Thursday, March 29, 2018 – Kitchener Loop Walk. Level 1/2.
Pace: 3-4 km/h. ~14 km (or ~10 km) <
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the parking lot (43.430996, -80.526284) just west of the Beer Store at the Highland Hills Shopping Mall, 875 Highland Rd W, Kitchener (intersection of Highland & Fischer-Hallman Roads). The walk will follow some familiar community trails, some sidewalks, and include a few sections you may have never walked before. Being primarily a hiking group, with a lunch problem, I will do my best to bring some balance to the character of our group by providing two or three historical tidbits along the path. For example, look forward to seeing the location of the one, and only, Berlin Opera House first opened to the public in September 1896 that sat up to 600 theatre-goers at one time. Of course, we will make time for one of our traditional nutrition stops at Queen Street Commons Café (Working Centre) for lunch before heading back. We return using a different route and those who are quite familiar with the Kitchener community trails, have two options of reducing the total distance. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - Natchez Hills/Grand
Valley Trail. Level 2. Pace: 3-4 km/h. ~10 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Walter Bean Trail (M.R. Good Family Trailway) parking lot just off Otterbein Rd, Kitchener (43.460167, -80.420015). This linear walk takes us along the Grand River & through the Natchez Hills ESPA woodlot using the Grand Valley & Walter Bean Trails. The hike requires a car shuttle. About half the cars will be left at the meeting place & we all proceed to the start of the hike in the other half of the cars. Be sure to have room in your vehicle for at least two hikers. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended & trekking pole(s) suggested. Bring water, snack(s), sunscreen, insect repellent (or equivalent) & camera. Driving directions [Google Directions]: From the intersection of Lackner Blvd & Ottawa St. North (43.457284, -80.431566), drive east on Ottawa St until it dead-ends, left on Keetwatin Ave > almost immediately right on Misty St. > right on Otterbein Rd for about 0.5 km to the parking lot. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – Waterloo Loop & Soup. Level 2. Pace: 3-4 km/h. 13 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 9:30 a.m. from the parking lot at Tollgate Plaza, 255 Toll Gate Blvd, Waterloo (43.487003, -80.556999) near the intersection of Toll Gate & Glen Forrest Blvds. The walk today will be a loop along Waterloo community trails (e.g. Laurel Trail, Forwell Trail) & through a couple of urban woodlots. At times, we will inspect the LRT workmanship. There is a brief [and potentially dangerous] "pit stop" at Waterloo Square [the danger is the closeness of the Nougat Bakery]. Once we have returned to Tollgate Plaza, between 12:30 & 1:00, you have the option of soup at the Bread & Bretzel Basket, a German-Canadian Bakery & Café. A commitment for soup before we start the walk would be appreciated so we can inform the soup-maker. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - Crawford Lake/Nassagaweya Canyon/Milton Outlier. Level 2-3. Pace 2-4 km/h. ~7 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:0 a.m. from the parking lot at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area (43.470022, -79.951041). Using local trails & the Bruce Trail we walk past several, spectacular wood carvings, around meromictic Crawford Lake, out to the Nassagaweya Canyon & along the Niagara Escarpment edge. There is a stop at a lookout to view the Milton Outlier before heading back to the cars. This may be a walk for those who are relatively new to hiking. The pace will vary, sometimes slow. We will not descend into & ascend from the canyon & over to Rattlesnake Point. Sturdy hiking boots are a must & trekking poles are recommended. Bring water, snack(s)/lunch, sunscreen, insect repellent (or equivalent) & camera. Driving directions [Google Directions]: From Hwy 401 take exit 312 (south). Almost immediately turn left on Reid Side Rd, proceed to Guelph Line (Halton Rd. 1) & turn right (south), follow Guelph Line (Main St) through Campbellville to Conservation Road & turn left (east) into the conservation area. The turn is about 3.25 km from the railroad tracks in Campbellville. Entrance fee in 2017 was $7.75/person ($6.75 Seniors). Check here for any last-minute changes.
