Pelee Island is a special getaway for cyclists. Ferry rides bookend your day or overnight trip to the island. Quiet roads, the Pelee Island Winery and well loved restaurants help make this a memorable destination. A small selection of inns, cottages, B&Bs and a campground welcome overnight visitors.
First though, the ferry. Reservations are almost always required, especially during the summer. For the last couple seasons, Pelee Island ferry reservations have been required even for "walk on" travelers, as well as for their bicycles. Don't be disappointed: make a reservation early in your trip planning process.
On the Canadian side, the ferry typically runs out of Leamington until the end of July, then runs out of Kingsville for the rest of the season. Please refer to the schedule for the exact date of the switch. On the American side of Lake Erie, the ferry runs out of Sandusky, Ohio.
There are both paved (tar & chip) and gravel roads on Pelee Island. The "perimeter" road is about 28 km in length and has both gravel and paved sections (although the gravel usually isn't too rough). For a day trip, a ride around the perimeter gives you a great sample of the Island's offerings: Pelee Island Winery, The Bakery, the east beach, the Westview Tavern or the Stone House 1891. Just be sure to get back to the ferry in time!
But just one day on Pelee Island can feel too rushed. If an overnight stay is in your plans, advance reservations are a must. Pelee Island accommodations include the East Park Campground, the charming Wandering Dog Inn, as well as many cottage rental options.
Those who are spending one or two nights on the Island, or wish to do something different than the perimeter route can uses these maps for some inspiration.
Pelee Explorations - Day 1 is a shorter route (26 km) that may be suitable for those arriving on the morning ferry. If you are staying just north of the ferry dock or on the east side, the route takes you past your accommodations where you can drop off your gear, then you have the rest of the day to explore the southern part of the Island.
Pelee Explorations - Day 2 is a longer route (35 km), heading up to the northern part of the Island, before wandering back to the winery and accommodations on the east side.
Of course, these rides can be combined into one day, or spread out over 3 days or more. Venturing off these routes won't lead you too far astray! Island roads generally either run east-west or north-south. At some point, your road will bring you to one of the shorelines.....you can't get too lost! But keep track of the time on your departure day, as the ferry waits for no one.
Pelee Island is meant to be savoured. Walking out to the tip of Fish Point, enjoying a glass of wine at Pelee Island Winery, watching the sun rise on the East Beach and riding your bike along the quiet South Shore Road are some of the peaceful treasures the Island has to offer.
After all, once you are on Pelee, you are on Island Time.