Things to Do: Ride the Rail Trail to Coldstream

Building on my post riding the Wood Lake loop, we recently rode from Lake Country to Coldstream and back. This ride was just over 40 km and took us about three hours, including a few rest stops and lunch.

We started this ride on the paved section of the rail trail, there are a number of parking spots along Pelmewash Parkway, and as bonus we discovered that at one of them there is a small dog beach (which we visited later that weekend).

Starting on the paved section of the trail added about 10km to the ride – 5 to Oyama and then of course 5 back. For a first long ride of the season those last 5 km were not great – should have worn my padded bike shorts – but as we get more bike miles in this summer I’m sure we’ll hardly notice them.

You can also park right in Oyama, there are signs to parking and the trail head is easy to spot. The section from Oyama to Coldstream is not paved but since it is so well travelled the trail is handpicked gravel and dirt so the ride is pretty smooth.

Highlights of the Ride

It’s Flat: The rail trail is flat and as mentioned above, hard pack gravel/dirt, so it’s a pretty easy ride. We were riding old mountain bikes, but saw all kinds of bikes from ebikes, to road bikes, to small children on tiny people bikes (no training wheels though!).

Lots of places to stop: There are a lot of great little beaches right off the trail to stop and have a picnic or on a hot day, a swim.

Oyama general store and cafe: We didn’t stop this time, but essentially right at the trailhead in Oyama you’ll find the general store and a small cafe. Perfect for a celebration ice cream, or to grab water or snacks if you forgot to pack any.

No Stress: The entire rail trail is pretty easy going, with lots of places to stop and if you aren’t feeling the ride, it’s easy to turn around and just head back.

Don’t forget:
– Start early, the trail gets busy and hot around mid day so an early start is the way to go (by 9 at the latest)
-Water and snacks: aside from the store in Oyama there is no where to get water, so be sure to bring lots. I’m a bog fan of freezing a half filled water bottle and then topping it up with cold water just before we leave so that we have cold water for the entire ride.
-Sunscreen: So I forgot sunscreen and had the most intense sun burn from just below to just above my elbows. There isn’t a lot of shade along the the trail and the sun will reflect off the water, don’t be like me – bring the suscreen
-Bike tools, pump and extra tube: It’s a long walk to the car if you get a flat!
– Layers: Especially if you are starting early, it’s easy to take off layers if you get hot, impossible to add if it gets windy or cool and you haven’t brought enough clothes!

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