Sunday, September 1, 2013

Family trip on the Bartley Smith Greenway

One sunny afternoon last month, my family and I went on a bike ride together in Vaughan.  My six year old started off on the trail-a-bike pulled by me, while my two and four year olds enjoyed a ride in our Chariot bike trailer pulled by my wife.

We ended up doing a leisurely 20 km over three hours including quite a few stops (turtle watching, picnic lunch, McDonald's bathroom break, DQ ice cream treat).  Frequent stops is key with young kids.  

We started our journey near Keele & Major Mackenzie in Maple, and proceeded along some quiet residential streets to a new paved pathway on the east side of the railway tracks.  We then proceeded to connect up with the Bartley Smith Greenway south of Jacob Keefer Parkway and Basaltic Rd.  

New trail east of railway between Major Mackenzie and Rutherford

The Bartley Smith Greenway (BSG) is a natural valley corridor that follows the course of the upper West Don River through expanding residential and business developments in the heart of the City of Vaughan.  The surface is crushed gravel, suitable for most bikes including road bikes.  The trail goes under Hwy 7 and Hwy 407.  On this day we turned back just north of there.  

Access to a new section of trail off of Basaltic Rd

Section connecting Planchet Rd and Jacob Keefer Parkway

There are two new sections of trail just south of Rutherford that weren't quite opened yet but will be later this summer.  The long-term plan is for the trail to be continuous from Teston to the City of Toronto boundary at Steeles Avenue.  At Steeles Avenue it connects with City of Toronto parks and trails (including the new Finch hydro corridor trail), and forms an excellent link for commuting and recreation.

This trail is a real gem for Vaughan and the City has been doing a great job maintaining it and adding new sections over the last few years.  Here are a few highlights from our outing.

 Picnic at Keefer Marsh

 Trail a bike at trailhead at Planchet Rd

All smiles

A satisfying end to a great ride!

You can see the Bartley-Smith Greenway route on the York Region Cycling Map.

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