8th day, Wed., Sept. 13: Haldimand-Prince Edward County-Adolphustown - Cycling “The Land Between” - CycleBlaze

8th day, Wed., Sept. 13: Haldimand-Prince Edward County-Adolphustown

The night was cool, down to 6° and comfortable for sleeping, and the morning was clear and crisp. I was glad to have a pair of woollen gloves for the first hour or two. The Trail east from Jubalee Park runs along the lakeshore through farmland and tiny settlements. At Colborne, it joins the old #2 for a few kilometres. This is still productive farming country, with active apple orchards, and I treated myself to a couple of splendid fresh tomatoes from a farm stall for my lunch.

At Brighton, the Trail turns southeast towards Prince Edward County. A peninsula, ‘The County” feels like an island.  A narrow neck of land ties it to the north shore of Lake Ontario just SE of Brighton. An ancient portage across this neck links the Bay of Quinte to the east with Lake Ontario to the west. The Murray Canal, built in the 1880s, now joins the two bodies of water:

The Murray Canal, looking east towards the Bay of Quinte
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The County is pleasant cycling country, with attractive rolling countryside, modest distances between its settlements, light traffic on all but a few main roads, and a burgeoning wine industry that has also spawned some very good eateries. On this day, I skipped the more scenic route, Hwy 33 around the south-west and southern shores (the Waterfront Trail), opting instead for the more direct CR 1 across the centre of the County. I wanted to make a shorter day of it, about 85 kms to my stop at the campground in Adolphustown, on the “mainland” just east of the County.

I had a couple of cafés at wineries in mind for lunch, but the downside of touring the County after the summer months is that such places are rarely open on Wednesdays… I made good use of my fresh tomatoes instead, and enjoyed the visual tricks of this sculpture at an outdoor gallery:

Tilting cube, Huff winery & outdoor gallery
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I had noticed a fair amount of barn art on the northern route to Toronto, and there was more on display in the County. Some of the designs were stylized Canadian flags, others variations on the points of the compass. I particularly liked this imagining of a quilt on a barn:

Quilt on a barn
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(It works much better, sez I, than a kilt on a bairn.) (Ah jeez, they say, maybe—but did he have to?)

The ferry to the mainland leaves the northeast shore of the County just east of Picton, the small town which is the main centre. It’s a pleasant 10-minute break from the road network, across a narrow stretch of the Bay of Quinte. To the west, the water- and landscape are marred by the brutalist grey towers and cylinders of an enormous cement plant. As ever, it seems, there is a contest under way between residents who want to preserve what remains of Picton Bay’s shoreline and fishery, and the owners of the plant who want to expand its production and their profits.

The Adolphustown UEL Heritage Centre and Park is just a few kms beyond the ferry dock. The Park has a fine campground, and advertises “Family camping since 1784!” It is located where a group of refugees landed after fleeing the outcome of the Significant Unpleasantness across the river between 1776 and 1783. Later, they and many others like them became known as United Empire Loyalists. The County, and much of the surrounding mainland, includes “Loyalist” in its roads and institutions, and Union Jacks are a common sight. (When I was growing up, the pointed comment about the County was, “When you go there, turn your watch back 20 or 30 years.”) Whatever. The campground is a bargain, its spacious lots costing only $13.00 for cyclists, no matter how many there are. And, the tenting area of the park includes an abandoned orchard. The apples were very ripe, just for my arrival, and I ate several. Not sure of the variety—Empire, perhaps (as you might guess)—but they were superb, and went well with the cheddar in my pannier. I pitched my tent in late afternoon in a lovely spot:

Campsite at Adolphustown
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The view the next morning was more beautiful still:

Early morning mist over the Bay of Quinte, from Adolphustown campsite
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Today's ride: 85 km (53 miles)
Total: 685 km (425 miles)

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