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Saddle Up Sunday - Sydenham Petworth

Sunday, June 30, 2024, 9:30 AM until 2:00 PM
Sydenham Library
(or Point Municipal Park for any overflow)
4412 Wheatley St
Sydenham, ON  K0H 2T0

Additional Info:
Ride Leader(s):
Marc Sandaluk
A Pace Group
Robert Tolley
B Pace Group
Carole Russell
C Pace Group
Melanie Strickland
D Pace Group
Saddle Up Sundays
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Available Slots:
No Fee
No Fee
No Fee
No Fee

RWGPS Route Links

The Routes
 This week we'll start in Sydenham, and head out onto the great cycling roads in the farm country to the west. All the routes will pass through the once bustling town of Petworth, but now classified as one of Ontario's ghost towns! See below for some local history.

Car Pooling Please consider!

Post Ride Refreshments We'll head into friendly Lenny's Deli in Sydenham to refuel and share post ride stories.
Safety/Ride Preparation
  • Safety Matters Please familiarize yourself with everything under the "Safety Matters" tab 
  • Lights Always use front and rear lights with daytime flashing modes
  • Group Riding Communicate your movements (including speed changes) and any obstacles
  • No Wheel Overlapping Just don't do it!
  • Passing Always on the left, and call it out (typically, “on your left”)  
  • Traffic Laws Obey them!
  • Things to Bring
    • cell phone (if available), with the app "what3words" installed
    • copy of the ride route (downloaded to a mobile device or printed)
    • spare tube, pump and tool kit
    • sufficient hydration and nutrition
    • health card and document showing address and emergency contact information
Not always a Ghost Town "Things are quiet in Petworth now, very quiet. Not like in the 1870s, when a group of vigilante farmers from nearby Verona, upset about their flooded fields and ruined crops crept down late one night and blew up Petworth's dam.

Petworth started out as a lumber town in the 1840s. By the 1890s, it was one lively place, boasting a blacksmith shop, cheese factory, general store, school and two churches. Two hotels were kept busy, quenching the thirst of the many loggers, who arrived every spring. By 1905, it was a very different story. Sixty years of steady logging had pretty much depleted the surrounding woods and the new railway took a turn eastward bypassing the tiny village. Petworth never recovered.

Petworth is not completely deserted. A few older residents remain, along with a handful of newer residents who enjoy the peace and tranquility of rural living. The stone walls of the old Stephenson and Lott sawmill are still standing [see picture above], along with the blacksmith shop, a barn, several original houses and the one room schoolhouse, closed since the 1960s. Newer houses stand amidst the ruins and other original buildings, some of which are still in use as sheds, storage buildings and the like. For now, the residents of Petworth refuse to give up their former ghosts and visitors can still get a sense of a mid 19th Ontario century mill town, as it once was."     Written by Jeri Danyleyko