The award-winning Bike Train Initiative is once again expanding service in Ontario, this time to Muskoka and Ontario’s Near North. On three pilot weekends cyclists will be able to board the Ontario Northlander train in Toronto and travel to Gravenhurst, Huntsville and South River with their bikes securely stowed in a baggage car.
Muskoka and Ontario’s Near North has long been known as a go-to place for outdoor pursuits and rugged Canadian landscapes. The Bike Train provides visitors and summer residents with an eco-friendly option to explore the region. Passengers join a community of travellers onboard, and receive cycling maps, t-shirts and self-guided feature itineraries to enjoy their weekend getaway.
Train travel produces 50% fewer emissions than travel by private vehicle, and bicycles are the most efficient form of land transportation known to man. Considering there are between 80,000 and 130,000 vehicles travelling on Highway 400 every day, the Bike Train is a great way to reduce traffic and lower travellers’ carbon footprints. By encouraging more passenger rail travel and cycling as a means for transport and exploration, the Bike Train is providing more options for low impact tourism in the region.
“We’re pleased to have the Bike Train coming to Muskoka,” say Michael Lawley, Executive Director of Muskoka Tourism. “The Bike Train offers environmentally friendly transportation modes to see Muskoka from a different perspective. We have some great rides that we’re looking forward to showcasing. Everybody wins when cyclists choose the train over driving as it cuts down on traffic, contributes to healthy lifestyles, lowers carbon footprints and fits with the Muskoka brand.”
The Bike Train Initiative introduces bike racks onboard select passenger trains to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays easy and accessible. First launched as the Greenbelt Express between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the service has now expanded to select passenger rail departures including Windsor/Essex & Point Pelee, North Bay and Eastern Ontario this summer.
– Featured itinerary includes 60km mapped route, plus other rides of various lengths
– Community welcome event
September 17-19 – Huntsville/Lake of Bays
– Price: $107 plus tax – adult return ticket
– Featured itinerary includes several loop rides with rolling hills and beautiful scenery
– Community welcome event
September 24-26 – South River
– Price: $127 plus tax – adult return ticket
– Featured itinerary includes to Near North Back County
– Canoeing, kayaking and other eco-activities
Tickets sales begin Friday, July 9, 2010. Visit www.biketrain.ca for more information.