GVT Day 21: In the Home Stretch

Map 4 Caledonia Middleport to Map 3 Cayuga (16.2 km cycling)

As the days are getting shorter and the temperature has finally dropped, we decided to finish the rest of the trail in one weekend.  We booked a motel, put the bikes on the back of the car and headed for Caledonia.

We set off from Ruthven Park.  The trail initially follows Highway 54 which is a busy road, with no hard shoulder.  We attempted without success to get off the road onto the official trail.  The first time, we headed down a cottage road which dead-ended in impenetrable bush with nary a sign of a blaze.  Back to the highway.  The second time, an obliging homeowner had mowed a trail across the back of his property, but again the trail dead-ended at the edge of the next property.

We resigned ourselves to braving traffic on Highway 54 until the little village of York, where we struck the Rotary Riverside Trail (also part of the Trans Canada Trail).  This trail was built by the local Rotary Club with support from Haldimand County, Six Nations Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Trans Canada Trail.  It runs beside the river.  Although rough in spots, it was ride-able along its entire length.

On the outskirts of Caledonia, there is a short section back on Highway 54.  We were amused to be caught by a speed display walking at 7 km/hr along the edge of the road.

Then the Grand Valley Trail meanders along back streets and parks in Caledonia, before taking to the Riverwalk.  Across from the entrance to Riverwalk, right on the edge of the bridge over the Grand, there is a rather run-down but beautiful example of a brick Victorian house, complete with elaborate chimneys.

The Riverwalk runs a short way along beside the Grand, passing the dam and the old train bridge.  Then it was back onto Highway 54, but thankfully there was a multi-use trail on one side of the road all the way to Mines Rd, where we completed our ride.  Then we drove back to Caledonia for supper at Victor’s Cornerstone Restaurant.  When we returned to the car park behind the Riverwalk after nightfall, we were treated to a beautiful view of the bridge, lit at night.


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