Group Hikes - 2017


  • You are welcome to join any of the following hikes but you do so at your own risk.
  • You are encouraged to join and support a hiking organization such as the Grand Valley Trails Association, the Avon Trail, the Guelph Hiking Club, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Thames Valley Hiking Association, and the Elgin Hiking Trail Club. See Hike Ontario and the Ontario Trails Council for other suggestions.
  • Smoking is not permitted on hikes.
  • Dogs are not allowed on most hikes unless otherwise stated.
  • Hikes usually proceed "rain or shine". Exceptions would be if there is severe weather with road closures or imminent lightning storms.
  • Note that it states "Depart at ..." in each description. That means you must be at the designated meeting place well ahead of time.
  • Some hikes are loops while others are linear. Linear hikes require a car shuttle at the start of the hike and at the end of the hike. If it is a car shuttle hike, we usually meet at the end point. Come prepared to participate in the car shuttle and ensure there are at least two to three empty seats in your car. Also, you need room in the car trunk for back packs, etc.
  • Some of these hikes may be offered through a hiking organization in which case you must be prepared to sign a "Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk" form before the hike starts.


Hike Rating

To help you decide if a hike is suitable for you, I tend to use a hike rating system similar to that used by organizations such as the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Hike Ontario and the Grand Valley Trails Association.

Pace (or Speed)

  • Leisurely = less than 2 km/h
  • Slow = 2 to 3 km/h
  • Moderate = 3 to 4 km/h
  • Fast = 5 km/h or greater

Level of Difficulty (LOD)/Terrain

  • Easy or Level 1 – Well–defined trails, gentle inclines. Hiking boots not required, but trails may be wet. Is suitable for beginners. This level is recommended for newcomers if the distance is suitable.
  • Normal or Level 2 – Generally on trail. May be hilly, light bush whacking, some rough spots or obstacles. Sturdy hiking boots are necessary.
  • Strenuous or Level 3 – Rough terrain with one or more of the following: extensive bushwhacking, steep sections, long climbs and descents, beaver dams, rock scrambling or other obstacles. Boots, Level 2 experience, and a high level of fitness essential. Long pants and sleeves recommended.


  • Distance is stated in kilometres (km). [1 kilometre = 0.621371192 mile].


FALL 2017


HikerSaturday, September 30, 2017
Powerline Road-Paris Loop. Level 2/3. Moderate pace (~3 km/h). 11 km

Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:30 a.m. from the parking lot at the end of Powerline Rd (km 53.3, GVTA Map 8, Ed. 7.0 at coordinates 43.174462, -80.351088). The walk takes us along the GVT into and through the village of Paris. Paris: “the cobblestone capital of Canada”, famous for its local gypsum deposits (plaster of Paris) and is built around the confluence of the Nith River with the Grand River. We stop at The Cedar House Grill & Martini Bar (12 Broadway St West) for lunch (menu) and then return to Powerline Rd via the S.C. Johnson Trail (rail trail). Check here for updates, last-minute changes and possible cancellations due to such things as lightning storms. Note revised distance; now 11 km not 10 km.


HikerSaturday, October 7, 2017
Spier/Shand Dam/Belwood. Level 2/3. Moderate pace (~3 km/h). 12 km

Leader: Jamie. Depart at 9:00 a.m. near Belwood Hall, 36 Queen St, Belwood (before km 30.4, GVTA Map 14, Ed.7.0 at coordinates 43.791372, -80.322609). This event is a linear, car-shuttle hike along parts of the Elora Cataract Trailway and the Grand Valley Trail. Please arrive with room in your car for at least two passengers and their gear. After the shuttle, we walk from Spier (km 22.3, GVTA Map 14, Ed.7.0) to the Shand Dam (built in 1942) before heading to the village of Belwood along the west side of the reservoir. Optional lunch at Super Snax (location / website / lunch menu) in Belwood. Check here for updates, last-minute changes and possible cancellations due to such things as lightning storms.


HikerSaturday, October 14, 2017
Pinnacle Hill-Upper Doon Loop, Kitchener. Level 2/3. Pace: 2-3 km/h. 10 km

Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Walter Bean Grand River Trail parking lot at the intersection of Homer Watson Blvd & Doon South Dr (43.389818, -80.421629). This walk takes us to great heights in the Pinnacle Hill Natural Area, through Topper Woods, along community trails & boardwalks in Doon Creek N.A. before circling back along old Tilt Dr (closed & now a trail) on the eastern portion of the Strasburg Creek drainage system and then into Upper Doon. There will be hilly spots so the pace will be slow to moderate to accommodate the group. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring water and a snack. Check here for updates, last-minute changes and possible cancellations due to such things as lightning storms.


Do You Own an In-Car GPS?

Some in-car GPS units allow you to enter the coordinates (i.e. latitude and longitude) instead of a regular street address. If you own a Garmin unit press "Where to?" and then the down arrow in the lower right corner and that takes you to "Coordinates". Press "Coordinates" and enter the latitude and longitude. For more detailed step-by-step instructions check Entering Coordinates in Recent Garmin Nüvi GPS Receivers.