These suggested loop walks take place within the City of Stratford. One is quite urban-like (the Lake Victoria Loop) and most of the other loop is in the T. J. Dolan Natural Area at the west end of the city. About once a year I lead a group hike here and I combine the Lake Victoria Loop with the T. J. Dolan Natural Area Loop so the total is about 10 km. When I combine them, they start and finish in the T. J. Dolan Natural Area parking lot on John Street North (approximately 43.37029, -80.99552). That parking lot is located at approximately the mid point between the two loops. So, the combination of the two loops forms a figure-eight. That means some hikers have the option of dropping out at the T. J. Dolan Natural Area parking lot and walking about 5 km instead of 10 km.
Supporting the Avon Trail
A few years ago my wife and I joined the Avon Trail and did an end-to-end of the main trail that stretches from St. Marys, Ontario to Conestogo, a distance of about 111 km. Our volunteer involvement continued and we GPS'd the trail and then helped an Avon Trail committee produce its first full-coloured set of maps. The trails that form the loop hikes described on this web page are not the main Avon Trail. The main Avon Trail skirts the east side of Stratford as it winds north east to the village of Amulree (Two Amulrees - a bit of history), and beyond. Note that the Avon Trail Guidebook devotes two pages to the Stratford Side Trail. There is a map with a trail description on the back. That is, the main Avon Trail is connected to the routes described on this web page. At the request of the City of Straford, the Avon Trail Association does not blaze the side trail that passes from east to west through the city. Those who visit this web page might wish to purchase a copy of the Avon Trail Guidebook. Doing so would provide you with more hike information in the Perth County area and beyond and support another volunteer-based hiking organization.
The Lake Victoria Loop
The T. J. Dolan Wilderness Area Loop - north & south of the Avon River
Here is a Google Map of this loop showing where you can walk the north side of the river and then retrun to your car on the south side of the river. The GPS track of this north-south loop is included and you may download and use if you wish to do so. There is a link to a PDF that describes some of the waypoints along the GPS track (route). NOTE: The north route can be rather wet or flooded in the late winter/early spring and in the late fall.
The T. J. Dolan Wilderness Area Loop - south side only
As in the above two examples, here you will find a slightly different way to do a loop walk on the south side of the Avon River. There is no PDF for this GPS track. Note that I usually park at the T. J. Dolan Natural Area parking lot on John Street North (approximately 43.37029, -80.99552). There is another T. J. Dolan Natural Area sign & entrance located at approximately 43.368838, -81.000579 on W Gore Street. In that area there is the "ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services" buildings and the Perth District Health Unit (43.368971, -81.001768) and the trail entrance sign is across the street from these buildings. In this area you may be able to locate spots where you may legally park your car(s) before starting your walk from this location.