Summers Road Shuffle (85 km)
Location: Motts Mills Conservation Area, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario
Distance: 84.6km (52.6 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 32mm or wider
Amenities: The village of Lyndhurst, at the halfway point, includes a convenience store and restaurant. The village of Elgin, slightly off-route, provides access to a grocery store and pizzeria. Finally, the town of Portland, approximately 17km from the end of the route, includes a mid-size grocery store.
Estimated gravel time: 75%
Parking: Several parking options are available. The best starting point is from Motts Mills Conservation Area, as it allows riders to take advantage of several potential resupply points. However, the parking lot is small and can only manage a total of four or five vehicles. Larger parking options can be found in the town of Portland, including the Portland Bay Conservation Area and a large nearby boat launch, as well as in the village of Elgin.
This route samples the easy to navigate gravel and quiet country pavement south of Big Rideau Lake, with the highlight being Summers Road, a gorgeous section of single-lane gravel and unmaintained.
Starting from the Motts Mills Conservation Area, proceed south on pavement for 2.5km, before making a right onto Kitley Line 3 as the route shifts to a series of hardpacked dirt roads to County Road 8. Here, the route continues past Bellamys Lake along a lovely tree-lined stretch of asphalt, before making a right and changing back to dirt via Line 7 Rd.
Eventually, the loop returns to pavement along Country Road 5, heading south to Lake Street. Here, the route makes a right, following this well-maintained gravel road along the south-eastern shores of Upper Beverly Lake before crossing County Road 42 and eventually switching back to quiet pavement upon reaching Lower Oak Leaf Rd.
After just over 3km, the loop makes a left and follows a slightly busy stretch of pavement to the village of Lyndhurst. Here, riders can refuel at one of several restaurants/convenience stores before returning to gravel via Old Briar Hill Rd. to the route’s namesake, Summers Rd. This delightful stretch of single-lane gravel and easy to navigate unmaintained is the loop’s unquestioned highlight, and includes just over 5km of twisty treelined dirt, with several short punchy ups and downs.
Eventually the loop returns to pavement, skirting the village of Elgin and switching to gravel as the route makes a right onto Lockwood Lane. Follow the exposed ridgeline for 7.3km before making a right onto the Cataraqui Trail. This multi-use dirt trail is limited to non-mechanized travel only, and as such is manageable even on relatively narrow rubber.
Follow the pathway for about 10km, past the town of Portland, before exiting the trail on Bass Rd. Remain on gravel for another 5km before returning to tarmac via Kitley South Elmsley Townline Rd. to County Road 1 and back to the start of the route.