East Duffins Headwaters Loop (72km)
Location: Greenwood, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario
Distance: 71.7km (44.6 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 38mm
Amenities: Uxbridge, the route’s approximate halfway point, hosts all the amenities a rider could ask for, including the Second Wedge Brewing Company. A further 6km south of Uxbridge is the Slabtown Cider Company. Finally, the village of Claremont includes a couple of convenience stores as well as a pizzeria.
Estimated Gravel Time: 75%
Parking: Two potential parking spots are located at the loop’s official starting point in Greenwood, including the Greenwood Conservation Area North Entrance and the Greenwood Community Centre. The following parking lots are also located in urban settings, including at Elgin Park in Uxbridge and at Claremont Memorial Park in Claremont. Additional parking options are available at various trailheads identified on the route map.
This loop caters to anyone looking for something a little different, as the bulk of the route forgoes gravel roads in favour of the ample single and double track located throughout the East Duffins Headwaters south of Uxbridge. This route allows riders to choose their own adventure. Looking to shred? Ride your hardtail. Craving a little underbiking action? Take your gravel bike. Want to stick mainly to gravel roads? Follow the alternatives suggested in the route map. Looking for additional off-road goodness? Go explore one of countless side trails scattered throughout the route. The choice is yours!
As these are shared-use trails, please be respectful of other users and yield right-of-way to hikers, horses and mountain bikers pursuing those elusive KOMs. In addition, as much of this route takes place on mild mountain bike trails, familiarize yourself with the basics of the International Mountain Bicycling Association rules before you go. Finally, please note that while this route is only 72km long, given some of the mild technical sections, be sure to budget a bit more time to complete it.
Starting from the Greenwood Conservation Area trailhead, head north via some mellow single track for 2.5km to Concession 6. Continue briefly on pavement across Highway 7 and follow Paddock Rd. north to a dirt trail under the highway. Then remain on asphalt for another kilometre or so to Sideline 12, and the route’s first section of gravel.
After an additional kilometre, make a right and follow a brief section of trail (a mix of abandoned paved road and single track) to Concession Road 8. Anyone looking to avoid the trail system, head north on Sideline 12, which rejoins the main route at Concession Road 8.
Upon exiting the trail make a right and continue on exposed farmland dirt for the next 7km to the Glen Major Forest trailhead. This next section of off-road riding includes an initial section of slightly technical single track, but features a number of exceptional hilltop lookouts. After approximately 2.5km, the loop joins the Great Trail portion of the route. Here the trail system becomes noticeably easier as it winds its way north to the East Walker Woods trailhead parking lot. Anyone looking to forgo this section of trail are advised to head north via Concession Road 7 to the trailhead.
Cross Concession Road 7 as the route stays off-road, descending steadily on a section of wide double track to Durham Regional Road 21. Traverse the slightly busy road and remain on a non-technical section of single track for the next 3.5km to Brookdale Rd. Given the relatively gentle nature of this section (and the lack of quiet roads nearby) no suggested alternatives to the main route are provided.
After a steep descent to Brookdale Rd., stay on the Great Trail as it meanders north and west for 5km to Elgin Park. Please note that the portion of the trail directly north of Brookdale Rd. is perhaps the route’s most technical, with several steep sections requiring a bit of hike-a-bike. Anyone looking to avoid this section are advised to continue on Brookdale Rd. to Concession Road 7, which rejoins the main loop prior to Crosby Street.
After stopping in Uxbridge, riders will wind their way south on various suburban backroads to Elgin Park Drive. Here, the route enters the Countryside Preserve trail system for 3km to Rolling Meadows Rd., followed by some additional trail riding via Timber’s Tract. Again, as the only viable alternative to this section of trail is a relatively busy road, no substitute to this mellow section of single/double track is provided.
Upon exiting Timber’s Tract make a right and remain on tarmac for the next 3.5km, past the Slabtown Cider Company, before entering the next section of trail via the Glen Major Forest trailhead. This section of trail is one of the route’s longest as it winds its way south-west for 5km on a mix of single and double track, before returning to pavement via Brock Rd. Anyone looking to avoid this section of trail are advised to continue south on Concession Road 6 to the Uxbridge-Pickering Townline. Make a right here to rejoin the main route.
After crossing the Uxbridge-Pickering Townline, stay on Brock Rd. as it heads south to Claremont. Exit the village via Sideline 20 Rd. Here, the loop returns to well maintained gravel as it makes its way south to 7th Concession Rd. Head left and remain on dirt to Brock Rd., whereupon the route transitions back to pavements and descends quickly to Paddock Rd. Double back on Paddock Rd. as riders return to Greenwood Conservation Area and the start of the loop.