Park & Rail Trails Book 2021 Update

Park & Rail Trails Book 2021 Update

A few improvements have been made to this book, but this is not a new edition, more like version 1.5. The original content is the same with minor corrections and typos fixed. What has improved are the maps and parking location listings.

User feedback had shown that some riders like a little more direction in their quest to starting a good day of cycling. My original maps gave a general sense of the scope of the ride, but lacked detail and did not tie in well with the parking suggestions mentioned.

Over the winter we all had to endure Covid isolation, which gave me some extra time at my desk. Last year, I sorted out a better way to stylize and render my maps when I published my other book, Best Mountain Bike Trails in Ontario. So with that insight, I finally took on the daunting task of updating the maps in this book.

Combining GBs of map data, run through a very slow mapping program x 66 maps… well, it took months to do. Using mapping services and aerial photography I plotted viable parking locations where I could find them. These were listed for each trail review with numbers referencing parking icons on the map.

What’s New

  • Trail maps now have legible road names were space permits.
  • Maps have contoured hill shading & North compass marker.
  • Parking icons on the maps have numbers corresponding to a list of suggested parking locations.
  • A new Ontario map at the back of the book now displays of all the trail locations.
  • The eBook a has bookmarks and updated links to other websites.
Sample map

sample map

I have always intended that this book be a starting point for ideas to find new rides. Now you have more clues on how to get there and where to park. Still, you should do further research that my book cannot cover interactively, online zooming into maps and checking current trail updates, directions, weather, etc.  Some of this can be done by using this site, and/or other website resources or your favourite phone apps to plan your outings.

Here is how to interpret my parking listings. I tended to favour public lots: most have free parking and can hold 10 or more vehicles. Many are in city parks that do not have exact addresses. You will need to drive in and find them. Surprisingly, some locations have little to offer, and street parking will be your only choice. 

By doing a search of my parking addresses on Google Maps, you will get directions right to the parking lots.

For Rail Trails, almost any road crossing can manage a few cars on the shoulders. As always, be cautious in where you park to be safely away from traffic as you get ready.

These are just suggestions for parking. I leave it to your good judgement where you wish to leave your car. You could even try shopping malls—at your own peril. Always secure your vehicle and hide any valuables. After decades, I have yet to get a ticket or break-in anywhere in Ontario, but it can happen. 

I have also listed for long linear trails the start and endpoints. These have a target marker symbol by the addresses. But note not all of these locations have parking lots.

For those who have bought an older version of this book (pre-April 2021), there is a file you can download and print out as a book insert to aid in finding parking, along with the newest version of the eBook. Instructions on where and how to do that, at the back of your paperback.

Thanks to the age of digital publishing these updates can be made possible, truly amazing times. I think all my efforts should make everyone happy, have a good one, wherever your bike takes you. – Dan Roitner

May 26, 2021No comments

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