Note: Cabot Head Lighthouse is closed for the season.
Hilly terrain and gravel roads lead strong riders along one of the most scenic routes in Bruce County, and to a postcard-picture-perfect lighthouse.
Lion’s Head is a great launching pad, mostly because it’s a wonderful place to return to. The setting is gorgeous on the blue Isthmus Bay under the white cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. There’s a lovely sand beach and quaint lodging and dining options.
Touch the lighthouse at the Lion’s Head Marina and you’re off, tracing the lakeshore, then pedaling inland to Forty Hills Rd. There’s good reason why it’s called Forty Hills Rd. Through farmland and cedar bush, it’s a twisty, turny, up and down cardio romp.
The large, exquisite limestone church that marks a spot in the middle of nowhere is St Margaret’s Chapel, built in 1925. Buffalo roam in fields across the street, and the threatened Massasauga rattlesnake can occasionally be seen soaking in the sun on the asphalt.
The highlight of this route is the final 10 km stretch from Dyer’s Bay along Cabot Head Rd. The road winds right along the water’s edge with the 45-m-high escarpment framing the way. At a culvert with a small waterfall, Gillies Lake empties into Georgian Bay and a small trail scrambles uphill to the remains of an old log chute.
The historic Cabot Head Lighthouse with its interpretive trails, museum and gallery lie awaiting at the end of the road. If you’ve got an eye for birds, bring binoculars to spy on the flocks in adjacent Wingfield Basin.