Grand Nith Ramble
The trail-heavy Grand Nith Ramble (GNR) was born not only to offer an extension to the BT 700 route, but to also showcase two of southeastern Ontario’s most alluring rivers – the Grand and Nith. And just maybe the trail will begin in the jungle and take you to the mythic Paradise City. But most certainly, a river runs through it.
Start your journey in the village of St. Jacob’s, located in the heart of Mennonite country, where it doesn’t take long to ditch pavement for forested trail. From here, riders will wend their way south to escarpment country and then back north along punchy gravel, sinuous trail, well maintained rail trail and undulating roads with a surfeit of bucolic views. It is not designed to be the easiest, most direct route possible, but one that inspires a sense of two-wheel adventure. The scenery won’t disappoint, and either will the welcoming hospitality.
Even though the route runs into some fairly big urban centres it never really feels like you are too far removed from quiet countryside and natural ecosystems that will appeal to any bikepacker. A far more diverse appeal than just fields of corn.
- Trails: You’ll be amazed by the volume of singletrack, doubletrack and rail trail riding on the route while never venturing too far from a hot meal and cold beer. Railing along some sections of sweet trail will put you up close and personal with the mighty Grand river.
- Grand and Nith Rivers: Picture-worthy river views seemingly await you at ever bend in the trail.
- Dundas Conservations Area: Ride deep into the thickly forested, waterfall-laden Dundas Conservation Area. It’s so vast some riders have yet to come out. Hands down one of the prettiest sections of the route.
- Lafarge Trail: Score bragging rights by conquering the notorious Lafarge trail.
- Bridges: A chance to ride along a handful of historic steel truss bridges spanning the Nith River – several of which are closed to vehicular traffic.
- Breweries: Avail yourself of one (or many!) of the local breweries that dot the route. A well deserved pint is never far away.
- Birds: From kingfishers to indigo buntings, there is no shortage of birdlife along the waterways. Can you spot the GNR heron?
The Grand Nith Ramble was not created by the team at Bikepack Adventures. It being featured on this website is for informational purposes only and to give a full picture of the amazing rides in the region.
For more detailed information on this route, including the latest updates to the route and POIs, visit the GNR route on the BT 700 website.
Alternate route options
For riders with not enough time to complete the full GNR route or who are looking for a more introductory experience there is the option of riding the GNR Lite route. It’s a route that can also present a good single day challenge.
This option eliminates about 120 kilometres and some of the more challenging terrain in favour of using the pleasant Cambridge to Paris rail trail.