Durham Destroyer - The “Full Monty" (302km)
Route Author: Greg Woitzik
Location: Port Perry, Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario
Distance: 301.7km (187.7 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 38mm
Amenities: Grocery and convenience stores, cafes, and restaurants can be found in various towns and villages along the route, including Port Perry, the route’s “official” starting point. Other rest stops include Claremont, Uxbridge, Sunderland, Cannington, Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon and Lindsay. For anyone looking to stretch out the route over the course of a couple of days, the map identifies several potential campgrounds and motels. Looking to turn the Full Monty into a weekend beer tour? Up to five local microbreweries can also be found on-route.
Estimated gravel time: 80%
Parking: Parking can be found throughout the town of Port Perry, including the Scugog Association Soccer Fields. Parking can also be easily found in Uxbridge, the loop’s alternative starting point. Finally, parking is also available at the Community Centre in Cannington, the Fenelon Falls Community Centre, the Bobcaygeon-Verulam Community Centre, and throughout Lindsay, including the Lindsay 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, double track, and rail trails. The following presents the longest variation of the Durham Destroyer, the 300km “Full Monty” Edition. Feeling masochistic? Tackle this route over a single day. For the mere mortals among us, this route provides an opportunity to sample some of the best scenic dirt and breweries the Kawarthas has to offer over the course of a two- to three-day weekend.
Beginning from the Scugog Soccer Association parking lot off Old Simcoe Rd., just north of Port Perry’s town centre (location of the Old Flame Brewing Company), the route transitions from pavement to gravel upon reaching Township Line 8. After approximately 7km, make a left and head south along Marsh Hill Rd., through the hamlets of Epsom and Utica (no amenities), remaining on quiet asphalt to Scugog Line 4.
Here, make a left to Gray Side Rd. where the loop returns to firm country dirt for the next 5km to Ashburn Rd. After a brief section of pavement, proceed left onto Chalk Lake Rd., a scenic stretch of gravel that takes riders past a small spring before eventually heading north to the Uxbridge Woodlands trail system.
After 3km of double track, the loop returns to gravel and heads south, following a series of well maintained gravel roads for the next 22km to the 7th Concession. Make a right here as the route changes from pavement back to gravel again after crossing Brock Rd., continuing on firm and easy to navigate dirt for just under 20km to the village of Claremont.
After departing Claremont, head north on pavement for approximately 3.2km to the Glen Major Forest and Walker Woods property complex. This 1,500 hectares of forest preserve includes almost 50km of woodland trails stretching from Brock Rd. to the town of Uxbridge, and is one of the route’s unquestioned highlights, as riders remain primarily on treelined double track for just over 20km.
Riders exit the trail system in the town of Uxbridge, and with its mix of restaurants, cafes, as well as the Second Wedge Brewery, makes for an ideal rest stop. Departing Uxbridge via Main St North, the route switches gears and joins the Beaver River Wetland Trail, following the abandoned railbed for approximately nine easy kilometres to Scugog Line 14. Make a left here and continue on mostly flat farmland gravel for the next 34km before briefly rejoining the Beaver River Wetland rail trail prior to the village of Cannington.
For anyone looking to ride the Full Monty over the course of a weekend, one of the route’s sole camping options is available 5km south along the rail trail, at the Trout Water Family Campground. Otherwise continue north-east through Cannington and follow the rail trail to Linden Valley Rd.
Here, the loop continues east on a series of exposed country gravel roads, remaining mostly on dirt for just under 32km. After passing through the hamlet of Cameron, the route joins the Victoria Rail Trail and proceeds north for approximately 10km to the town of Fenelon Falls.
At 180km into your journey, this picturesque town makes for an ideal spot for a long break, and features a public beach, several restaurants and cafes, and the Fenelon Falls Brewing Company.
Exit town along the rail trail, following the eastern shores of Cameron Lake and the Burnt River to the 3rd Concession. Make a right here and continue on another series of easy to navigate country dirt roads, as the route meanders south-east for 22km to the iconic village of Bobcaygeon, inspiration behind the namesake song and home to several restaurants, cafes, and the Old Dog Brewery.
After departing Bobcaygeon the loop heads south, then west, remaining mostly on quiet paved backroads for the next 33km to the Rotary Greenway Rail Trail. Here, make a right and continue on the trail for just under 3km to the city of Lindsay. The bustling heart of the Kawarthas, Lindsay features all the amenities a rider could ask for, including the Pie Monk Brewery.
Leave Lindsay via the the Kawartha Trans Canada trail and head west, following the rail trail for just under 6km to Opmar Rd. The route makes a right here and heads south along a series of exposed gravel roads and quiet country pavement to Zion Rd. Stay on this 12km section of farmland gravel all the way to the hamlet of Sonya. Soon after, the loop reaches old Simcoe Rd., a scenic stretch of gravel that takes riders south all the way back to the start in Port Perry.