Ahead of World Bicycle Day, the City of St. Thomas, Railway City Tourism, and Elgin County will join forces to celebrate the official opening of the Whistlestop Trail. On June 1 at 11am, City of St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson and Elgin County Warden David Marr will open the joint project on the trail near the Sunset Drive Whistlestop Trail kiosk (Located in front of Parkside Collegiate Institute).
The paved trail originates at the L&PS Station and Railway City Tourism office and stretches through St. Thomas following the rail line. The trail enters Elgin County at Sunset Drive, near Parkside, and becomes a paved shoulder bike lane winding its way down to the brand new Elgin County Tourism Centre in Port Stanley.
Within the city this trail feels like a lush countryside path linking Pinafore Park to Historic Downtown St. Thomas. Once you leave the city and hit the open road it is smooth sailing all the way down to Port Stanley as you pass farm fields, farmers’ markets and of course stop for ice cream along the way. With information kiosks and wayfinding maps, this trail is easily navigated. From the heart of St. Thomas to the heart of Port Stanley the Whistlestop Trail is officially ready for you to Ride, Run, Roam this year.
We have picked just a few of the possible stops along the trail to highlight, but every trip down the trail can be a new adventure of discovery!
Start at the beginning of the trail with a visit to Railway City Tourism. Located in the replica L&PS Station in the heart of Downtown St. Thomas, we are here to help you discover St. Thomas for the first time or in a new way! Explore the history boards and artifacts on loan from the Elgin County Railway Museum, pick up some information on local attractions or discover some upcoming events before heading out on your Whistlestop Trail adventure!
A trip to St. Thomas isn’t complete without a visit to see Jumbo the Elephant! While the monument isn’t directly on the trail, if you haven’t visited in a while or haven’t posted your Jumbo Selfie yet - take the time to stop by this significant piece of St. Thomas history, grab a snack on your stroll through downtown and have a picnic!
Downtown St.Thomas has a variety of attractions for all. From an array of dining options and local specialty shops it is essential to spend some time downtown St.Thomas while travelling the Whistlestop trail. Expedia named us the Coolest Downtown in Canada last year making this a must stop on your journey along the historic L&PS line.
While you are downtown, pop into the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre to view the current exhibitions. The shows change regularly so it's always a new experience and you may even be able to take in a workshop. Check their event page for upcoming exhibits and learning opportunities.
The Horton Farmers Market is a best-in class market serving fresh produce to the community of St.Thomas and we felt it had to be featured on this list. The Horton Farmer’s Market is not only a place to buy fresh produce but it's also a social event with many fellow St.Thomas residents participating in the fun every Saturday. If you happen to be travelling the Whistlestop Trail on a Saturday morning the Horton Farmers Market is a must visit.
The Elgin County Railway Museum holds a significant collection of rolling stock and often hosts great events to get you up close to the railway history of the region and the larger than life trains that used to regularly pass through our community. With the museum recently reopening following the first phase of the roof replacement, it's a great opportunity to stop in and experience a piece of history up close!
Pinafore Park is one of St.Thomas’s most beautiful parks and nature based attractions. Whether you plan on roaming through the area or visiting the park during an event hosted at the park, the Whistlestop Trail is an efficient route to the park. Be sure to visit Pinafore while on your Whistlestop Trail journey.
The Whistlestop Trail winds all the way to Downtown Port Stanley. Grab a coffee or an ice cream and take in the sights! Great shops and a beautiful harbour view, it's a popular summer stop on the trail.
Rest at the beach before heading back to St. Thomas on the trail. This Blue Flag Beach is the perfect place to relax and cool off after your journey!
For more on the Whistlestop Trail and other potential stops check out our video!