The official name for this pathway is the Bob McMullen Linear Trail. It is about 3.2 km. I suggest parking at one end of the trail and walk it both ways for a total of 6.4 km. The path is stone dust and located in the Preston area of Cambridge. However, there are some footpaths closer to the rivers as provided in the information provided below. These lower-level footpaths are not really city maintained parts of the Linear Trail. It proceeds from Chopin Dr/Hamilton Street (43.397400, -80.366353) to the Preston Memorial Auditorium (43.387790, -80.348400), along the Grand and Speed Rivers. The path is quite good for bird watching [ 2009 PDF bird list ].
If you wish to walk it both ways (total about 6.4
km), I suggest parking in the lot available close to the
Chopin Dr and Hamilton St.
Google Street View of entrance to parking lot.
The parking area at the other end of the trail is shown here.
Two-page PDF Map
The City of Cambridge has a map and other information available here.
Confluence of Rivers
The word confluence refers to the junction of two rivers, especially rivers of approximately equal width. In more general terms, a confluence would be the act or process of merging. This walk takes you to the confluence of the Speed River (water coming from the Guelph area and further north east) and the Grand River (water coming from Waterloo Region). The confluence of these two rivers occurs at approximately 43.387370, -80.366960 and there is signage beside the trail. The confluence is recorded as a waypoint in the GPS tracks available below. In the picture below most of the water shown is the Grand River on the left and flowing towards you. The Speed River is visible bringing water into the Grand in the upper right corner of this photograph.
rare Slit Barn Across the River
As you walk along the Linear Trail some of the land on the other side of the Grand River is rare Charitable Research Reserve property (another great place to walk on trails along the river). The rare ECO Centre is located at approximately 43.381563, -80.3599408 and that location (with large parking lot) includes a very interesting Slit Barn. When you are standing on the Linear Trail at 43.385220, -80.357280 you are about 400 m away from the rare Slit Barn on the south side of the Grand.
GPS Track of Linear Trail in Google Maps
NOTE: The Google Map below shows the walk "out and back" for a total of about 6.4 km (3.2 km each way).
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.