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Ride and Reward: Belleville – The City Ride

a person riding a bike with a helmet on.

BELLEVILLE: THE CITY RIDE

The first in our Ride and Reward series is the city ride in Belleville. I’m based in East Hill and this ride is in my own backyard. It’s a mostly flat, paved, and accessible ride that can be done in under an hour. Let’s go!

Written by Allison Nichol Longtin

Read time: 4 min
a paved walking and cycling trail running along a marsh

I started my ride at the recently completed extension of the Bayshore Trail just east of the Herchimer boat launch. When I first moved to Belleville, this part of the trail wasn’t for the faint of heart or the thin of tires. But now, it’s paved and pretty.

I then connected to the Bayshore Trail and headed West along the paved path that follows the Bay and is a popular walking and cycling route with beautiful views clear across to the County. The Turtle Pond at the bottom of Foster Avenue is a beloved spot for nature lovers. In the warmer months keep an eye out for turtle crossings and slow your roll when approaching geese and their little goslings. 

I particularly love the views from Meyers Pier and Jane Forrester Park. The iconic Norris Whitney Bridge and Zwick’s Park in the distance, a steady wind off the Bay, and the sound of sailboats rocking in the marina are quintessentially Belleville.

After a quick pause to admire the panoramic views, I headed north on South Front Street. For a short time the bike path disappears and I cut through the top of Victoria Park to connect with the path that goes under the hustle and bustle of Dundas street. To make this a longer ride, you could cross the Moira River via the Dundas Street bridge and head to Zwick’s Park for more Bay of Quinte goodness.

I followed the winding path along the banks of the Moira River meandering mostly north. This is a path I take often and year-round; it’s uninterrupted for a long stretch, passing under busy streets. It was a big highlight for me when the new J. Ben Corke Footbridge officially opened in Fall 2022 connecting the city’s east and west sides and crossing the Moira.

a bicycle leaning up against a hot pink park bench
a bicycle leaning against bar seating of a modern bakery, where the garage door is open to show the whole space from the outside

I crossed this bridge and made a beeline for Small Scale Bread to pick up my reward for this ride: a chocolate croissant, which the lovely folks at the bakery set aside for me. Small Scale is a gem in Belleville and a personal favourite of mine. The place was characteristically bumpin’ when I arrived. Before long, I packed my treat gingerly into my bike bag, careful not to crush the light and flaky layers of the perfect pastry. On this ride, I took out my custom gravel bike, Gladys, a Cannondale Topstone made just for me by the good people at The Brake Room. When I’m planning a ride to Small Scale I’ll usually take my Linus Dutchi, Gloria, because she’s got all the baskets for bringing home hard-to-find craft brews and bottles of wine that they keep in stock.

With my treat in tow, I reconnected with the Riverfront trail cycling north against the current. I particularly love the little falls at Lott Dam in Lion’s Park. Some epic sunsets happen here. You could take the bridge across the Moira here for even more views, but I like the little ponds close to Cannifton.

Connecting to Cannifton road feels almost quaint and suburban south of College street. I slowed my roll as I entered the pedestrian tunnel under the train tracks. After a short jaunt along College, I reconnected with the path continuing north toward Riverside Park, best known for its pirate ship playground. I took the path to its northernmost point where I could see the 401, but easily found a quiet spot at a picnic table surrounded by trees and fragrant lilacs. Here it was time for my reward! A perfect setting for an equally perfect treat and fuel for my ride back to East Hill. You could make this ride a loop by exploring the oldest neighbourhood in Belleville, retracing your route back to Bridge Street and then climbing the hill up toward a bicycle path and finally heading south on Herchimer to where I started my route. 

This is an accessible route that takes under an hour one-way. It mostly sticks to paved bike paths and avoids heavy traffic areas; great for younger cyclists and leisurely sightseeing. Happy cycling! 

a paved walking and cycling trail running alongside a river

MAP IT OUT

Allison mapped out the trails and bike routes she took:

MORE RIDE, MORE REWARD

This route is just one of four in our Ride and Reward series. We have more rides coming soon in Brighton, Quinte West and Napanee.

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A collection of all our stories from the BOQ

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a man riding a wave on top of a surfboard.

Let’s see what we got!

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The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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