Cycling on the K&P Trail

I’ve written about my adventures on the K&P Trail before, seeing as how it’s one of my favourite places to cycle. But yesterday, I managed to venture further than I’ve ever been! I travelled to the very end of the K&P trail, to where it meets the Cataraqui trail. That’s roughly 20 km from the trailhead in Kingston. From there, a short jaunt west would get me to Harrowsmith. Or, if I preferred, a slightly longer jaunt east would get me to Sydenham. I’ve outlined my ride from Kingston to Orser Road in a previous post, but I thought I’d add a few notes on the stretch north of Orser to where it intersects with the Cataraqui Trail. The KFL&A Trail Map shows me that the trail actually winds north past Harrowsmith and ends at Hartington, but I have yet to travel there.

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So in the map you’ll see that long stretch between Unity and Orser, which is roughly 5 km. The maintained portion of the trail used to end here, at Orser Road. However, as of two summers ago (I think), the northern stretch of the trail has been upgraded for easy access to the Cataraqui trail. In general, they’ve been putting some money into the trail. Within the last two years, they’ve also put interpretive signs and large trail maps along the stretch of the trail. The picture below was taken from the Gorway group website – the people responsible for making the signs.

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The kilometre north of Orser Road to Murton Road was tough for me – not because it was steep, but because the gravel was really uneven and bumpy. You pass through a field of hydro towers, but there’s not much else to look at in this short section. From Murton Road, it’s about 2.5 km to Scanlan Road and another 2.5 km or so to get to the crossing. This stretch is windy and quite scenic, with rock cuts and lots of wildlife. I saw 4 turtles (or maybe three…that last one I saw on the way back, and it may have been the same turtle) as well as frogs, birds, and other small creatures.

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There is a bit of a grade heading up towards Scanlan Road, and though it is long, it isn’t too strenuous. Past Scanlan you cross a bridge that goes over Millhaven Creek. Next time, I’ll make sure to take more pictures. This time around, I just wanted to power through and make it. When you finally arrive at the intersection, you are met with some signposts, and another trail map.

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I was pretty tired by this time (it’s the furthest I’ve ever biked!), so instead of heading into Harrowsmith, I turned back and pedalled towards Kingston. It was a slower ride (heading there I averaged 20 km/hour, but on the way back I was 1 or 2 km/h slower. Instead of going around the vista at Bur Brook, I sped down the street, hitting my max speed at 60 km/h. Kelvin was playing a softball game at Cloverdale, so I cycled there to watch a bit of the game. The hill on McIvor almost did me in (my legs were very tired by then) and ironically enough, Kelvin drove past me just as I was struggling up it.

In summary, I was very happy about this ride, and am excited to see where else this trail can take me. I’m hoping to explore more of the Cataraqui trail one day, and I’ll make sure to record more of my thoughts here. Anyways, it’s Canada Day, and strawberries are waiting to be picked at Fruition :)

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Getting away to Nature

I always say that Lemoine Point is my natural haven within suburbia. Recently, I discovered another haven, which I now frequent on a weekly basis (if not more). Introducing: The K&P Trail (named K&P for the once rail bed between Kingston and Pembroke that the trail follows).

This morning, with the sun out and a wonderful breeze blowing, I decided to head out for a mid-length spin on the trail. One thing I love about my home is the location – separated bike lanes right from my back gate. I ventured on up past Cat Woods Drive to the Centennial Drive extension that is slated to open sometime soon. If you head to the very end of the street and turn right (you will think that you are going to nowhere), you will see a small cut through in the woods on the left near the end of the sidewalk.

The cut-through, guarded by my bike

A quick ride along that path brings you right to the K&P Trail. Over a few occasions, I’ve travelled the length of the K&P trail from its trailhead off Dalton Avenue to the Kingston municipal boundary at Orser Road. I don’t venture the length between Centennial and Dalton very much, as I like to head up north, but here is an overview of the route.

The first few times I went on this trail, I was deeply enamored and wanted to capture everything on camera. However, I realize now that that really slows me down and it takes me a while to get my speed back up when I stop. Here are some pictures that I have taken over the last little while. I will try to take more once I head further up (I want to eventually connect with the Cataraqui Trail). To begin, we have the Dalton Avenue trailhead.


You ride along the backs of industrial factories and warehouses for a few short minutes, past a body of water that has clearly seen too many nitrates. And then you come upon the bridge. I bold “the bridge” because it played a pivotal role in my discovering the K&P trail. You can see this bridge from the 401 (actually, you have a great view of the 401 along this one stretch of the trail between Centennial and Gardiners), and it was seeing other cyclists cross that particular bridge that made me want to get there. When you go up to it, though, it really isn’t anything fancy. But how the allure of cycling alongside the 401 pulled me in!

Something I really appreciate about the trail is that it has these really funny signs, and very clearly marked trailheads. This is one you encounter when biking across Sydenham Street. Please note the peculiar laws about the killing of dogs.

Though this is the urban portion of the trail, it still gives you beautiful views. You cycle between backyards, but also behind old barns like this one.

Continue on and you will reach the stretch I talked about earlier, where you can see the 401. It’s really calming, actually, to be biking peacefully while hearing the roar of trucks going by. On either side of you, there is marshland that threatens to overflow onto the trail. And yet, in all my times on the trail, it still remains about an inch below the height of the trail. Many a time I have been tempted to test its depths, but common sense continues to intervene.

One of the unique things about this trail is that it actually goes under the 401. Yes, you heard me. Not only does it have an awesome bridge, it has an underpass. It may be a dark, scary underpass that turns the sounds emanating from your bike into ghoulish tinklings, but it is a structure nonetheless.

Once you cross over the 401, it suddenly seems as if you are in rural Kingston. You’ll come across McIvor Road not long after, with Jackson Mills Road following shortly behind that. This is an easy ride, abundant in flying animals, chipmunks, and the occasional bunny. In fact, I accidentally bumped into a butterfly today (or you could say the butterfly bumped into me). Don’t worry, the butterfly lived, as it continued to fly away once it hit me. When you reach Jackson Mills, you make a right onto the street, cross Bur Brook Road, and continue along what I like to call the Bur Brook Loop. This is a steady, but shallow incline that circles a nice vista, and ends off in a rather nice tree stand.

The end of the loop will bring you back to Bur Brook Road, to where it intersects with Cordukes Road. If I am tight on time, I will turn left on Bur Brook and head back towards Kingston, but if I am feeling a bit more leisurely, I will turn right on Bur Brook and continue up to Unity Road.

I’ve only been up to Orser Road once, and it was on a whim after talking to a nice couple at the Unity Road trail lot. It was a Sunday, and though it was 3:30, and I had date night with Kelvin at 5:00, they persuaded me to extend my trip the extra 10 km (5 km there, 5 km back). “The map says it’s really flat!”, they said. They were right, and the ride was enjoyable, but still, 10 km is 10 km. That was by far the longest stretch I rode without coming across any other major roads (though I did bump into many nice people walking their dogs, jogging, or bike riding..overtaking me…). I must say, I felt quite the sense of accomplishment when I got there.

I’m happy to report that the ride back was quicker than the ride there, and I made it back to my home in the nick of time. It is still my longest bike ride to date at slightly over 30 km, but I hope to ride it again soon (and hopefully go beyond). You can see it a little bit in the previous picture, but starting at Orser Road, the trail is not as nicely maintained, so I don’t know if my hybrid will be able to take it. However, I will give it a shot – probably after I get a tune up – and hopefully make it all the way up to Harrowsmith.

Here’s one last picture, of Centennial Drive, heavily filtered thanks to my snapseed app (love that app).