Routes - Zone 4
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Zone 4 Map What makes Zone 4 an interesting place to cycle is you share the road with horse and buggies driven by the Amish. This zone is bordered to the north by Hwy. 89, to south by Hwy. 7/8, to the east by Hwy. 6 and to the west by Hwy. 23 and a mixture of small roads that lead into Stratford. Although you see many little towns on the route profiles, these are not towns with any services. They are more like very small family communities. Be sure to stock up on food and water before you leave as you won't find much while on route.

The roads in this area are very well maintained and are usually of the tarmac variety. You won't find much "chip and tar" here. Contrary to what I first thought, the landscape here is rolling, pasture and farmland. You will share the road with minimal traffic and the ever frequent horse and buggy.

The starting point for routes in this zone is the University of Waterloo. All the routes posted so far to this zone are routes from the "Tour of Waterloo". This is a great event with proceeds donated to local charities. A great place to visit while in the area is St. Jacobs. The main street here is large enough to spend the entire day browsing all the shops and eating wonderful food. Not too far away is the market area where the Amish come to sell their goods. Also a great place to visit while in the area is Stratford. This town is famous for its theatre, but is also a town that will service all your needs.


Town/CityDistance (km)Elevation Gain (m)Categorized Climbs
ViewWaterloo128 km1026 mN/A


Map of Waterloo


StartLengthStart | End Elevation Total Elevation GainAvg. GradeMountain Name


General Route Information:

  • Start Location: University of Waterloo
  • Distance: 128 km
  • Elevation Gain: 1026 m
  • Washrooms: inside University buildings if open
  • Supplies: On route to the University, just off the hwy.
  • Food on Route: None
  • Difficulty Rating: 10/10

Emergency Services:


Don't let the area fool you as it did me. This route is from a race called the "Tour de Waterloo" (check out the home page for more information). I came into the race thinking the area was flat farmland. I was right about the farmland part, but not about the flat. This particular route is the long version of the "Tour de Waterloo". There are two other distances as well; one is 70 km and the other is 40 km.

Once you start cycling you will reach open farmland very shortly after leaving the University of Waterloo. The one drawback to open farmland is the wind. The day I did the route it seemed to be a head wind for the entire ride. There must have been a shift in the wind because it seemed relentless. I did this race on an extremely hot summer day. The high for the day was somewhere near the mid 30's. It would have been difficult to complete the entire route in 35 degree Celsius heat if the race organizers did not have water stations along the way. There is no where to get water if you do this route on your own. So be sure to bring all you think you'll need. This route is best done on a cooler day when you don't require as much liquid. You could not carry enough to fill your needs in the middle of the summer at this distance.

The route is rolling all the time as you can see from the profile below. The landscape is pretty and the roads are in excellent condition. You'll be sharing the road with horse and buggy as this is Amish country. Most of you will more than likely pass these buggies, as they are not that fast, so please give the horses lots of room. The Amish also don't like having their picture taken so please respect that as well. The climbs on the route are not that big and are not overly steep, but there seems to be quite a few of them. The quality of the roads and the unique environment developed by the Amish make this a truly wonderful ride.

You will see many place names on the motion profile below. These are not towns or villages. The names more than likely refer to an area family or a very small community. I included them in the profile because they are on the map and I thought it might help you in your navigation if using a hand map or GPS device. At first glance, you might think the type of road you are cycling on are main roads, as they are well looked after, but they are not. The traffic in this area is minimal.

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