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Ashton Amble (79/57km)

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Location: Ashton, Ottawa, Ontario

Estimated Gravel Time: 75%

Full Route Map:

Distance: 78.6km (48.9 miles)

Alternate Route (56.5km): This version is ideal for beginners. By relying on the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail, the original route is shortened by just over 20km, while still providing riders with the opportunity to travel down Pinery Rd. Download GPX File

Suggested Tire Width: 35mm or wider

Amenities: The starting point in Ashton includes a brewpub and a small general store. A few kilometers away from the start, the route passes just south of Carleton Place, with several nearby amenities including restaurants and convenience stores.

Full Route Description:

With its non-technical gravel and limited elevation gains, this loop provides an easy introduction to gravel for anyone transitioning from road riding,

The start of Pinery Rd. Consisting of 11km of winding tree-lined dirt, this is the route's unquestioned highlight!

Exiting Ashton and riding counter-clockwise, the route follows 9th Line Rd, a paved section that sees moderate levels of traffic. After approximately four kilometers, the route turns right and briefly follows Cemetery Side Road, before turning left onto St. Fillans Rd. While Cemetery Side Rd is a feeder to a Highway 7 on-ramp, its wide paved shoulder make it relatively stress-free.

Beckwith Trail system

Continue on St. Fillans Rd. before entering the Beckwith Forest trail system and following the doubletrack west to 10th Line Rd. Riders who may have forgotten any essential supplies have the option of turning right at the McGregor Branch of the Beckwith Trail and continuing north 0.5km to the Carleton Place Colonnade Plaza, which houses several coffee shops, fast food restaurants and gas stations/convenience stores.

The Ottawa Valley Rail Trail

Continuing on route, crosses Highway 15, before turning left and taking advantage of the new Ottawa Valley Rail Trail for approximately 5.8km. This flat and quiet trail, while open to ATVs, offers an excellent alternative to riding with traffic on the provincial highway that parallels it. Riders have the option of continuing on the rail trail all the way to Brown Rd, and effectively shortening the loop by 15km, or staying on the suggested route and turning right onto 6th Line Rd. From here, the western section of the route includes a mix of gravel and quiet paved roads, highlighted by Gillies Corners Side Rd., a 6km stretch of winding farmland dirt.

Gillies Corners Side Rd.

The route eventually turns back east, briefly rejoining the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail, before exiting on Browns Rd. and eventually crossing back over Highway 15 (use caution when crossing here as traffic moves at a high rate of speed and there is no signalized intersection). After 4.4km of quiet pavement, the route turns right onto Pinery Rd., and for the next 11km this twisty section of forested gravel road leaves riders with the feeling of being far more isolated than they actually are. Definitely the loop’s pièce de résistance!

Pinery Rd.

Upon exiting Pinery Rd, the route turns left and follows a series of gravel farm roads for approximately 16.5km all the way back to Ashton. It should be noted that, after crossing Richmond Rd., riders have the option to continue north on Ashton Station Rd. all the way back to the starting point. However, as this road includes several washboard sections and larger bits of gravel, it is recommended that riders turn right onto McLinton Rd. and take advantage of the McCaffrey Trail, a far more scenic way to end the loop.

McCaffrey Trail

Once back in town, it is highly recommended that riders make a pit-stop at the Ashton Brewpub for a well-earned pint.

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1 Comment

Jordan Wolfe
Jordan Wolfe
Sep 30, 2021

Firstly, thanks for making the effort to share the route. We rode it today, counter-clockwise, fighting a wicked headwind.

For those who haven't attempted this route, if you're looking for a workout, the soft gravel (and wind in our case) will provide that for you. Having said that, the first 1/2 seemed to be more tarmac than gravel. The lack of scenery and places to re-fuel also took away from the enjoyment of the ride. I don't think that this is a route that I would ride twice. Ending at the Ashton Brew Pub was a nice way to cap off the ride however.

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