1. Virginia River Trail, St. John’s
St. John’s is a hilly city, but you can find fairly flat urban bike paths that mix in a good dose of the natural world, too. Part of a city trail system called the Grand Concourse, the Virginia River Trail runs beside one of the best trout streams in the world, so you may see anglers or you could try it yourself. Park at Wedgewood Park Recreation Centre (off Gleneyre Street), which has public washrooms. Head southwest on a meandering 5.7-kilometre (one way) gravel route that goes over bridges and boardwalks through wetlands beside the Virginia River, as well as through residential neighbourhoods. At Major’s Path, you depart from the river and head north again en route to pristine Windsor Lake. Watch the waves (no exploring, though, since this is a protected area for the city’s water supply), then pedal on home, pausing for a picnic on the way.
Wedgewood Park Recreation Centre, 47 Gleneyre Street, St. John’s
2. T’Railway, Conception Bay South
The T’Railway is part of a provincial network of multi-use trails that follow former railway lines. Check out this coastal section, which is just over four kilometres (one way), in Conception Bay South. Start at the CBS Monument of Honour, a new memorial that honours those who serve in the police and fire departments and peacekeeping and military forces. Bike toward the bay and Foxtrap Marina at the two-kilometre mark—be sure to stop and watch the boats! The next section takes you right along the coast to Kelligrews Pond on Pond Road, where you can snack at the rest area, explore the boardwalk and read the storyboards that describe the area’s shorebirds and seabirds.
Conception Bay South Recreation Complex, 10 Rideout’s Road, Conception Bay South
3. Waterford River Trail, St. John’s
Little train fans will get a kick out this trail, which starts at the Railway Coastal Museum. Explore the train-themed museum, which is housed in a railway station that was built in 1903. Here, you’ll find free parking and washrooms. Then it’s all aboard your bikes for an easy, level 6.3-kilometre (one way) trail that starts at Mile Zero of the Trans Canada Trail. It takes you through the treed Waterford Ravine, bordered by heritage homes, to Bowring Park. Explore the scenic walking trails, check out the playground, splash pad and skateboard park and see if you can find the Peter Pan statue.
Railway Coastal Museum, 495 Water Street West, St. John’s
Trail: free; museum family rate: $13