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THE 2022 GREAT WATERFRONT TRAIL ADVENTURE CELEBRATES THE ADDITION OF SIMCOE COUNTY

Posted on Friday August 05, 2022

THE 2022 GREAT WATERFRONT TRAIL ADVENTURE CELEBRATES THE ADDITION OF SIMCOE COUNTY, HUGGING THE SHORES OF GEORGIAN BAY AND LAKE SIMCOE.

For the first time, the Adventure will incorporate the Simcoe County Loop Trail to create a fabulous Ontario cycling staycation.

August 4, 2022 -- Toronto. On August 7, 150 cyclists from 5 provinces and 5 states will take off on this year’s Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA), which will include the County of Simcoe for the first time. “With its awesome landscape, historic towns and proximity to sparkling waters, the County is an exciting addition to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail”, says Marlaine Koehler, executive director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

The GWTA is the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s annual, fully supported, multi-day bicycling tour which showcases the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the communities that support it, and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s mission – the regeneration of our Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The event also traditionally celebrates and inaugurates trail milestones and expansions.

“This year’s ride sold out in just 2 weeks demonstrating the growing popularity of cycling, the allure of Ontario’s Great Lakes waterfront and growing reputation of the County of Simcoe as a premier cycling destination. Cyclists just can’t get enough”, said Koehler.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail was one of 83 ground-breaking recommendations made by the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront headed by the Honourable David Crombie. After 30 years that recommendation has been a catalyst for the establishment of over 3,600 km of trail and a partnership of 155 communities.

The County of Simcoe is the latest addition to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. This expansion adds 255 kms and connects the Trail to 1023 kms of additional road cycling in Simcoe County. It connects a number of local waterfront trails, including: Tay Shore Trail, Tiny Trail, Penetanguishene’s Rotary Trail, Uhtoff Trail, Barrie’s Waterfront Heritage Trail, the Oro-Mendonte Rail Trail and the Greg Stobart Trail—all examples of how communities celebrate their waterfronts and heritage.

“County of Simcoe Council is committed to supporting the development of trails and programs that promote active transportation among our residents, while supporting our growing cycling tourism sector. Through Cycle Simcoe, we’re proud to help fund and now connect our Simcoe County Loop Trail to our

neighbouring communities through the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail”, said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell.

The cyclists on the 2022 GWTA, who range in age from 31 to 83, will ride over six days starting at Blue Mountain and stopping in Midland, Orillia, and Wasaga Beach, travelling between 30 to 90 km daily at their own pace.

The 2022 GWTA route features long sections of off-road paved or limestone trail, and quiet rural roads. Riders will bike by 25 beaches, 4 provincial parks, 1 national park, 10 heritage sites, a provincial wetland, 18 lakes, 1 heritage river, 25 parks, and numerous local businesses in communities along the shores of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. It also incorporates two additional cycling loops—Thunder Beach and Big Chute.

In addition to a scenic ride, participants will have great off-bike and social opportunities as well. The GWTA showcases local tour operators including Free Spirit Tours, the Big Canoe Adventure, Sainte- Marie among the Hurons, the Martyr’s Shrine, and Landmark Cruises of Penetanguishene to offer on- water tours, heritage walking tours and culinary experiences.

“The GWTA is an exciting event on the summer calendar. The multi-day cycling adventure is an excellent way to explore the beauty of the trails at your own pace while taking in the local landscapes and food. The Greenbelt Foundation works to increase tourism and recreation opportunities in natural settings along the Greenbelt, and we are proud to support the Trust’s adventure on the trails,” said Edward McDonnell, Greenbelt Foundation CEO.

CAA South Central Ontario is a long-time supporter of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. For the 500 kms ride, CAA provides participants with CAA Bike Assist, roadside assistance for bicycles. CAA Bike Assist is a CAA Member benefit included in the annual cost of membership.

“We are committed to keeping our Members safe whether they are travelling on four wheels or two,” said Michael Stewart, community relations consultant, CAA South Central Ontario. “The growth of cycling over the past few years has introduced many to the joys of travelling by bike, and events like the GWTA encourage the local exploration of Ontario’s Great Lakes communities in an enjoyable and safe way.”

Participation in the 2022 GWTA has been filled for some time, but cyclists can plan their own adventure on the Waterfront Regeneration Trust website. (https://waterfronttrail.org/).

