A Motorcycle Rider's Paradise
By Christine Kirkland
This route through picturesque Prince Edward County is approximately 490 km. It can be easily done in a day by the average motorcyclist, however there are so many attractions and great places to stop along the way, not to mention a few ferry crossings, that I have split it into two days. I recommend it not be rushed, especially if prior travel is required to get there. Like a fine wine, this one is best savoured at a leisurely pace.
Day 1 – Kingston
Our travels begin in the city of Kingston, which offers many choices in the way of lodging and dining. AquaTerra, which can be found on the waterfront serves up a stellar breakfast, as does Windmills, which is conveniently located on Princess St. Our starting point is the intersection of Princess and Bath.
Heading west on Bath Road is a scenic ride on smooth tarmac with a generous offering of lake views. Once in Millhaven, we take the ferry over to Amherst Island. The fare is $2.00 round trip for motorcycles, and it departs on the half hour from Millhaven, and on the hour from the Island. The ride is approximately 20 minutes one way.
Amherst Island’s only town, Stella, has a general store, a café, and an art and craft gallery. It's also the docking location of the ferry. In and around the town, the roads are tarred, however, as we go further out, they turn into gravel. They're still very manageable to ride and offer such amazing views and long shoreline stretches that they shouldn't be missed.
Taking the boat back to the mainland, we continue along CR 33 (Bath Road). It is suggested to consider filling up on petrol as the next available fuel is in Picton. Passing through Adolphustown we come to the Glenora Ferry. There is no fare, and it is a shorter ride than the Amherst Ferry. During summer daytime hours, two boats run in 15-minute increments. Be sure to check times if you are planning on riding the ferry outside of the summer season because the schedule changes.
From the ferry, we take the 33 to CR 7, our first left. This leads up to Lake on the Mountain Resort, an appreciable place to explore. The Inn is equipped with a patio, and is a great choice for lunch. The Lake of the Mountain Provincial Park offers public washrooms and a deck out over the Lake. The lake itself is a natural wonder. Located nearly 62 metres above the Bay of Quinte, it has a constant flow of clean fresh water with no visible source. The water level is about 150 feet higher than Lake Ontario and is estimated to be over 110 feet deep.
Continuing along CR 7, we ride around the point to Cressy, where the road seamlessly becomes CR 8. This travels back around the southern side of the point and takes us to Wapoos. It is a fantastic ride on smooth pavement, with many scenic lake views and sweeping corners. Shortly after Wapoos we turn left onto CR 13 and continue south to Black River.
The Black River Cheese Company is a superb place to stop for ice cream, drinks, fudge, and cheese. It also provides restroom facilities. Across the road is the Galloping Goat Gallery, worth checking out for its offering of unique art and gift items.
Staying on CR 13 takes us out to Prince Edward Point. There is only one way there and back, however the tarmac is hard and smooth and the views are splendid, making it a worthwhile venture.
At the tip of Prince Edward Point is a National Wildlife Area. There are public restrooms available here. It's also here that the tarmac stops, however if we continue out to the point we find an old lighthouse and a cobbly beach. It's worth seeing, but take caution on the rocky road that leads to it.
Taking the 13 back out from the Point, we watch for the Little Bluff Conservation Area sign on our right. This is slightly off the beaten track, however it is another gem of a place. With cliffs reminiscent of the East Coast and a long cobblestone beach, it is a beautiful place to stop and take a dip, or simply enjoy the panorama.
From CR 13 we make a left onto CR 10 and continue on to Milford. If you are ready for a meal, the Milford Bistro and Gallery is a recommended stop. Onward on 10 we come to Cherry Valley, a quaint place with a notable old Texaco Station building. Here we turn left onto CR 18.
This road takes us down around East Lake, past Sandbanks Provincial Park. At the end, we turn right onto CR 12 and continue on to West Lake. An impressive stop along this road is at the Isaiah Tubbs Resort, where we are treated to fantastic dining and great views across to the Sandbank dunes.
Back on CR 12, we follow it until we reach Ridge Road. Turning right, it takes us back to CR 10. Left on 10 will bring us out to the 33 (otherwise known as the Loyalist Parkway). Turning left, this stretch becomes Main Street into Picton.
The Town of Picton is the proposed overnight stop, offering the Picton Harbour Inn, with a paved parking lot, and breakfast served in the Lighthouse Restaurant. There are many great choices for dinner and evening entertainment in the town, one being the Acoustic Grill. Also recommended is the Portabella for great harbour views.
These establishments are all within short walking distance from the Harbour Inn.
Day 2 – Picton
Picton provides some interesting shopping and gourmet coffee spots, and should not be rushed through. Leaving there we head southwest on CR 33, towards Bloomfield, another picturesque town with some unique little shops. From there we continue on the 33 to Wellington, which, among other things, boasts a beach located just off 33 on Beach Street.
From Wellington we continue on the 33, passing through Consecon, until we reach CR 19. Turning right we keep going through Ameliasburgh until we come upon a “Y” in the road where we stay to the left and merge onto CR 2. This road takes us out to Hwy 62, where we make a right. Heading north, we stay on the highway until we reach Rossmore. There we find a gas station and Gilmour’s Meat Shop and Deli, where they serve great sandwiches. At the Rossmore stop is also a restaurant/pub.
Turning left onto CR 3 takes us through Rednersville to Carrying Place. This is a fantastic ride on smooth pavement with eye-pleasing landscape. At the 33 we turn right and then left onto CR 64, passing Lovett, and the Brighton Speedway Park. To reach Presqu’ile we turn right onto Harbour Street. At the end, we turn right again on Ontario Street, and then make a left turn on Presqu’ile Parkway (CR 66). This will take us directly into the Park. In addition to its long sandy beach, Presqu’ile offers a Lighthouse Interpretive Centre, a Nature Centre, and a Park store that stocks—among other important things—ice cream.
The Sandbanks Bar and Grill in Wellington is commendable and, depending on your personal timeline, you may want to make this a lunch stop. The large parking lot is paved, the food is good, and the view from the patio doesn’t disappoint.
From the park we follow Harbour Street back out to CR 64 (Prince Edward Street) onto which we turn left. Making a right turn on Elizabeth Street, we ride this until it becomes Dundas Street W, and enters Trenton. Staying on Dundas Street we pass the Canadian Forces Base where it is not rare to see low flying military planes overhead. We are now traveling on the Old Highway 2.
Continuing east this road takes us into Belleville (Dundas Street E), and proceeds to wind its way through Tyendinaga and into Shannonville. It's worth checking out Shannonville Motorsport Park, located on Old Hwy 2, however our route takes a right turn down York Road. Good tarmac, interesting landscape, and low traffic make this an excellent ride. Through Deseronto, we soon arrive at Greater Napanee.
Napanee presents a potential location to have dinner and one such a place for that is the Waterfront River Pub & Terrace, located on Water Street. The town also provides Shoeless Joes, and Tim Hortons.
From Napanee we head down CR 8, making a right onto CR 9 (River Road). This is a great loop, filled with stunning scenery and amazing corners. At a junction called Anderson we turn left onto Little Creek Road, another twisty ride. At the end of this road we make a right turn back onto York Road (Dundas Street), and make our way to Odessa. From there we can either turn left taking CR 6 (Wilton Road) north to join the 401, or we can take it south if our return destination is Kingston. Turning right we follow CR 6 to CR 23 (Taylor Kidd Blvd). A left onto CR 23 takes us directly back into Kingston.
There's a lot of road and a lot to see in the area. Enjoy!