(Like A Rolling) Stone Mill (98/76km)
Updated: Feb 3
Location: Enterprise, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario
Estimated Gravel Time: 80%
Full Route Map:
Full Route Distance: 97.9km (60.8 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 40mm. While the vast majority of the route can be ridden on 35mm tires, there are various sections with walnut-sized gravel, behoving something with a bit more width for comfort’s sake.
Amenities: There is lovely public beach at Centennial Park on the north-western shores of Varty Lake. Otherwise, there are no amenities on route.
Full Route Description:
With its mix of scenic single lane dirt, quiet country backroads, and a smattering of unmaintained, the (Like A Rolling) Stone Mill route features some of the best gravel riding in the township of Stone Mill, just north of Kingston and Belleville.
Starting from the public park in the village of Enterprise, it is highly recommended that riders proceed north along a series of lovely single-lane gravel roads to Mountain Rd. This way you get most of the route’s climbing out of the way, while enjoying California Rd. the way it was meant to be enjoyed - as a righteous 10km long descent.
Upon reaching Mountain Rd., head right and follow the route’s longest stretch of pavement for just under 8km to California Rd. This section is the loop’s unquestioned highlight, as riders will find themselves gradually descending along a single stretch of gravel double track all the way to Detlor Rd. While California Rd. appears to be somewhat maintained on a regular basis, riders ought to be mindful of the large wheel-bending potholes that litter this section of the route.
Upon reaching the end of California Rd., head east along Ninth Concession Rd. as the route continues on well maintained gravel and country pavement to Clair Rd. Here, the next 4.4km of walnut-sized gravel will prove to be a bit punishing for anyone with narrower tires. Eventually, however, the loop transitions back to smooth gravel upon reaching Leveque Rd. as the route meanders south, turning to asphalt past Pero Lane, before reaching the hamlet of Bellrock.
After a brief 100m metres along Highway 7, the route returns to dirt via Long Swamp Rd. Here, riders will notice various signs and dirt roadblocks indicating that the road is impassable. This is due to the state of the bridge crossing the Napanee River, which is no longer rated for motorized vehicles. However, it is perfectly capable of supporting pedestrian and bicycle traffic (use your best judgement obviously, and be forewarned that this road is susceptible to flooding in early Spring). In addition, it should be noted that this section consists largely of deep, walnut-sized gravel, and so can be a real slog on anything less than 40mm tires.
Upon exiting Long Swamp Rd. via German Rd., the loop changes character completely as the single lane gravel that dominates the route north of Highway 7 disappears in favour of quiet country dirt and asphalt. Eventually, loop reaches Parks Rd. and continues on this well maintained stretch of gravel to Centennial Park. As this large public beach and picnic area is just past the halfway point, it serves as an ideal spot for lunch and a mid-ride dip.
Continuing on Park Rd. and past the old schoolhouse, make a left onto Moscow Rd. This quiet stretch of country pavement continues for approximately 4km before returning to dirt via Hunt Rd. Here, the loop remains on gravel for the next 20km to Centreville Rd. After a brief 4km section of asphalt, the route reverts back to gravel and stays on dirt for approximately 7km to Lake Rd., which takes riders back to the start in Enterprise.