The Rookie Route

The Durham Destroyer routes hit the best Gravel, Dirt, Trails and Rail Trail that the Region has to offer. The Full Monty and Tapping out do venture into the Kawarathas due to their Epic Distance.
Although the official routes start in Port Perry, they can be tackled from any point along the route.
Whatever route you take, enjoy the journey and challenge.

The Rookie Route

The Rookie is a Full Metric Century that is almost entirely made up of Gravel Roads, Trail and Rail Trail Sections. Not an overly technical route but it has just enough climbing to put a little sting in your legs.

  • Gravel roads
  • Trails
  • Rail trail

The Rookie Route is not an overly aggressive route and can be tackled with just about any bike you have.

  • Mountain Bike: If riding a mountain bike, there is no need for anything other than a hardtail as the route is not so rough. Anything over 2.4″ would be overkill for this route, and I would recommend something smaller in the 2-2.2″ mark.
  • Gravel Bike: A cyclocross bike would be absolutely fine along this route. With short punchy climbs, it will not be so taxing as to destroy your legs. If using a gravel bike with 700 wheels, you’ll have a very comfortable and fun ride. You’ll be fast, have a bit more cushion, and eat the miles (km) pretty quickly.

For a detailed write-up of the route, check out the ride report by Cory on An Athlete’s Blog.

  • Fresh water: Also not really an issue on this route as it is a fairly short look and there are enough towns along the way to easily re-fill your water bottles.
  • Restaurants/Cafes/Bars: The main towns along the route where you can find food at in Port Perry (the start point of the route), Uxbridge, Blackwater, Sunderland, and Cannington. With a bit of planning you should be able to carry enough food for the entire ride and not have to worry about resupply….or you could make a great pit stop in one of the towns and get some lunch.

The Rookie Route is a great gravel bike route that is almost entirely gravel. While the first and last part of the route has a fair bit of climbing, overall it’s not so much. With a bit of singletrack and possible muddy conditions, this route averages a 3/10 overall.

Average Physical Difficulty – 3

  • 1-2 – Relatively level riding
  • 3-4 – Regular rolling terrain with sustained climbing
  • 5-6 – Rugged terrain with frequent climbs, some of which may be steep and unrelenting
  • 7-8 – Very rugged terrain with abundant climbing, some of which is very steep and unrideable
  • 9-10 – Numerous very steep, climbs requiring bike-pushing and/or carrying

Average Technical Difficulty – 3

  • 1-2 – Smooth riding surface with few obstacles (e.g., graded dirt roads, rail trails); suitable for novice mountain bikers
  • 3-4 – Track has occasional obstacles and steep sections (e.g., maintained forest roads, mellow singletrack); suitable for beginner mountain bikers
  • 5-6 – Continuous sections of track may be rocky, loose, and steep; (e.g., 4×4 roads or singletrack in rugged/rocky terrain) suitable for intermediate mountain bikers
  • 7-8 – Narrow trail with regular obstacles, sustained steep grades; suitable for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers
  • 9-10 – Very challenging riding with frequent large obstacles, exposure, very steep grades; suitable for advanced mountain bikers
This route was created by:

Durham Destroyer

You may also like these other routes.

Almonte Gravel Express


This route was created by:

Chris Panasky, host of the Bikepack Adventures Podcast.



This route was created by:

Matthew Kadey, curator of Bikepacking Ontario.

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