Owen Sound to Chatsworth (21 km each way by bicycle on a multi-use rail trail)
The Grey County/Dufferin County CP Rail Trail runs between Owen Sound and Orangeville. Between Owen Sound and Holland Centre the trail is stone dust, which is comfortable for most bikes. From Holland Centre to Orangeville it is rough gravel, best used for hiking. The trail is used by snowmobiles in the winter. ATVs are permitted outside the city of Owen Sound.
Because the Grand Trail meets the CP Rail Trail in Dundalk, it provides an additional link between the Grand Trail and the Waterfront Trail. Upgrading the entire trail to stone dust would create a multi-day round trip cycling adventure.
We spent the week of the July long weekend at a cottage in Owen Sound and took the opportunity to explore the first section of the CP Rail Trail between Owen Sound and the village of Chatsworth.
Chatsworth is at the top of the Niagara Escarpment from Lake Huron. However, rail companies always choose a route that minimizes the grade to reduce fuel consumption. The CP Rail Trail is no exception, taking a circuitous route that climbs gently almost all the way. The stone dust surface is in good condition. The trail wends its way through small forested areas and farmland. The meadows beside the track bed were blooming with summer flowers.
After an hour and a half riding uphill in the heat, we were happy to find Chatsworth Honey, right at the intersection of the trail with Highway 10. There was a choice of several varieties of honey, depending on the location of the beehives: spring flower, autumn flower and basswood. We bought some honeycomb for the grandchildren, some jars of different honey to taste test later and a jar of local maple syrup. From there we cruised back downhill into Owen Sound.