As March break became April break in Ontario, many parents are left wondering what to do with their energetic young kids. You might be looking for simple and creative ways to spend time with your kids during the week off. I know we are! So we put together a simple list of family friendly bike routes in London. These should provide hours of enjoyment.
Thames Valley Parkway
The Thames Valley parkway (TVP) is London’s crown jewel for 2-wheeled transportation. The TVP is 40 km in length and connects an additional 150 km of pathways throughout the City of London. In the fall of 2020 the City completed the addition of a new section to the North section that allows outdoor enthusiasts to traverse from the Adelaide Sports fields (south of Windermere) to the gates of Western University. Below are our favorite segments of the TVP for active kids and young families:
North Branch (Adelaide to Highbury)
Following the Thames River closely, this section is flat and fun. It provides a number of fun wooded trails that you can stop and explore. Stop by the river and keep an eye out for the ever-popular blue herons that inhabit this ecosystem. This has been one of our favourite bike routes in London.
North Branch (Adelaide to Western University)
This section of the TVP is the newest along the 40-km pathway. It features two new bridges across the Thames River and connects the Athletic fields (Soccer, Baseball, Volleyball and Cricket) to the TVP that meanders along Richmond Street towards Wesdtern University. The bridges are a treat for our boys, often stopping to admire the flowing water and doing some bird spotting.
No TVP list is complete without this park. Completely self contained and incredibly safe, kids can learn how to cycle here without the fear of meeting a motorized vehicle. The park is on the South branch of the TVP, providing well over 10km of trails between the Forks (downtown) to the Byron.
Special Mention: The Pines in Woodstock
Perhaps your kids are a bit older, or simply more adventurous? If so, the Pines in Woodstock is a great place to climb and drift away an afternoon. This is like a miniature downhill biking park within a well maintained pine tree forest. We took our kids here a number of times last fall and they absolutely loved it. Mountain bikes are a requirement, as are nimble kids who are unafraid of hills, jumps and bumps. To find out more, read our previous story on this gem in Woodstock: Mountain Biking at the Pines in Woodstock.