Cycle Simcoe, a project run through the Barrie/Simcoe Cycling Club, launched a test pilot project in the Township of Oro-Medonte in 2013. The goal: develop safe, accessible and fun routes for tourists and locals, alike.
To begin, three road cycling loops were mapped using the safest and most heavily travelled cycling routes. As well, one cycling trail connecting Barrie to Orillia, suitable for users of all levels and abilities. These four routes ranged from easy, ‘family friendly’ trail, to advanced road where even Ontario’s finest could be challenged. We then signed the routes and launched a safety and education strategy, ensuring all cyclists and motorists were practicing courtesy and sharing the road.
But it didn’t stop at mapping and safety – Cycle Simcoe, in partnership with Ontario by Bike, worked with local businesses to offer extended services specific to a cyclists needs. Simcoe County now has over 45 businesses certified as “Cycling Friendly”.
Thus far, the test pilot project has proved to be a great success.
Introducing the new Cycle Simcoe map series
The project is only a year and half in to a two year test pilot project and has already expanded into 12 municipalities (or cities). And, the response has been overwhelming. Municipalities and local Councils have welcomed the concept with open arms, hoping to draw a new demographic to the area, as well as get more local residents on bikes.
But why three maps? Simoce is a vast County – cycling around the Horseshoe Resort area offers rolling terrain and punchy climbs, whereas the North Simcoe (Penetanguishene/Midland) area is known to be flatter following the Georgian bay coast. Heading west of Collingwood cyclists are faced with a wall, known as the escarpment and famous for having some of the longest climbs/decents in Ontario.
For this reason, Cycle Simcoe has launched three new maps, specific to the three northern regions of Simcoe County;
With these three new maps, cyclists have several options in both road and rail trail. Riders even have the option of linking the three maps together for an extended adventure around multiple regions.
Where can you get the new Cycle Simcoe route maps?
By end of March, cyclists will be able to pick up the new route maps at any bicycle shop in Simcoe County or at the Tourism Simcoe County information kiosk (in the Simcoe County Museum off hwy 26) starting today.
If you are from out of town, contact Cycle Simcoe and we will have the maps mailed to you directly.