Cycling with the wind in your jacket is a great feeling. Cycling along a great waterway is the perfect place to find it. It’s a feeling of freedom, space, and power.
If you’re visiting Belleville, Ontario, you may want to park the car and bring your bike and some good walking shoes so you can enjoy the Bay of Quinte’s beautiful waterfront pathways and parklands.
We traveled from Ottawa, Ontario and stayed at the waterfront Travelodge at 11 Bay Bridge Road for a few days of shows at the historic Empire Theatre, restaurants, and cycling the waterfront trails in Belleville.
Zwick’s Park Trails are right next door to the hotel. They are excellent for cycling, walking, and jogging. The hotel and the waterfront trails are dog friendly too.
The trail rewards with lots of lookouts, park benches, picnic tables, and beautiful pavilions, giving you a choice of places to stop, relax, enjoy the views, picnic, or grab shelter from the sun or rain.
There are a variety of events in Zwick’s Park and the trails make the park accessible by foot or bike if you don’t want to drive.
Zwick’s Park Lions Pavilion is located on the west side of Zwick’s Park. It’s a beautiful waterfront venue! It has an open-air design and sound system for outdoor concerts and other events. A large stage is located at the north end of the building which has ample space for seating and dancing. The Pavilion gives you a break from the hot summer sun, and lets the show go on even if it rains.
If you want more waterfront pathway to cycle or walk, you’re in luck in Belleville.
There are two more trails nearby you can catch: The Bayshore Trails (2.5 kilometres of pathway) at Jane Forrester Park further east at 1 South Front Street, next to Meyer’s Pier Marina, or the Moira Riverfront Trail northeast of Zwick’s Park.
To help guide you along the way, you’ll see Waterfront Trail signs and maps as these well-developed pathways are part of a much larger network of trails and cycling routes.
Ontario’s Waterfront Trail stretches some 900 km from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border. It follows the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, so you can choose the sections of path that suit you best for day cycles or multi-day bicycle touring.
The Waterfront Trail varies from city to city. Thirty percent of the Trail is off-road dedicated path and 70% follows residential streets or shoulders of major roads.
In Belleville, we were happy to hop from trail to trail. From the Zwick’s Park Trail loop we cut over to Mary Street and headed up to Dundas Street, making a right towards Front Street near Victoria Park to catch the 4.4 kilometre long Moira Riverfront Trail. It was lunch time, and this is where you’ll find restaurants and shops in the downtown section of the route.
Belleville, Ontario is a small waterfront city on Lake Ontario’s Bay of Quinte with a population of about 50,000. The Moira River runs through the heart of town. Belleville offers modern amenities, historic charm, lots of waterfront parks, events, a wide choice of lodging and restaurants, and a year-round Farmer’s Market.
Belleville is easily accessible from Hwy 401 and only a few hours drive from:
- Ottawa, Ontario 270 kilometres/160 miles (3 hours)
- Toronto, Ontario 180 kilometres/107 miles (2 hours)
- Montreal, Quebec 379 kilometres/224 miles (4-hours)
- Syracuse, New York 286 kilometres/170 miles
- Buffalo, New York 360 kilometres/213 miles
And, of course, you can get there by boat! Meyer’s Pier Marina is operated by the City of Belleville. Dockage by day/month/season, transient slips, water and power available, washrooms, showers, pump out, gas diesel, laundry, chandlery and sail repair nearby.