Routes - Zone 9
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Zone 1 Map Zone 9 sits on the eastern edge of the Golden Horseshoe. It is bordered to the west by Highway 12, the shores of Lake Ontario to the south, a mixture of regional roads, including Regional Road 16 to the east and Highway 7 to the north. Its most prominent geological feature is the Oak Ridges Moraine. Today you can see the land shaping effects by the beautiful valleys, rivers and rolling hills that it left behind. It is this geological feature that makes zone 9 such a fantastic place to ride your bike.

Today the moraine is home to many small communities that dot the hilly landscape. Farming is most prominent to the north of Taunton Rd. (Highway 4); this is, by far, the best place to ride your bike. To the south of Taunton Rd. towns and cities like Oshawa and Bowmanville fill the void with urban landscape all the way down to the shores of Lake Ontario. The further east you go the quicker the urban environment turns into country roads.

The starting location for this zone is in Bowmanville due to the fact that the country is much closer to Highway 401 than anywhere else along this corridor. Once you get to the rolling hills of the moraine the challenges come hard and fast. The rollers are constant and offer up huge amounts of fun as you climb one side and scream down the other. It's not often to get 2000 meters of climbing in 160 km in Southern Ontario, but you can get it in Zone 9.


Town/CityDistance (km)Elevation Gain (m)Categorized Climbs
ViewDurham County89 km890 mN/A
ViewDurham County161 km1843 m2 - Cat. 5


Map of Bomanville


StartLengthStart | End Elevation Total Elevation GainAvg. GradeMountain Name


General Route Information:

  • Start Location: Bowmanville
  • Start Location: Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex
  • Distance: 89 km
  • Elevation Gain: 890 m
  • Washrooms: On-site at the recreation centre
  • Food on Route: Burketon, Blackstock, Enniskillen,
  •     Tyrone, Hampton
  • Rating: 8/10

Emergency Services:

  • Lakeridge Health Bowmanville
  •     47 Liberty St. S. | 905-623-3331
  • Lakeridge Health Oshawa
  •     1 Hospital Court, Oshawa | 905-576-8711
  • Lakeridge Health Port Perry
  •     451 Paxton St., Port Perry | 905-985-7321

  • Bowmanville Taxi | Bowmanville (905-623-4422)
  • Hiland Taxi | Port Perry (905-985-0407)
  • Island Taxi | Port Perry (909-985-8294)


This route is a shorter version of a route I did while riding the Durham Gran Fondo for the United Way. The original route is 162 km long with over 1800 meters of climbing. The accumulated elevation gain surprised me a little as you don't usually get 1800 meters of climbing over 160 km in Southern Ontario. Even routes that go up and down the escarpment near Blue Mountain do not have this much climbing unless you do hill repeats. It was definitely a hard day in the saddle. This route is quite a bit shorter, but it still has lots of climbing and uses many of the same roads as its longer "daddy" route. The route starts off in downtown Bowmanville, but you quickly reach the country by way of Maple Grove Rd. One of the reasons I chose Bowmanville as the starting location was due to the close proximity of country roads to the access road of Hwy 401. Several turns later you'll find yourself on Solina Rd. where some small rollers will need to be negotiated. At this point there is no real climbing to be done, but don't rest too easy; it's on its way

The constant climbing generally happens north of Concession Rd. 3. It's here where the fun begins. You will be surrounded by open farmers fields where, depending on the time of year you cycle the route, will either be brown and bare clearly showcasing the rolling terrain where you can see for many miles, or the crops will be high and green and offer a small respite on windy days. The hills come at you hard and fast. You are usually either going up or down with very little flat ground in between. This really is country riding at its best.

Soon you'll get to Old Scugog Rd. which will lead you north towards the upper section of the route. Here you will cycle around a box like route and return back to Old Scugog Rd. for your journey south. This upper "box" section provides some of the biggest hills on the route. If you need food or water there are a few places to meet your needs. Refer to the PDF link associated with this route. Old Scugog Rd. will lead you back towards Regional Rd. 3 where you will cycle slightly to the east and traverse back to the west towards your final push south and back to the car. The hills are constant, but relief will come soon once you reach the town of Hampton. The final push south of this town is fairly flat where you will cycle back towards the urban roads of Bowmanville.

The first time I did this route I was surprised at how hilly the terrain was. I had cycle all over Southern Ontario and thought I pretty much covered all the areas where hills could be found. And then I found out about the eastern edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine. It has become one of my favourite routes due to both the quiet country roads, hilly terrain, easy access to food and water and the overall rural nature of the environment. You'll be surprised to know that there is not one categorised climb on this particular route. That goes to show how consistent the hilly terrain must be.

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