the Lynde Shores Conservation Area, a good place for birdwatching, my brother tells me.
This time the three of us opted to take the GO train to Whitby. Friends came in from the Mimico GO station and joined us.
Taking bikes on the GO train is a simple enough endeavour; once we arrived at the Whitby station, we used the elevator to get over the tracks, then a short ride across the parking lot connected us up to a bike path on Henry St. that would take us down to the waterfront.
From there our bicycle trek went eastward from Whitby Harbour to Lakeview Park Beach in Oshawa.
Our fall ride was a little chilly, and on the return trip, we did hit some wind gusts. With all the open spaces and few trees, you are exposed to the weather and sun. Be sure you go on a good weather day.
Think of packing a jacket, as it’s always a little cooler by the water, and some snacks if you’ve got kids along. There is not much to be found on this route to eat, perhaps a food truck or snack bar. (The day we went, it just so happened there was a Ribfest going on. Anyone for lunch?)
This path is part of the larger Great Lakes Waterfront trail system and connects west onto the Ajax Waterfront section, which is similar. Going further east is not as good, but it does attempt to keep going. Or you can extend your ride by cycling north via the Oshawa Creek trail where you can find a patio in town to dine.
This new ride review is not yet published in my book. But 65 other great destinations are with better maps, elevation graphs and more parking locations. Available as an eBook or paperback.