Using the information provided below, you can walk about 14 km on the Grand Valley Trail (GVT) and other trails (e.g. S.C. Johnson Trail). 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). The 14 km loop consists of a variety of trail types (low lying footpaths near the Grand River, higher level footpaths in wooded areas and along wide and well groomed trails). The main GVT footpath will have the typical white blazes, the GVT side trail(s) will have the typical blue blazes and the other, wider trails (e.g. S.C. Johnson Trail) may have other signage (no blazes). Check the Grand River Conservation Authority website for the S.C. Johnson Trail.
Alternate Linear Walk
If you study the map and GPS tracks carefully, you could easily convert the loop walk into a linear walk if you have two or more cars. For example, place a car(s) in the parking lot on Hardy Rd (see map), drive to the end of Powerline Rd with your other car(s) and walk the trail back to Hrady Rd. If you choose to do the linear version, you have a variety of pathways (some would be closer to the Grand River than others). Obviously the total distance would vary.
South Loop versus North Loop
There is another loop that starts and finishes at the end of Powerline Road. It is the North Loop and follows a route north 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 South 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.
1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 - This is part of the Grand Valley Trail and white blazes should be visible periodically. As you leave the parking lot (1) follow the white blazes south and downward (stay off the upper, straight S.C. Johnson rail trail). When you reach 2, near Hwy 403/24, you veer left (east) parallel to the highway to 3 (S.C. Johnson rail trail). At 3 turn right (south) and cross Hwy 403/24 and almost immediately, after crossing, turn right, down (4) into pasture land & then down through a woods to 5 near the Grand River. At, or near, 5 look for some blue blazes to the right (north) and white blazes to the left (south). Ignore the blue blazes for now; you may choose to follow the blue blazes upon your return. At this junction (5) head south (white blazes, river on your right). After about 600 m you will come to an open area overlooking the river with a large tree. Number 6 on the map image represents a junction in the Grand Valley Trail footpath. It is the junction of the main trail and the Blue Heron Side Trail. The main trail (white blazes) continues straight ahead (south). Don't go that way. Off to the left (east & away from the river) there should be a blue blaze visible.
6 > 7 > 8 - Follow the Blue Heron Side Trail (still a red line on the map image below) and the blue blazes upward. It will join the S.C. Johnson Trail near 7. At this stage the trail is much wider and blue blazes disappear. Eventually you will walk along a side walk beside Kraemer's Way (east) and reach 8 (the junction of Kramer's Way and Oak Park Rd). Note that Kraemer's Way is an extension of Hardy Rd.
8 > 9 > 10 - At 8 turn right (south, no blazes) and walk along the left side (no side walk) of Oak Park Rd. In about 450 m, and at 9, there is a parking area and Oak Park Rd deadends and becomes a wide all-purpose trail. All of this segment is part of the S.C. Johnson Trail. There are some high points with views. Look off to the right (east and south) towards the river. What you see is the lower terrain upon which you will return. As you approach 10 watch for a stone with a plaque on it. It is "The Eagle's Cry" (approximately 43.153216, -80.321022).
10 > 11 - After the plaque (10) follow the trail about half way onto the pedestrian bridge. This is a former railroad bridge. Take in the river views. Note that one could proceed to the opposite side of the river where the trail becomes known as the Oak Hill Trail and takes you to the Brant Park (Grand River Conservation Authority).
11 > 10 > 12 > 6 > 5 - When you are finished with views from the bridge, walk back toward 10. Follow the Grand Valley Trail (white blazes) under the bridge toward 12. The river should be on your left and the trail becomes a footpath. This portion of the Grand Valley Trail can be wet depending on the time of year. Along this segment and if it is a nice day, you may wish to eat your lunch on the edge of the river (see suggested spot). When you arrive at 6 for the second time, continue straight on the main trail (white blazes). From 6 to 5 you are repeating a segment of the main trail you did earlier.
5 > CHOICE: Watch carefully for a point where you should see white blazes that direct you right and toward 4 (a repeat of earlier). You will also see blue blazes that take you staright ahead along a side trail. At 5 you choose which way to go (straight ahead, blue blazes) or right (white blazes).
5 > 13 > 1 - This side trail takes you under Hwy
403/24 and eventually climbs upward to join the main
trail near 13. You trun left (white blazes) and end up
in the parking lot (1).
5 > 4 > 3 > 1 - Here you follow the main GVT upward (white blazes) to 4, cross the bridge on the S.C. Johnson Trail to 3 and continue straight on the S.C. Johnson Trail to the parking lot (1).
Flora & Fauna
Depending on the time of year you will likely see a number of interesting plants. This will occur in the wooded areas where the trail is a footpath. In the low lying areas, along or near the river, the dampness and shelter from the sun may result in a variety of fungi like the Cauliflower fungus (sometimes called a Cauliflower Mushroom) shown below. The one I discovered (early October 2015) was at the base of a tree in a rather damp area in the map segment 12 > 6. If you walk this route as a small and quiet group, you will likely see a variety of birds including the blue heron.
Powerline Rd Loop South 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.