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Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Silvana Aceto

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure shows that world class cycling getaways are in Ontario’s backyard

Canadians and visitors from around the world can now take advantage of new cycling getaways along Ontario’s Waterfront Trail.

With growing interest in cycle tourism, CAA has introduced 30 new Drive / Ride Vacations in locations around the world. Eight are on Ontario’s iconic Waterfront Trail, a 1400-km signed route along Ontario’s Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

The Trail highlights many cycling tourism destinations in the province and puts local communities on the map for tourists looking to explore the region. It is also a key feature in the regeneration of Ontario’s Great Lakes.

“Nearly 50 per cent of our members in south central Ontario cycle on provincial bike trails,” said Anna Halkidis, Manager of Operations, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), who is also participating in the GWTA. “Drive / Ride vacations will help them plan their travels to get to their destinations safely and easily.”

Drive / Ride Vacations combine the best road trip and cycling locations from around the world into convenient pre-planned routes. They include suggested trails, a detailed description of each area, a list of accommodations, restaurants, events and additional information to help plan a driving and cycling journey.

“Cycling tourism is growing in popularity because of its great health benefits and scenic travel opportunities,” added Halkidis.

Exploring some of what the vacations have to offer, and representing the growing group of cycle tourists who are looking for world class getaways, are the over 150 participants of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA).

The group of families and cyclists from across North America set off today from Brighton, Ontario to cycle to Cornwall on a five-day tour that goes through three of CAA’s vacation routes.

“We are so pleased that almost half of the Drive / Ride Vacations chosen by CAA are on Ontario’s Waterfront Trail,” said Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the charity that coordinates the development of the Trail. “This speaks volumes to the quality experience that we offer in our own backyard and the growing opportunity for local communities to tap into the international cycle tourism market.

GWTA participants will stay overnight in Picton, Kingston, Gananoque and Iroquois and can kayak, shop, visit wineries and historical sites and swim in the St. Lawrence River along the way.

The group will be supported by CAA roadside assistance, CAA Bike Assist, which helps cyclists repair and adjust their bikes when needed.

The CAA Ontario Bike Assist App is available to help cyclists if service is needed, plan their routes in advance and to stay connected with fellow cyclists during the GWTA or whenever they cycle.

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