As designed, you start and end the hike in the parking lot at the end of Powerline Rd (east side of the Grand River) south of Paris and north of Brantford (see image below). You can walk a 10 km loop on the Grand Valley Trail (GVT), S. C. Johnson Trail & Cambridge-Paris Rail Trail and Paris Streets. If you choose the 10 km walk, you may want to start your walk so that you end up in Paris for lunch before walking back. Or, you can easily convert the walk to a 6 km loop and not walk into Paris. The main GVT footpath will have the typical white blazes and the wider trails (e.g. S.C. Johnson Trail and Cambridge-Paris Rail Trail ) may have other signage (no blazes). Check the Grand River Conservation Authority website for the S.C. Johnson Trail.
North Loop versus South Loop
There is another loop that starts and finishes at the end of Powerline Road. It is the South Loop and follows a route south of Powerline Rd. Details here.
The picture below (on the east side of the river and facing west) shows the Powerline Rd entrance to a fairly large parking lot (off to the right).
Description of North Loop Sequence
Immediately below is the loop sequence in the form of numbers and description. Refer to the static map with a number sequence. Follow the red track (line). NOTE: You can download and use the GPS track for this walk (GPX and KML file types). The track files appear near the bottom of this web page. You may be able to use the track in a GPS device (e.g. Garmin GPS receiver or most smart cellular phones) as you walk the loop. The 10 km loop described below takes you past the Cedar House Grill & Martini Bar that could be one option for lunch.
1 > 2 - After parking your car(s) in the parking lot at the end of Powerline Rd (1) head northward (toward Paris) on the wide path to 2. The section from 1 > 2 is a combination of the Grand Valley Trail and the S.C. Johnson Trail. About 600 m after leaving the parking area watch very carefully for a spot where the Grand Valley Trail turns left (2) and off the S.C. Johnson Trail. There should be a left turn blaze on the right side of the S.C. Johnson Trail at about 43.179350, -80.355240. That blaze, in the past, has been damaged and may not be esily visible. At 2 (43.179350, -80.355240) turn left off the S.C. Johnson Trail and look for the GVT white blazes.
2 > 3 - This segment (~ 2.5 km) is a footpath with views of the Grand River. About 130 m after turning left at 2, & off the S.C. Johnson Trail, you will come to an open area (43.178870, -80.35663) that serves as a lookout. At 3 you arrive at Curtis Ave South and turn left. Being a road you should walk on the left side facing oncoming traffic. This section of the road is not usually too busy.
3 > 4
- Curtis Ave South takes you to 4 where you will start
seeing more houses and where the S.C. Johnson Trail
joins Curtis Ave South at about 43.188575,
OPTION at 4: Those who do not wish to walk the larger loop of about 10 km into Paris can turn right and off Curtis Ave South and onto the S.C. Johnson Trail. You would walk the rail trail southeast from 4 > 2 > 1 to the parking lot.
4 > 5 > 6 > 7 - Continue north along Curtis Ave South to 5 (Dundas St E/Hwy 2). Cross Dundas St at the traffic light and proceed along Curtis Ave North to 6 at approximately 43.191742, -80.370390. At 6 the trail turms left along a path for about 160 m to 7. At 7 turn right onto the Grand Valley Trail/Cambridge-Paris Rail Trail and walk in a northerly direction on a wide path.
7 > 8 - After turning right at 7 there is a lookout area in 180 m from 7 at approximately 43.192020, -80.373949. As you proceed along this trail segment there are views of parts of the business section of Paris (near where the Nith River forms a confluence with the Grand River). As you approach 8 on the old railway allowance you will notice that the area off to the left widens. This wider area in an old railroad work yard. Continue ahead to 8. Eight (8) represents the intersection of the trail (Grand Valley/Cambridge-Paris Rail) with Portland Street (43.197215, -80.377310). Turn left, leaving the rail trail and walk about 40 m to Nimmo Street and turn left onto Nimmo Street. Keep in mind that you are no longer on the Grand Valley Trail so there are no blazes.
GARDEN: Once you have turned left onto Nimmo Street look to your left. You should notice a rather interesting garden (Google Street View). Take the time to examine it. One of the home owners on the other side of the street maintains the garden.
9 > 10 - Continue along Nimmo Street and right along William Street. Cross over the bridge to Grand River Street North, through the traffic light and on to Broadway St. Turn left along Broadway and you will see the Cedar House Grill & Martini Bar [Google Street View] (website). If it is open, you may wish to visit it for lunch (or after you finish the whole loop). If you think you may want to visit the Cedar House, check the hours of operation ahead of time. Opposite the Cedar House turn left across Broadway Street and you will see a walkway that takes you through a parking lot and out onto Grand River Street North where there is a pedestrian crossing.
10 > 11 - Use the pedestrian crossing to the east side Grand River Street and turn right along the sidewalk. In about 75 m look for a gap between buildings called the Cobblestone Common (43.192827, -80.383505) [Google Street View]. The gap should be just past 33 Grand River Street. Take the time to walk between the buildings and view the Grand River. Continue along the Grand River Street sidewalk for about another 80 m. At this point you should be on the bridge above the Nith River (43.192189, -80.382831). Notice that this is where the Nith forms a confluence with the Grand. Waters in the Nith River come from areas such a New Hamburg, and further northwest, and enter the Grand River here. Continue walking along Grand River Street until you come to where Grand River Street passes under the Dundas Street bridge. Ignore the first set of stairs. Pass under the bridge. Turn right and up the next set of stairs onto the south side of Dundas Street/Hwy 2.
11 > 5 > 4 > 2 > 1 - Cross the bridge (east) on the sidewalk and continue to Curtis Ave South (5). Turn right and follow Curtis Ave South to the entrance to the S. C. Johnson Trail (4). Veer left off Curtis Ave South onto the S. C. Johnson Trail and follow it to the parking lot at the end of Powerline Road (1).
NOTE: the blue line of the static map image below is simply another alternative route. It is part of the files you can download at the bottom of this web page.
Powerline Rd Loop North Google 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.