Rails, Trails and Ales – Algonquin Bike Train

It’s now easier than ever to experience the stunning fall colours of Algonquin Park while discovering backcountry routes on your bike.  Hop on board, bike and all, at Union Station in Toronto and relax while the train takes you to the historic village of South River.  Nestled in the Amalguin Highlands, the “Rails, Trails and Ales” package is the perfect blend of fine food, incredible handcrafted beer, and spectacular cycling adventures.

This unique one week cycling adventure is supported by the ingenuity of the non-profit group Transportation Options who are ‘dedicated to stimulating sustainable systems of transportation’.  Their project, Bike Train, has introduced bike racks on board select passenger rail trains in order to nurture easy and accessible cycling holidays across Ontario.  In partnership with Via Rail and Ontario Northland, routes now include Toronto to Niagara, Ontario East (Montreal), North Bay, Gravenhurst, Huntsville and South River.

After disembarking at the South River Station, cyclists take a ride over to the Highland Brew Co. for a taste and tour of this distinct local micro-brewery.  Artistically handcrafted, Highland beer is all natural and without preservatives.  After the tour, a 20 kilometer cycle through rolling hills on rural roads will bring everyone for rest and relaxation at Northern Edge Algonquin.  Greeted with the warmth of a century old log cabin, this solar-powered nature retreat specializes in canoe trip adventures, wilderness arts and yoga retreats.

The evening at the Edge will involve good food matched with incredible beer.  Prepared by Chef Gregor, meal time at the edge is always something special with a strong focus on the ‘slow’ food movement (meaning: sustainable, local, organic and wholesome).  Local and provincial foods with a global flair will be matched with expert knowledge provided by beerologist Roger Mittag.  Mittag, who founded Canada’s leading beer education company Thirst for Knowledge, is an adjunct professor at Humber College’s renowned school of hospitality.  His company has also created Canada’s first comprehensive beer certification course.

While at the edge, cyclists can get dirty on the 30 kilometers of mountain biking trails that surround the lodge.  The fall colours can also be taken in while paddling on the lake or biking the nearby Forgotten Trails.  Surrounded by maple and balsam fir forests, you might not want to go back to the train and away from Northern Edge.

Chef Gregor’s Food Trails  www.northernedgealgonquin.com/gregorfoodtrails.pdf

Northern Edge Algonquin www.northernedgealgonquin.com

Bike Train  www.biketrain.ca

Highland Brew Co.  www.highlanderbrewco.com

Thirst for Knowledge www.thirstforknowledge.ca

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