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Homer Watson & Doon Loop Hikes - 3.6 to 9.8 km

 

IMPORTANT > temporary trail closure information

Below are six loop walks. Note that the 5.1 km, 7.6 km and 9.2 km loops have a small portion temporarily closed from Fall 2015 to late 2016 due to construction at the Kitchener Waste Water Management Plant. For details and a map showing the closed portion, access this PDF. The 3.6 km, 6.5 km and 9.8 km loops should be viable.

One of the six loop walks described on this web page is the loop walk I posted for the Homer Watson area of Kitchener in February 2015 on a different web page. On the other web page it is referred to as the 8 km Homer Watson Loop and takes you on a community trail between the Grand River and the Kitchener Waste Water Treatment Plant (where spring flooding often occurs) and then through Lower Doon. That original posting is here and the updated version appears on this web page.

Who was Homer Watson?

Homer Watson was one of Canada's greatest artists. Born in Upper Doon he lived in the village most of his life. To read more about Homer Watson visit the About Homer Watson web page. After his death, Watson's home became the Doon School of Fine Arts and is now operated in a public art gallery called Homer Watson House & Gallery located at 1754 Old Mill Road, Kitchener. Homer Watson is also a Waterloo Region Hall of Fame inductee.

Part of this walk passes through Lower and Upper Doon. Some of the history of Doon and its famous residents may be accessed at Historic Place Names of Waterloo County - Doon, Waterloo Township.

What are the Homer Watson - Doon Loop Hikes?

Provided below are six GPS tracks in Google Maps and for download. These tracks represent walks I lead in the Homer Watson Park (Cressman's Woods) and Doon areas. The pathways followed are usually combinations of  community trails, parts of the Grand Valley Trail and sometimes sidewalks. In the case of the Grand Valley Trail the route is marked by white blazes (white rectangles) on trees, posts and other objects indicating the direction on the main trail. Four examples appear below. Along the Grand Valley Trail you may encounter blazes that are blue instead of white. There are few of them and they indicate a side trail, not the main trail.

 

Blazes

Parking Suggestions (dependent upon which loop you choose to walk)

Homer Watson Park Video

... online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrXJ2yFojM8 compliments of Jon Lambert

 


1) Homer Watson - Doon 3.6 km Loop

The best parking for this loop is the Walter Bean Access Trail parking lot (Marguerite Ormston Trailway) off Homer Watson Blvd at 43.389861,-80.421612. This short walk follows part of the Grand Valley Trail (white blazes) and then takes you to a high point/lookout (43.381665, -80.422579) at Windrush Park.

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2) Homer Watson - Lower Doon 5.1 km Loop

Note that this 5.1 km loop has a small portion temporarily closed from Fall 2015 to late 2016 due to construction at the Kitchener Waste Water Management Plant. For details and a map showing the closed portion, access this PDF. The 3.6 km, 6.5 km and 9.2 km loops should be viable.

Along the section that is currently closed (see PDF) you should be able to view the Waterloo Pioneer Memorial Tower, a Classified Federal Heritage Building on the other side of the Grand River where the Walter Bean Grand River Trail resides. The best parking for this loop is the Walter Bean Access Trail parking lot (Marguerite Ormston Trailway) off Homer Watson Blvd at 43.389861,-80.421612.

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3) Homer Watson - Upper Doon 6.5 km Loop

On this loop be sure you read the historical information at 43.401339, -80.432708 (Bechtel's Ford) and at locations 43.393995, -80.416733 (Lower Doon and the Ferrie family mill ruins) and 43.388731, -80.426559 (Upper Doon, or Tow Town, and the Perine Flax Mill complex that became Doon Twine and then Canada Cordage after moving to Berlin/Kitchener).

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4) Homer Watson - Upper Doon 7.6 km Loop

Note that this 7.6  km loop has a small portion temporarily closed from Fall 2015 to late 2016 due to construction at the Kitchener Waste Water Management Plant. For details and a map showing the closed portion, access this PDF. The 3.6 km, 6.5 km and 9.2 km loops should be viable.

It is also the same walk described at http://www.hember.ca/hikes/HomerWatson/index.html

On this loop be sure you read the historical information at 43.401339, -80.432708 (Bechtel's Ford) and at locations 43.393995, -80.416733 (Lower Doon and the Ferrie family mill ruins) and 43.388731, -80.426559 (Upper Doon, or Tow Town, and the Perine Flax Mill complex that became Doon Twine and then Canada Cordage after moving to Berlin/Kitchener).

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5) Homer Watson - Upper Doon 9.2 km Loop

This longer loop, taking on the shape of a figure eight, has at least five convenient spots where one may park a car. See the map below and the parking suggestions above. On this loop be sure you read the historical information at 43.401339, -80.432708 (Bechtel's Ford) and at 43.388731, -80.426559 (Upper Doon, or Tow Town, and the Perine Flax Mill complex that became Doon Twine and then Canada Cordage after moving to Berlin/Kitchener). Also it takes you to a high point/lookout (43.381665, -80.422579) at Windrush Park.

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6) Homer Watson - Upper Doon 9.8 km Loop

Note that this 9.8 km loop has a small portion temporarily closed from Fall 2015 to late 2016 due to construction at the Kitchener Waste Water Management Plant. For details and a map showing the closed portion, access this PDF. The 3.6 km, 6.5 km and 9.2 km loops should be viable.

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GPS Tracks for Download

NOTE > You may need to right click the .gpx files to download them & use "Save link as" (Windows)

Garmin GPSmap CSxGPS Exchange Format explained and Google's KML/KMZ Documentation Introduction

In-Car GPS?

Some in-car GPS units allow you to enter the coordinates (i.e. latitude and longitude) instead of a regular street address. If you own a Garmin unit press "Where to?" and then the down arrow in the lower right corner and that takes you to "Coordinates". Press "Coordinates" and enter the latitude and longitude. For more detailed step-by-step instructions check Entering Coordinates in Recent Garmin Nüvi GPS Receivers.

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