Carleton Place Promenade (30/45km)
Updated: Jul 26
Location: Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario
Distance: 44.8km (27.2 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 32mm or wider
Amenities: The starting point in the town of Carleton Place has several convenience stores, restaurants/pubs and breweries, as does the village of Almonte, the alternative starting off route. Both towns also provide access to a public beach. Anyone looking for an authentic British pub experience in a country setting are advised to stop in at the Ashton Brewpub, located slightly off-route in the hamlet of Ashton.
Estimated gravel time: 90%
Parking: The town of Carleton Place has ample on-street parking available. Dedicated parking facilities can also be found at the Carleton Place Arena, and includes washroom facilities. Those looking to start from the village of Almonte are advised to park at the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park.
This 44km route combines various elements of the Ottawa Area Gravel Growler, the Almonte Roubaix, and the Lanark Loop, and serves as a mellow introduction to local Ottawa-area dirt for those new to the gravel scene. Alternatively, this route can also serve as a mini beer tour, as it includes some of the Ottawa Valley’s lesser-known breweries.
Starting from Carleton Place, riders head clockwise, exiting town via Quarry Rd., which soon lives up to its name as it turns to gravel shortly after leaving town. This extended stretch of hardpacked dirt is one of the route’s early highlights.
Eventually, the route hits a T-junction, and continues north on gravel via Ramsey Concession 4A, followed by a right onto Old Perth Rd., another classic stretch of local twisty dirt, taking riders all the way to the village of Almonte.
Almonte is a pretty village with several boutique shops and restaurants, and at just under the halfway point, makes for a good rest stop. Anyone with a preference for malty beverages are advised to stop by the Crooked Mile Brewery, home to the Ottawa area’s only dedicated British-style brewery.
Leaving Almonte, riders have two options. Those looking to shorten the route are advised to head straight back to Carleton Place via the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail, bringing the route down to a very manageable 30km total. Those looking to stay on route will exit Almonte via Old Almonte Rd, which transitions to gravel soon after leaving town. The route stays on dirt, eventually making a right onto Ramsay Concession 12, before briefly returning to quiet pavement upon reaching McArton Rd.
The route then makes a right and enters Ridgemount Estates, a quiet subdivision which takes you to Ashton Station Rd., and the Trans-Canada Trail. Upon reaching the rail trail, riders have the option of continuing a further 2.5km to the hamlet of Ashton and the Ashton Brewpub. Those choosing this option ought to exercise caution, as this portion of Ashton Station Rd. can see some high-speed traffic, and there is no paved shoulder.
Those searching for a mellow option are advised to stay on route and follow the Trans-Canada Trail south-west all the way back to the starting point in Carleton Place. As a reward for a job well-done, riders have the option of not one but two local breweries, including the Braumeister Brewery, home to the Ottawa Valley’s only dedicated German-style brewery, as well as Stalwart Brewing, home to the Snake Oil IPA.