Scotch on the Rocks (67 km)
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Location: Oxford Mills, United Countries of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario
Distance: 66.6km (41.4 miles)
Estimated gravel time: 70%
Suggested Tire Width: 40mm (with treads) if you plan on sampling the route’s namesake Scotch Line Rd., and the ample doubletrack found in Limerick Forest. Otherwise, most riders ought to be fine with a minimum tire width of 32 to 35mm.
Amenities: There are no places to resupply on route. However, the Roebuck Community Centre includes several picnic tables, as well as a vault toilet, making for an ideal rest stop.
Parking: Several parking areas are available on route. The first can be found in the village of Oxford Mills at Crozier Park. The second is located on the southern end of the loop at the Roebuck Community Centre. Finally, Limerick Forest (South) provides multiple places to park.
While the route’s namesake is a 10km stretch of rocky, flooded and muddy unmaintained, the remainder of the loop consists of a mix of easy to navigate gravel, including Bolton and Kyle Roads, the access road through Limerick Forest, and a series of quiet paved farm roads.
Starting from the Crozier Park parking area in Oxford Mills, exit the village via County Rd. 18. Shortly thereafter, upon reaching County Rd. 25, riders will have the option of making a right and heading north to the route’s namesake Scotch Line Rd. Otherwise, if riders would prefer to avoid this section of unmaintained (whether its due to tire selection, early-season mud, or simply a desire to keep your shoes clean), proceed instead on Craig Rd, a quiet stretch of pavement which eventually re-joins the main route at Bolton Rd.
While most of Scotch Line Rd. consists of rideable (albeit technical) doubletrack, approximately 1.5km of this stretch of unmaintained can get quite muddy. While most of it is rideable, there will be sections where riders will have to pick their way on foot around some severely flooded sections, including some calf-deep water and shoe-sucking mud.
After surviving Scotch Line Rd., turn left onto Bolton Rd. and proceed south. This portion of the route is a gem, consisting of approximately 20km of smooth, flowy, barely-there gravel that descends gradually towards County Rd. 21. This section will simply fly by, especially if you’re blessed with a tailwind.
Upon reaching the end of Kyle Rd., make a left onto County Road 21, following a 3km mix of pavement and gravel to McLeansville Rd. Here, the loop stays on dirt to the 6th Concession, following this section of pavement briefly before returning to gravel via McCrea Rd.
Eventually, riders reach County Rd. 18 and proceed north to the hamlet of Roebuck. As this road can see some high-speed traffic, those uncomfortable riding with vehicles are advised to make use of the available gravel shoulder. After 3.2km, riders leave the pavement behind and proceed on Forsythe Rd., following this stretch of smooth gravel for just over 10km though Limerick Forest (South). For anyone looking for a bit more of an adventure, this section of Limerick Forest also provides an opportunity to explore the surrounding ATV and dirt bike trails. Be warned that these trails can get quite sandy, so those with skinnier tires are advised to stay on the main gravel road through Limerick.
After exiting Limerick Forest, turn right onto Limerick Road, following this quiet section of paved farm road to the route’s high point off County Rd. 20, before descending to O’Neil Rd., the loop’s final stretch of gravel. From here, the route then proceeds north on Crozier Rd. for 5km, following this stretch of forested country pavement all the way back to Oxford Mills.