Published: July 7th 2011July 9th 2011
Bracebridge Circle Tour Text and Photos last updated:
November 2012 Number of times we have biked this trail:
Too many to mention The Basics: Location:
Bracebridge, Ontario Distance:
15 km Trail Surface:
paved Access & Parking:
many places Trail Head:
Not really Washrooms:
at High Falls and town Water:
none (or in town) Food:
in town and see below Signage:
none Rest areas:
at High Falls Garbage disposal:
at High Falls Points of Interest:
many The Bracebridge Circle Route
does not exist anywhere else so do not try to Google it! There are NO signs for it. It is a 15 km ride that I have been doing for many years and with the completion of a 3.5 km bike trail and almost 3.0 km bike lane, it is now beginning to resemble a real route.
There are many access points but I will start in the centre of the Town of Bracebridge at the railway station.
This is a good starting point since there is always ample free parking. From the station parking lot you can go left or right. A) Going left takes you to Taylor Road (about 50 metres) where you turn right and then another right immediately on Manitoba Street (Main Street). This route will take you through town (in case you need a bank, restaurant, post office, library, town park etc.) During July and August the traffic is heavy. Continue along Manitoba street until you reach the Knight's Inn. (see route B below)
from the railway station parking lot, you will be on Hiram Street. Curve around a medium sized hill and you will find yourself behind the community centre arena. The next intersection is with Ann Street (hospital to the right)
Next intersection is McDonald Street and about 50 metres later Hiram ends at Liddard Street. Make a jog to the left, down a short steep hill and stop at Manitoba Street (aka the main street)
Turn right on to Manitoba Street.
This street is always busy but there is a sidewalk on both sides of the road. Less than 100 metres ahead you will see the Knight’s Inn.
Cross over to that side and as you cross Wellington Street North pick up the new walking/biking trail,
that runs parallel
to Manitoba Street.
Continue until you come to a set of traffic lights in about 1 km. The trail continues on the other side of Manitoba Street.
At the traffic lights you can turn right on to Clearbrook Trail and a short ride will take you to the High School and Recreation Centre. The Recreation Centre has washrooms and a coffee shop.
Back on Manitoba Street the trail continues until you see a big blue sign for FALKENBURG
and the road to the right is High Falls Road.
The distance so far is 7.6 km
and you could turn around if you are not up to a few steep hills and some nice scenery.
High Falls Road is 3.0 km long and known as our 5 million dollar
road, since it cost that much to rebuild in 2010. There is a 1 metre bike lane
on both sides of the road. You will encounter two steep up and down hills.
Just before you begin your long climb of the second hill, you might want to stop at the bottom when you are beside the river. Depending on the
time of year you might get a very nice view of High Falls
in the distance.
After you have climbed the longest (and last) hill, you will of course, go back down. Before you actually get to the bottom of this short hill, slow down!
On the right
is a hard packed gravel road and the only sign you might see is a Trans Canada trail sign. The hard packed gravel road is only about 50 metres before you come to two bridges (one for the power station, the other over the North Branch of the Muskoka River)
As you exit the bridge you can go either left or right. This is High Falls Park
and there are picnic tables and out houses
Going right will give you the option of walking down to observe the falls from below or observe the bay from above. BTW High Falls Park could also serve as an access point since it is easily accessible from highway 11 either north or southbound at exit 193)
As you exit High Falls Park you will meet an intersection. Going left would take you
to highway 117 and Baysville/Dorset. Going straight through would put you in the south bound lane of highway 11.
Therefore turn right on to Cedar Lane.
You will be on Cedar Lane for 5.6 km.
About ½ of Cedar Lane is also a portion of the Trans Canada Trail. There are no bike lanes but generally traffic is not very heavy. This is a fairly scenic road with some nice views. You can continue along Cedar Lane
OR Wilson's Falls Alternate Route A) about 2 kilometres along Cedar Lane (at 1490 Cedar Lane) there are 3 driveways on the right. Taking the third one (marked as a Muskoka Trails) will give you a more scenic but MUCH MUCH rougher trail and only recommended if you have a mountain bike or are willing to walk your street bike for about 1 km. This is a part of the Trans Canada Trail. At the bottom of a long steep hill the trail meets the river and follows it to the left. In a few hundred metres you will see a dam with a walkway across it. Looking down river is Wilson's Falls. This area is especially colourful
in late September and early October. Walk across the dam and keep following the rugged path for about 100 metres and you will come out to Wilson's Falls Road. There is no sign for the road since this is the end of the road. Wilson's Falls Road runs parallel to the river for about 2 km. Eventually you will come to the intersection with River Road. Less than 1/2 km along, is the train station -- and you have returned where you started.
High Falls bridge
Early morning mist
BTW just before the intersection with River Road is an area known locally as Bass Rock
and a great place to stop for a swim (in season!!)
B) If you continue along Cedar Lane you will soon pass by Macaulay Public School
and in less than 1 km there will be a traffic circle that intersects with Taylor Road. Taylor Road is always very busy. About 50 metres left on Taylor Road is a Tim Horton’s and around the corner a Harvey’s and Wal-Mart.
To continue the tour turn right on Taylor Road
and almost immediately you can use sidewalks to avoid the heavy
Turning right at the first light will take you to the Rotary Garden,
with walking paths, ponds, benches and always something in bloom. Worth a short stop. The next 1.6 km is mostly downhill.
Near the end of Taylor Road you will go down a short hill, cross a bridge and railway tracks. As you cross the railway tracks you can see the railway station parking lot
on the right, where you started. Total distance covered is 15 km.
There are more photos below