Durham Destroyer - "I'm Not Worthy" (163km)
Updated: Jul 7
Route Author: Greg Woitzik
Location: Port Perry, Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario
Distance: 163.3 km (107.7 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 40mm (to account for the abundant dirt trails that highlight the route)
Amenities: The route’s starting point is the town of Port Perry, which has all the amenities of a quaint tourist town including cafes, pubs/restaurants and convenience stores. The town of Uxbridge, at the route’s 50km mark, has all the necessary conveniences, including several cafes and general stores. The village of Claremont, just off the main route just past the halfway point, has general store and pizzeria. Finally, the village of Blackstock offers a final resupply option before the final push back to the start.
Estimated gravel time: 80%
Parking: Parking can be found throughout the town of Port Perry, including the Scugog Association Soccer Fields. Ample parking can also be found in Uxbridge, the main alternative starting point, including on-route at Elgin Park. Alternative parking options include the Chalk Lake Triangle, which has room for a couple of vehicles, and the Blackstock Recreation Complex.
The Durham Destroyer is held every July and includes three routes of 302/163/102kms respectively, each covering some of the Durham Region and the Kawartha’s finest gravel roads, singletrack, and rail trails. The following presents the second longest (and most difficult) edition, consisting of 163km of climbing, trail riding and soul sucking sand that will have you screaming “I’m Not Worthy!”
Beginning from the Scugog Soccer Association parking lot off Old Simcoe Rd., just north of Port Perry’s town centre, the route transitions from pavement to gravel upon reaching Township Line 8. After approximately 5km, riders make a right onto Marsh Hill Rd and head north on gravel farm roads for another 5km or so to Township Line 12. Make a right here and continue east to Old Simcoe Rd.
Make a left on Old Simcoe Rd. and head north for just over 11km to the Beaver River Wetland Rail Trail. Follow this relatively well-maintained trail south-west for approximately 20km to the town of Uxbridge. Anyone looking for an early resupply option are advised to stop by the village of Sunderland, slightly off-route, by following the rail trail branch north just after the 34km mark.
The rail trail portion of the route ends in the town of Uxbridge, and with its abundance of amenities, makes for an ideal extended rest stop. Departing Uxbridge via Elgin Park, the route switches gears and joins an extended series of dirt trails for approximately 6km to Brookdale Rd. and a brief stretch of pavement.
The loop returns to gravel via Concession Road 6 and continues south to Reid Rd, where another stretch of forest trails await. Perhaps the route’s pièce de résistance, riders remain on a series of dirt single/doubletrack for just over 13km, passing through various woodlands and forest preserves before eventually exiting onto the Uxbridge-Pickering Townline.
Follow this short stretch of pavement to Sideline 12 Rd., where the route returns to gravel and heads south, tracing a U shape for 13km to Chalk Lake Rd. As there are no resupply options for the next 59km (outside the Chalk Lake Spring Well water source), the best option for food and fuel can be found just off-route in the village of Claremont, which can be reached by following Concession Road 9 west at the 74km mark.
From the Chalk River Spring Well, the route continues east for just under 34km, following a series of easy to navigate dirt backroads to Mangers-Scugog Townline. Follow this stretch of quiet country pavement north for just over 4km, before returning to dirt and doubling back west along McKee and Bradburn Roads. The loop’s last remaining resupply option can be found here, in the village of Blackstock slightly north of the main route.
Upon reaching Cartwright West Quarter Line Rd. make a left, followed by a quick right onto Regional Road 19, continuing on pavement for just over three kilometres to Graham Rd. Here, the route remains on firm farmland dirt for the next 13km to Old Simcoe Rd, returning to pavement as the loop continues north back to start in Port Perry.