Upcoming Hikes Spring 2019

You are welcome to join any of the following hikes but you do so at your own risk.
Please consider joining and supporting hiking organizations 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. There are three aspects that describe or rate the hike.

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

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

 

2019 SPRING HIKE(S)

Thursday, April 18, 2019 – Walk to the Airport on the GVT. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). 12 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the M.R. Good Family Walter Bean parking lot (Google Street View) near the end of Otterbein Road (43.460195, -80.420032). The Grand Valley Trail (GVT) takes us through Natchez Hills (ESPA 24) to the Fairway Road bridge (one of only a small number of segmental bridges in the province). Here we leave the GVT and cross “the Grand” from Kitchener to Cambridge to Woolwich Township (no passports required). We proceed to the airport and stop at the Runways Café for lunch. After, we re-cross “the Grand” and return to the Otterbein Rd parking lot using the Walter Bean trail only. NOTE: It is possible to shorten this walk from 12 km to 9 km on your own by placing a car in the K.D. Woerner Family Walter Bean parking lot (43.444795, -80.401927) at the end of Woolner Trail (formerly Zeller Drive) and avoid the longer walk back to the Otterbein Rd parking lot. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Thursday, April 25, 2019 – Glasgow-Petersburg Hydrocut Loop. Level 2. Pace 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 9 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Glasgow Street parking lot, 1670 Glasgow St, Kitchener (43.428911, -80.563366). We walk west on trails along the hydrocut to the Petersburg Regional Forest (the Pines Side), do a big loop, including the picturesque and short Kamikaze section, and then return. Bring water and a snack. Directions: From the Ira Needles Bvd/Highland Rd roundabout go west on Highland Rd for about 350 m, turn right (north) on Glasgow St & travel about 1 km (across railway tracks) & turn left into parking area. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Saturday, April 27, 2019 – Huron Natural Area/Brigadoon Loop. Level 2-3. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 9 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 9:30 a.m. from the parking lot at Huron Natural Area, 801 Trillium Dr., Kitchener (43.398943, -80.481975). We will walk southward along some of the Huron Natural Area (HNA) trails. Shortly after the start, we leave the HNA on new community paths and head south of the historic Huron Road into the central-western portion of Brigadoon (see Brigadoon Neighbourhood map). Some of the Brigadoon loop takes us through a woodlot & around Wards Pond caused by the damming of Strasburg Creek (e.g. Battler’s Pond) on the north side of Huron Road where George Davidson planned to build the village of New Aberdeen in about 1856 [see PDF map of New Aberdeen, the village that didn’t catch on]. We head back to our cars at HNA. Be aware that there are some short segments where we must “bushwhack”; that is, there is no path & we must make one. Hikers may wish to bring trekking poles. A brief “nutrition” stop is planned during the trek so pack a drink & a snack. If the weather conditions are extreme, I will shorten the walk to 5 km or less in the HNA. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 – Woolwich-Waterloo & Avon Trail Loop. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). 9 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the parking lot (43.508366, -80.557796) outside the Country Bulk store on Apple Grove Road (near the St. Jacobs Farmers Market on Weber Street North). Initially we proceed westward for 4.5 km on the Avon Trail enjoying fresh, spring odours (“corral-number-5”) as we pass amongst farm buildings and across farmland following Martin Creek. Quality hiking boots are a must since the trail is rugged and potentially muddy. Passing through a sugarbush we cross into the City of Waterloo and leave the Avon Trail by heading eastward in Stamm Woodlot. Leaving the woodlot, we walk a section of the Trans Canada Trail through Benjamin Park before re-entering Woolwich Township and returning to our vehicles. You may wish to remain at St. Jacobs Farmers Market for lunch and other shopping. Note: This same hike is offered on Saturday, May 18th. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 – Mother’s Day GeoTime Trail Walk, Waterloo. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h. ~ 5 km

Mother's Day Walk
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 1:00 p.m. from the GeoTime Trail parking lot (43.459408, -80.597221) at 588/590 Sundew Drive, Waterloo. This will be a leisurely walk on parts of the Waterloo Moraine suitable for beginning and experienced hikers and families. Thanks to the City of Waterloo and Dr. Alan Morgan, the circuit contains 18 educational stations explaining the various geological stages including associated life forms. Let’s hope some of the spring, ephemeral wildflowers are blooming. Wear sturdy footwear, bring water and some form of insect protection. For further information about the GeoTime Trail visit www.hember.ca/hikes/GeoTimeTrail.html. Directions: The GeoTime Trail parking lot is relatively new. From the traffic light at the intersection of Erbsville Rd and Columbia St West travel west on Columbia St. W. past Ladyslipper Dr. and then straight through a roundabout. Exiting the roundabout Columbia St becomes Sundew Drive and parallels Wilmot Line off to the left. Remain on Sundew Dr. for about 1.4 km. Just past Mayapple St. (on your left) you will arrive at the entrance to the parking lot (on your right) at coordinates 43.459408, -80.597221 (Google Street View of parking lot entrance.) Check here for more information and last-minute changes.
 

Saturday, May 18, 2019 – Woolwich-Waterloo & Avon Trail Loop. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). 9 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the parking lot (43.508366, -80.557796) outside the Country Bulk store on Apple Grove Road (near the St. Jacobs Farmers Market on Weber Street North). Initially we proceed westward for 4.5 km on the Avon Trail enjoying fresh, spring odours (“corral-number-5”) as we pass amongst farm buildings and across farmland following Martin Creek. Quality hiking boots are a must since the trail is rugged and potentially muddy. Passing through a sugarbush we cross into the City of Waterloo and leave the Avon Trail by heading eastward in Stamm Woodlot. Leaving the woodlot, we walk a section of the Trans Canada Trail through Benjamin Park before re-entering Woolwich Township and returning to our vehicles. You may wish to remain at St. Jacobs Farmers Market for lunch and other shopping. Note: This same hike was offered on May 2nd. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Saturday, June 1, 2019 – Winterbourne/West Montrose Area. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 8 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from Letson Park, West Montrose (43.585520, -80.479824). A car shuttle will be required so arrive with space in your vehicle for other hikers. The Grand Valley Trail takes us from Winterbourne (Short Street) along Cox Creek, the Grand River to Buggy Lane, and proceeds north through West Montrose before we return to Letson Park on a short section of the Kissing Bridge Trailway. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.