Bicycling through Peterborough with Pedal and Paddle

Back on our bikes now, we continued our ride through a pleasant neighbourhood and started to chat about Lloyd’s background. He said he had worked in the financial services industry for 32 years, and on one cold February day, while commuting to Toronto, he thought to himself “there’s gotta be something else”. So he decided to take early retirement, went traveling and this experience inspired him to set up his own bicycle and canoe rental company. Through the grapevine he had heard that the city’s boathouse was available for rent. He approached them and had found a permanent home for his new company, Pedal and Paddle. In addition to rentals he also offers guided tours that combine the bicycling and kayaking experience.

The historic Quaker Oats factory, still in operation

North of Hunter Street we stopped to look across the river at one of Peterborough’s oldest factories: the Quaker Oats Plant, now owned by Pepsico, produces a variety of cereal products and energy drinks. The current building is the second factory since the original building burned down on December 11, 1916, causing 23 deaths. Just on the other side of the factory are several tennis courts that are owned by the factory that are fully accessible to the public.

Peterborough has many gorgeous cycling trails

We continued our tour northwards along the Rotary Greenway Trail, and Lloyd filled me in that the Peterborough Rotary Club has built over 40 km of trail in the city. As the former president of the Rotary Club, Lloyd put in place several important fundraising initiatives for the trail network, including the sale of blue spruces and the installation of sponsored benches with donor nameplates, one of which was sponsored by Lloyd himself.

Ecology Park is located on Peterborough’s bicycle trail network

Due to these successful fundraising endeavours, bicycle trails now go across the northern and eastern part of the city as well as to the nearby villages of Omemee, Bridgenorth and Lakefield. Lloyd welcomes many European travelers from Holland, Scotland and Germany in Peterborough, and they love the extensive bicycling trail network as well as the water sports opportunities that are available in Peterborough.

Pansies say hello along the beautiful bicycle trail network in Peterborough

Several historical sights accompanied our ride along the Rotary Greenway Trail. We stopped at the Peterborough Mattress Company where a historical marker indicates that this factory was built in 1927. It had stood empty for a long time, but is currently in the process of being converted into apartments.

The historic Peterborough Mattress Factory is being revitalized

A bit farther north we stopped at Trent University, one of Canada’s best small universities. Established in 1964 it is a liberal arts and science university with more than 7000 undergraduate and about 300 postgraduate students. Lloyd explained the various parts of the campus which is located scenically on the east and west banks of the Otonabee River. Given its location right on the river, the university has a successful rowing club that hosts the annual Head of the Trent rowing regatta.

The waterfront campus of Trent University – how does anyone get any studying done here?

Farther along the path we stopped at the Promise Rock Nature Area, so named after a bizarre rock formation inside a forest that was used as an old Boy Scout Camp. Lloyd mentioned that in the 1950s and 1960s children would be brought out here blindfolded to keep the location of the camp a secret. The rock formation inside the dark forest definitely had a somewhat mysterious feel to it.

The mysterious Promise Rock area

Then we continued along a bucolic trail for the remainder of the way to Lakefield, a pretty village that has been a popular tourist destination since the late 1800s when railways and steamships took wealthy urban dwellers out into the beautiful nature areas of the Kawartha Lakes.

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