Discover the Township of McNab/Braeside while on two wheels! Join us for our popular annual 24km cycling tour finishing off at Betty's Chips for a snack of poutine and a drink.
Saturday, September 18th
10 a.m. Registration
10:30 a.m. Ride begins
Start Line: Red Pine Bay - 642 Usborne St, Braeside, ON
Finish Line: Betty's Chips - 988 Centre St, Braeside, ON
$5/Rider includes snack of poutine and drink from Betty's Chips
Contact Janyne to Pre-register
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (613)282-9506
This 24 km ride is made up of trail, paved road, and gravel. The Tour de Poutine highlights the Township of McNab/Braeside with its history, economy, and natural beauty.
Red Pine Bay - The start is at Red Pine Bay. Today it is a beautiful body of water that is full is used by sailors, kayakers, canoeists, folks in powered craft, fishers, swimmers and people just catching a few rays. But the mighty Ottawa River was for centuries an important transportation route for indigenous peoples. The Europeans learned that very quickly as the likes of Champlain traveled the river to explore what was well beyond the shores of Red Pine Bay. Initially fur trade may have been the main activity and the traders just barely noted the trees, trees, and trees they passed on the trek to the north and the west. But soon it was logs that travelled back the other way. The Town of Braeside was created to sustain the big mills that we located here. But we have to get going.
Algonquin Trail - A small hill to get our heart rates up a bit and here we are on the Algonquin Trail. The trail was cut through the pine forest well over a century and a half ago to create a railroad but today it is a multi-use trail and we are going to take that towards the Town of Arnprior. The trail here is smooth but not paved
Division Street- We are leaving the trail and are going to go onto Division Street. On one side is the Township of McNab Braeside, on the other is the Town of Arnprior. How the politicians of the time struggled to give this street a name. How not to offend one municipality nor the other? The genius who came up with Division Street is lost in the mists of time but what a great name!
This stretch is on a slightly busy road so heed has to be taken but there are ample hardened shoulders. Here is the future of the municipality. Lots of new construction, new homes, new development. If one could only see the dreams and aspiration of those behind the walls.
Pine Grove – We exit Division Street and go onto Pine Grove. There is a gentle hill that we take to cross the 417 Highway. A bridge is never a good place to stop on and tarry but as you cross the four-lane highway take a moment to reflect that this is part of the Trans-Canada highway. Go west and you end up in Vancouver. Go east and you will end up in St. John’s. Okay, it is not that simple but you get the idea.
Nieman Drive – We are in flat farm land now. Of course it was not always like that. The backbreaking labour of those who prepped the land that now feeds us is almost incomprehensible. But today all we are doing is a nice flat ride on pretty fresh payment, that takes us over to Russet Drive.
Russett Drive - We have a slightly busier stretch of road here as we pass by far fields and farms. The homes along the road bring to mind that there is indeed a mix of farms and residences in the community. At one time this used to be the old highway 17 that took travelers to the west to Renfrew and beyond, but today it is another county road.
Scheel Drive - We now turn onto Scheel Drive and again we are reminded of the agricultural bounty of the township. We traverse two great transportation paths here. The first is Highway 417. A little while ago we crossed over it, now we cross under it. And a little bit after the underpass we come to the McNab Braeside Recreation Trail. Go that way and you end up in Arnprior, go that way and you end in Renfrew. But that is a ride for another day! We are on our way to Carmichael Drive.
Carmichael Drive - We are leaving the paved road and riding gravel. Fat Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Gravel Bikes: All are at home here. Road bikes with skinny tires may be a little challenged here but it is quite doable. Carmichael is as flat as a Saskatchewan dog run until, until the infamous Carmichael Hill. it is just a little bump to get you to Usborne Street.
Usborne Street - Whew! That was some hill but we are back on pavement and gravity is out friend again. There is a bit of road traffic here so we have to be cautious but we are headed to the end location of Betty’s Chips.
Betty’s Chips - Our end destination! An amazing view and even more amazing poutine