Briding the Grand River

Bridging the Grand River

Here are four walks (two linear and two loops) that take you from the Kitchener side of the Grand River ("the Grand") to the Cambridge/Woolwich Township side and back, with the opportunity to have lunch at the Runway Café at the local airport. And, you do not require a passport. Oh, you end up walking across the river on the Fairway Road bridge (one of only a small number of segmental bridges in Ontario).

The walks take advantage of two trails on the Kitchener side of "the Grand". There is the Grand Valley Trail (GVT) and the Walter Bean Grand River Trail (WBGRT). The GVT was first established in 1972 by volunteers and was very much a footpath in this particular part of Kitchener. Some of that footpath still exists but some of it has been replaced by modern and wider paths due to urban expansion in the past 50 years. In more recent years the GRCA along with the City of Kitchener built the WBGRT that sometimes parallels the GVT or is the same as the GVT in this area.

You can park on the Kitchener side of  "the Grand", walk over to the airport, have lunch and walk back. You can choose between a loop walk or a linear walk (requirng a car shuttle). Various details appear below including some Google Maps and GPS tracks you can download and use in your smart phone or GPS receiver. It is hard to get lost on such a walk, so using the GPS track in a smart phone may not be your need.

Parking

There are two parking lots you may use. If you decide to do a loop walk to the airport then you only need one of the parking lots. If you do a linear walk, you need both parking lots and a car shuttle would be involved. M.R. Good Family Walter Bean parking lot (Google Street View) near the end of Otterbein Road (43.460195, -80.420032). K.D. Woerner Family Walter Bean parking lot (Google Street View) located near the dead end  of Woolner Trail [formerly Zeller Drive] (43.444795, -80.401927).

In Honour of a Trail Volunteer

Creamation Circle

The Grand Valley Trail (GVT) would not exist without generous land owners and volunteers who build and maintain the trail. A beautiful section of the GVT passes through part of Kitchener and is known as Natchez Hill / Natchez Woods. For a few years one of the GVT members helped maintain the trail through Natchez Hill. The small stone circle in the picture above is in memoriam of him and his love of the trail.

Google Earth Screen Captures

The static images below show the four possible walks.

Linear Walk on Grand Valley Trail

Linear Walk on Walter Bean Trail

Long Loop

Short Loop

The Bridge Building



The Long Loop in Google Maps

Below is an actual Google Maps version of the second last screen capture shown above. You can move the map, zoom in and out and so on.

View Larger Map


 

GPS Tracks for Download

HELP: If clicking on the links does not provide a download option, try RIGHT clicking the link (especially the .gpx file) and then choose "Save Links As" (or equivalent) from the drop-down menu. Pick a download location (e.g. desktop) for the file.

AirportShortLoop.kml and/or AirportShortLoop.gpx < about 6 km from parking at end of Woolner Trail (formerly Zeller Drive)

AirportLongLoop.kml and/or AirportLongLoop.gpx < about 12 km from parking lot at Otterbein Road (includes Natchez Woods)

AirportLinearGVT.kml and/or AirportLinearGVT.gpx < about 10 km on the Grand Valley Trail only (includes scenic Natchez Woods)

AirportLinearWalterBean.kml and/or AirportLinearWalterBean.gpx < about 8 km on the Walter Bean Grand River Trail only (avoids Natchez Woods)