Durham Destroyer - The "Rookie" (92km)
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Location: Port Perry, Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario
Distance: 91.9 km (57.1 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 35mm
Amenities: The route’s starting point is the town of Port Perry and has all the amenities of a quaint tourist town including cafes, pubs/restaurants and convenience stores. The town of Uxbridge, just past the route’s halfway point, has a number of amenities, including several cafes and convenience stores. Finally, the village of Sunderland, less than 20km from the end of the route, provides an opportunity for a last second resupply.
Estimated gravel time: 75%
Parking: Parking can be found throughout the town of Port Perry, including the Scugog Association Soccer Fields. Parking can also be easily found in the alternative starting point in the town Uxbridge, including on-route at Elgin Park, just south of the town centre.
The Durham Destroyer is held every July and includes four route distances of 300/230/130/90 kms covering the finest gravel roads, trails, and rail trails around Ontario’s Durham Region and the Kawartha’s. The following 90km route is a modified version of the “Rookie”, the shortest variation of the Durham Destroyer.
Beginning from the Scugog Soccer Association parking lot off Old Simcoe Rd., just north of Port Perry’s town centre, and heading clockwise, the route immediately starts on gravel via Township Line 8. After approximately 4km, riders cross Highway 12, continuing west and eventually making a left onto Marsh Hill Rd, through the hamlet of Epsom (no amenities) and continuing via quiet asphalt all the way to the village of Utica (no amenities).
After making a quick right-left on Goodwood Rd. (Regional Road 21), the route continues on Marsh Hill Rd., reaching a T junction and heading east via Scugog Line 4, a quiet paved farm road, before eventually making a right onto Gray Side Rd., and the route’s second significant stretch of gravel. Continuing south, riders eventually make a right onto High Point Rd before briefly returning to pavement via Scugog Line 4/Ashburn Rd.
After approximately 3.5km, the route makes a right onto Chalk Lake Road, returning to gravel for approximately 19km, including a righteous 6km descent along Concession Rd. 7/Balsam Rd. But of course, what goes down must go up. Upon reaching the end of Balsam Rd., riders make a right onto Concession 8, and shortly thereafter begin the route’s longest climb. Eventually the route makes another right and continues upwards on Sideline 12, then heading east and briefly returning to pavement via Uxbridge-Pickering Township Rd., before making a left on Concession Rd 6 and continuing on gravel for a short period before transitioning back to asphalt.
Continuing north, the route eventually makes a right onto Wagg Rd, followed by left onto Concession 7, eventually reaching the town of Uxbridge. As the route’s unofficial halfway point with its abundance of amenities, it’s a good place for an extended 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 20 easy kilometres, eventually exiting the multi-use trail near the village of Sunderland. For anyone needing any additional supplies before the final push back to the start, Sunderland (slightly off route) offers a selection of cafes, pizzerias, and convenience stores.
Riders continuing on route eventually make a right, heading south for almost 17km via Sideline Rd 18 and Old Simcoe Rd, two more extended stretches of dirt, all the way to the start of the loop in Port Perry.