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - Mother’s Day Huron Natural Area Loop Walk. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h. ~ 5 km
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - Jesuit Centre-Guelph
Lake Loop. Level 2. Pace: 3-4 km/h. ~12 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:30 a.m. from the workshop/farm parking lot (or near it) at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph. This walk follows footpaths along Marden Creek & the Speed River to Guelph Lake & Dam where we have lunch (weather permitting). We return on the Royal Recreation Trail, pass through part of Riverside Park (bring some cash in case the concession stand is open & you like ice cream) & then return to the Jesuit Centre via the tranquil and picturesque Marymount Cemetery. Sturdy hiking boots recommended. Bring water and lunch. Driving directions [Google Directions]: At the intersection of Woodlawn Rd & Woolwich St, Guelph (cemetery on right) turn left & follow Hwy 6 for about 0.7 km in the left lane. Immediately past the entrance to Marymount Cemetery turn left into the Jesuit Centre (43.571052, -80.280388). Follow the Jesuit Centre road past the first building (on left) & watch for signs for the Workshop (Ignatius Farm 43.570647, -80.285652) to the left or more parking straight ahead at 43.571708, -80.285656. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Thursday, June 07, 2018 - Hwy 7 to Ebycrest Rd & Back, Grand Valley Trail. Level 2. Pace: 3-4 km/h. ~10 km
Leaders: Jamie & Jan. Depart at 9:00 a.m. from the Walter Bean, Peter Hallman Family Trail parking lot at Kolb Park located at the east end of Centennial Court, Kitchener (43.476276, -80.426746). We will walk the GVT to Ebycrest Road (near Rosendale) & back. South of Bridge Street the GVT meets Rosendale Creek (43.480700, -80.442330). This is the area where the new Hwy 7 will bisect & pass over the GVT. Sturdy hiking boots are a must & trekking pole(s) suggested. Bring water, snack(s), sunscreen, insect repellent (or equivalent) & camera. Directions (Google Maps): From the traffic light at the intersection of Ebycrest Rd & Victoria St North (Hwy 7) follow Hwy 7 into Kitchener, keep in the left lane, about 0.7 km after crossing the Grand River turn left on Centennial Road & left on Centennial Court. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Saturday, June 09, 2018 - Pinnacle Hill-Upper Doon
Loop, Kitchener. Level 2/3. Pace: 2-3 km/h. 10 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Walter Bean Grand River Trail parking lot at the intersection of Homer Watson Blvd & Doon South Dr (43.389818, -80.421629). This walk takes us to great heights in the Pinnacle Hill Natural Area, through Topper Woods, along community trails & boardwalks in Doon Creek N.A. before circling back along old Tilt Dr (closed & now a trail) on the eastern portion of the Strasburg Creek drainage system and then into Upper Doon. There will be hilly spots, so the pace will be slow to moderate to accommodate the group. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring water and a snack. Check here for any last-minute changes.
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - Summer Solstice on the Grand Valley Trail. Level 2-3. Pace: 3-4 km/h. ~11 km
Leaders: Jamie & Jan. Depart at 9:00 a.m. from the parking lot at the Elora & District Community Centre & Arena, 21 David St, Elora (43.683083, -80.435662). The hike requires a car shuttle. About half the cars will be left at the arena & we all proceed to the start of the hike in the other half of the cars. Be sure to have room in your vehicle for at least two hikers. We hike from Woolwich-Pilkington Townline northward on the west side of the Grand River, near Wilson Flats & pass through Elora Gorge before reaching Elora. Sturdy hiking boots are a must & trekking pole(s) suggested. Bring water, snack(s)/lunch, sunscreen, insect repellent (or equivalent) & camera. Driving directions [Google Directions]: From West Montrose take Middlebrook Rd north for about 11.5 km, straight across Wellington Rd 7 onto David Street & the community centre is on the right. Check here for any last-minute changes.