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail offers incredible cycling experiences for people of all ages and skill levels. Visit www.waterfronttrail.org to plan your experience, or register for the Great Lakes to Greenbelt Farm Fresh Tours on September 17 and 18, 2022

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For media inquiries contact
Marlaine Koehler, Waterfront Regeneration Trust C: 416-520-4205 | mk@wrtrrust.com

Quotes from our Partners

“We are excited to see Grey County participate in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. This initiative combines so many values that are important to us in Grey. These include active outdoor recreation, trail building, healthy waterways, exploration of our cultural assets, and of course, support for the small businesses that continue to adapt to meet the needs of the public throughout the pandemic.” Selwyn Hicks, Warden of Grey County.

“RTO 7 is very pleased to have supported the expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail into Bruce Grey Simcoe. Leveraging the Trail’s popularity and growing international reputation further enhances the region’s excellent cycle tourism network and products. The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycle tour is a fun way to launch the expansion with cyclists from Canada and the US.” Bill Sullivan, CEO, Regional Tourism Organization 7

“Midland’s waterfront is one of our most precious assets and it gives us great pride to share it with visiting cyclists on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. We are thrilled to join 155 other communities who have connected their waterfronts to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.” Mayor Stewart Strathearn, Town of Midland

“The Town of Collingwood is proud to welcome trail users from far and wide. To think that people can now cycle on trails from Toronto to Collingwood is pretty spectacular and is a scenic route worth exploring. We invite participants of the 2022 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to make use of the many trailside parks, recreational offerings, and amenities in Collingwood." Mayor Keith Hull, Town of Collingwood

“Severn is known as an all-season destination enjoyed by many for its network of trails, pristine lakes and rivers, and charming communities. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) is an ideal opportunity to celebrate Severn’s natural assets and admire the beauty of our local environment. This event highlights our waterfront connection and recognizes the significant tourism, health, and economic benefits provided by the trail system, and we are pleased to support the 2022 GWTA and welcome all cyclists and riders to our community now and on your next visit.” Mayor Mike Burkett, Severn Township

“We are thrilled that the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail has been expanded to include the beautiful trails in Simcoe Country, including our Rotary Trail. The Town of Penetanguishene is proud to support our ongoing initiative regarding active transportation, and welcomes the GWTA cyclists to our community.” Mayor Doug Leroux, Town of Penetanguishene

“We are excited for participants in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to experience all that the Tay Shore Trail has to offer! Participants will enjoy the nature setting of the trail which is enhanced by informative plaques outlining the natural and historical aspects of Tay Township. The trail passes through wetland, field and wooded areas, over the Wye, Hogg and Sturgeon Rivers and into our quaint community villages where participants can enjoy a stroll throughout our various downtowns and stop for lunch.” Mayor Ted Walker, Tay Township

“We are excited to welcome the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to Barrie’s waterfront and our beautiful city for the first time,” commented Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Barrie is committed to supporting active transportation initiatives and is undergoing a cycling network expansion which will improve connectivity throughout Barrie. Welcoming events like this and the influx of visitors they bring to our area allows us to showcase our bike-friendly city and the positive impact this has on our environment.” Mayor Jeff Lehman, City of Barrie

“On behalf of council, town staff, and residents of Wasaga Beach, I welcome participants to our community. Our town is a strong supporter of active transportation. We have a beautiful trail network that residents and visitors enjoy throughout the year. We are very happy to be a part of the 2022 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure”. Mayor Nina Bifolchi, Town of Wasaga Beach.

“The City of Orillia is thrilled to welcome the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure (GLWTA) to the Sunshine City and look forward to offering participants an exceptional experience while they stay in Orillia. With its vast array of cycling infrastructure, including approximately 30 kilometres of trails throughout the City and connecting our two beautiful waterfronts and heritage downtown, Orillia continues to be a premier destination for cycle enthusiasts from all over the province. As our City progresses through its Climate Change Action Plan, cycling will continue to play a critical role to help become more sustainable while providing immediate economic benefits to the community.” Mayor Steve Clarke, City of Orillia

“Springwater’s North Simcoe Rail Trail runs through the heart of Springwater from the edge of the Minesing Wetlands to Tiny Township and includes the beautiful Heritage Park in Elmvale. It is an all-season trail that serves residents and visitors, hikers and cyclists. We are proud be part of the Simcoe County Loop Trail and Trans Canada Trail. The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycle tour is a welcome opportunity to showcase our investment in trails, our beautiful parks and the warm hospitality of our residents and businesses”. Mayor Don Allen, Township of Springwater