At about 9:30 a.m., on Thursday morning, a group of 19 hikers left Tollgate Plaza, 255 Toll Gate Blvd, Waterloo (43.487003, -80.556999) near the intersection of Toll Gate & Glen Forrest Blvds. We walked 13 km and finished where we started. The majority of the walk was on City of Waterloo community trails such as the Laurel Trail, the Hillside Trail, the Forwell Trail and others. These trails are on the Grand River Transit Map ($2). This circuit involves the occasional segment of sidewalk and woodlots while the rest is mainly a wide path of stone dust or paved with asphalt. It is fun and good exercise even though not to may of us like walking on hard asphalt for great distances.
Spring-Like Weather and Animals
Although this walk was in winter, our day was unusual. It started off cloudy with temperatures above freezing and little snow or ice on the various trails. By noon it was sunny with blue sky and a high of 16°C. As experienced hikers, we tended to shed our layers as the walk progressed. Lots of birds (e.g. American robins) could be seen and heard and the squirrels were out in full force.
ION and LRT
Along this route we were able to view several parts of the Ion rapid transit that is under construction.
Soup at Bread and Bretzel Basket
When we finished the walk (about 12:45 p.m.) most of us visited the small bakery called the Bread and Bretzel Basket (a German/Canadian Bakery & Café) at Tollgate Plaza, Waterloo [Google Maps] [pictures] where we had soup and a bun. Many of us walked out with purchases like freshly baked breads and all those other decadent baked goods. The fresh pretzel buns are excellent and the 24" pretzel sticks are impressive! NOTE: The URL www.breadandbretzel.com is not the bakery in Waterloo.
GPS Track of Walk in Google Maps
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.