Cycling Tour: The Saugeen Shores Beach Hop
Beach to beach, ice cream to French fries, museum to miniature train – whatever connection you’d like to make, this loop combines two hot spots on Lake Huron. Follow the shoreline one way and come back on the rail trail or, for a longer loop, enjoy the marked country roads.
Start Point: Southampton
End Point: Southampton
Distance: 17 km Loop
Days: 1 Day
Surface: Partially Paved
This ideal family trip is not too long and offers attractions and restaurants at either end. Be sure to bring a bike lock so you can stop and indulge. Following the shoreline, a paved path takes you along the lakeside with easy rollers and curves. Miramichi Bay in particular is stunning.
The Saugeen Rail Trail is hardpacked and surfaced with crushed limestone. It’s an easy cruise without hills or vehicles, amidst fields and through the backyards of both towns. In Port Elgin, look for the high school on the east side of the rail bed that marks the intersection of Gustavus St – your exit point. What to do?
Port Elgin is home to a flea market every Wednesday all summer, beach concerts every Sunday night all summer and a miniature steam train welcomes you to hop aboard. Goderich St is the main street with terrific cafés.
Southampton has a 4-km-long beach that’s quiet and dotted with swing sets. Fun shops and eateries line High St while the works of local artists can be seen in the Southampton Art Gallery. You can find bike rentals and repairs at Martin’s Bicycle Shop, and all your outdoor needs at Thorncrest Outfitters.
The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre on Victoria Street, features an extensive history of Bruce County and all it entails. From interactive exhibits to programs for kids and adults – one visit will have you buying a membership! (www.brucemuseum.ca)