|Trail:||some Very busy HW Whitby - mostly paved bike path|
|Connections:||Waterfront Trail Ajax Pickering, Oshawa Creek, Clarington|
Town of Whitby
From Ajax to Whitby Harbour the ride is almost all on road. From Whitby Harbour on, it's mostly bike paths.
From Ajax's Lakeside development ride along Ashbury Blvd as it ends and becomes Range Rd., a short country road of crushed limestone. Continue East on Range until it ends at Lakeridge Rd. Turn north on Lakeridge, past the farm lands on both sides, all the way up to the signal lights at the junction of Bayly and Victoria.
Turn east at Victoria keeping to the the south (lake) side of Victoria and cycle along the road's gravel shoulder. Victoria is a busy Highway so the gravel shoulder is the only safe place to cycle. If you keep to the right side while avoiding the drainage ditch, the ride is a little less bumpy.
Soon you'll cross the entrance to the Lynde Shores Conservation Area. There are picnic tables, walking trails and a lookout onto the inland marsh. If you venture into the Park, walk your bike. All Lake Ontario Marshes are ecologically sensitive areas. You'll cycle right adjacent to the shore line on the marsh as the road narrows to a two lane bridge. Look for traffic and when it's safe to cross, zip to the other side.
Now here, just after the bridge, you are supposed to be able to head south following the eastern shore of the marsh. I couldn't see any trail here back to the lake, so I followed the old route by heading along the sidewalk of Victoria St. until it came to Gorden. Turn southward down Gorden back towards the lake. On Gorden, cycle past the homes and institution and at the marina entrance, pick up the cycle path that winds around Whitby Harbour. Follow the trail past the sports fields and marina where it exits on road onto Watson, then take the next street, Charles, down to Front St.
Rotary Sunrise Lake Park
From Front you pick up the bike path again at Font and Charles riding along the Harbour and crossing over the bridge and out to Lake Park and the long pier. Take a ride out the pier to get a good look at the bluffs and the Harbour. Past the gazebo the path continues along and passes through the Rotary Sunrise Lake Park then past the Heydenshore Pavilion and out to Thickson's Point.
On your way you'll wind beside the mounds created by scrap metal from nearby industrial plant and past the Great Lakes lookout and the gazebo on Thickson's Point (Ross Point on some maps) and curves north to exit and cross along side the west side of Thickson Rd. After a short distance along the trail crosses Thickson Rd, turning east and enters Thickson woods nature reserve. Bring your camera along, there are numerous varieties of wildflowers.
Thickson Wood Reserve
You'll cross over the marsh then wind around the water treatment plant then over a wood/metal bridge across Corbett Creek marsh and curve back towards the lake and Intrepid Park. The site was a WW2 spy training camp (camp X) where Ian Flemming (Bond, James Bond) was trained.
Whitby is named after the town in Yorkshire England, but previously was also know as Windsor, Big Bay, and Crowford's Corner. Like so many of Ontario's port communities, the coming of rail to the harbour at first increased activity as grain inland was brought to port. Later however, rail proved to be the cheaper way to move goods and use of the port declined.
City of Oshawa
The trail exits the park alongside Philip Murray Avenue and heads along on sidewalk and eventually past Lakefront West sports complex/park. Continue along Phillip Murray, across Stevenson Rd and past the GM Plant until Park Rd. Head south on on road down Park Rd where it meets the lake and curves to become Stone Street.
Ride eastward along Stone St. a residential area, across Cedar St. and the baseball park where the Stone St becomes crushed gravel until you enter the trail again at Pumphouse marsh. Shortly after you re-enter the trail it curves north behind the marsh or you can pause and enjoy the sandy beachfront. The bike trail winds around the marsh past lookouts and behind the school fields. The trail then runs behind residential houses till it makes a short exit onto a cul-du-sac of townhouses. Pick up the trail again across the road and enters Lakewoods Park. Go through the park and uphill to overlook from the west end of Lakeview Park.
Lakeview Park, with it's beaches, parks, historical house museums, food bar, pier, and most important washrooms, is an excellent place to stop for a pause. Cycle down and enter the bike trail just off Kliuane Rd. Here, you can take the cobble path to the lakefront and the park beaches and amenities or take the park bypass by continuing on the main path to head north away from the lake towards Lakeview Park Rd. Once the trail crosses Lakeview Park Rd, the path branches again with the main path continuing eastward running beside the park Rd towards Oshawa Harbour.
Oshawa Creek alternate
There is another option, which re-connects with the waterfront trail by instead heading west along the Lakeview road bike path a short distance until you come to a northward branch that runs through the Oshawa Creek Valley. If you take this path, look for a bridge crossing the creek to the east side where the path runs eastward and exits by re-joining the waterfront trail on Simcoe St.
Once you're back on your way, the trail is on road along Simcoe St., heading north beside the Harbour. Turn east on Harbour Rd, the first street east and cycle around the back of the Harbour continuing along on road to Farwell Rd where across Farwell, the path enters the Second Marsh Wildlife area. (the First marsh was developed into Oshawa Harbour). Head eastward through the fields to curve north when you come to the marsh itself. Stop and enjoy the view at the first of several look outs or follow the path north as it winds it's way to exit onto Colonel Sam Drive.
Carefully cross Colonel Sam Dr. to take up the bike path once again on it's north side. Ride east along the path, crossing the creek bridge then cross back over the road to it's south lakeside and continue along the bike path as it curves southward around the marsh. Eventually you'll be on sidewalk and heading past the colorful Head Office of GM Canada. At the end of Colonel Sam Dr., the bike path runs east along a gravel road just below the 401 Highway then curves south to the entrance to Darlington Provincial Park. Once you've crossed into the Park, you can take the first road south down to the lake to enjoy a pleasant view of McLaughlin Bay or continue straight eastward on the park's main road until it exits the park on it's eastern side.
It is said that at a meeting to decide a name for the town previously know as Skea's Corners after the first settler; indians from Lake Scugog suggested Oshawa meaning 'where the canoe is exchanged for the trail'.
Now that you're in the Municipality of Clarington, the path continues east across the rail tracks (I walked the bike over them having had a previous accident with tracks) as the adventure continues to Darlington and Wilmot creek and beyond.
By the way, as most people heading through Clarington may not be on mountain bikes, I'd suggest to skip the Darlington fitness track as the trail becomes fairly rough and the service road is probably the better way to go.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Trail descriptions are provided as public information only. The author assumes no responsibility for damages or injuries that may occur to person or property as a result of biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. The author also assumes no responsibility for any damages or injuries to person or property caused by any person biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. Ride at your own risk. Pictures and web site copyright 2004,2005