• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


High above the Grand River



001 - 002 | 1.2 kmWe begin the hike from the parking lot at the Marguerite Ormston Trailway parking lot off Homer Watson Blvd. At the stop lights, cross Homer Watson Blvd and cross the bridge over Schneider Creek. Take the path to the left and follow this paved trail downhill past a small transformer station and under the overpass above to get on the other side of the creek. Follow the white blazes as the trail swings away from Homer Watson and passes two concrete blocks before entering into the spruce forest of Waterloo Region Agreement Forest where poison ivy patches are near the trail for a few kilometres. At a T-intersection follow the white blazes left up the hill. Be sure to continue on the white-blazed marked trail as there are plenty of side trails in the area before coming to the chain link fence of the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery on the left. The trail soon arrives at Mill Park Dr. (002)

002 - 003 | 2.6 kmCross the road and continue following the white blazes into the southern portion of Homer Watson Park. At a T-intersection, the trail turns left along the edge of the valley with views of the river below. At a T-intersection the trail goes right towards the top edge of the  embankment.  Overlooking the river below and a farm in the distance, the trail makes U-turn passing a rail fence as it descends the slope. After climbing a steep slope, the trail arrives at a path turning right in an open area along a chain link fence at the intersection of Mill Park Dr. and Huron Rd. (003).

003 - 004 | 3.0 kmSoon there is a great view of the curve in the Grand River along with picnic tables and a parking lot for about 10 cars (004) in Homer Watson Park. This open area is the dead end of Wilson Ave.

004 - 005 | 3.6 kmThe trail swings away from the fence crossing the parking lot and heads downhill into the woods. Here there is a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees along with some tall hemlock trees and at the bottom of this slope the trail swings right. At a X-intersection, continue straight ahead as the trail climbs a hill to some industrial buildings and then keep to the right. Again, watch out for poison ivy in this area. The trail heads downhill to Wilson Ave (005).

005 - 006 | 5.0 kmContinue uphill to the left along Wilson Ave passing Grand Crest Place. At Wabanaki Dr the trail goes right along Wabanaki and passes through an industrial field along the power lines above and a chain link fence to the right. The trail arrives at Hidden Valley Rd (006).

006 - 007 | 8.3 kmYou can continue along Hidden Valley Rd to the right to do the whole Hidden Valley loop or take the short cut slightly to the left and straight ahead along Hidden Valley Rd. Either way you will arrive at a transformer station where the trail crosses a rail track and arrives at stop lights on Fairview Road across from Fairview Mall (007).

007 - 008 | 9.1 kmCross Fairview Rd and under the Hwy 8 overpass to King St. Cross at the stop lights and go right along King St E for about 100 m before turning left on a sidewalk past the Centreville-Chicopee Community Centre to Morgan Avenue (008).

008 -009 | 9.7 kmThe trail turns right following for about 200 m before it turns left crossing Morgan Avenue and continues along a gravel community trail and hydro right of way to River Road E (009).

009 - 010 | 10.9 kmCross River Road entering the Dominic Cardillo Trail (Kitchener mayor 1983-94) and turn right at the intersection. Continue to follow the white blazes.  A new water slide at the Chicopee Ski Club blocks the trail here so continue down to the ski club and into the large gravel parking lot. Keep to the left along the chalet fence passing through an opening at the far end onto a path. Turn left and soon at a Y-intersection turn right and then left to head towards Morrison Rd (010).

009 - 010 | fix 13.5 kmCross Morrison Road and turn right to follow the sidewalk  and road along Morrison for some distance past Chicopee Dam and a wetlands to a new road ahead (011).

010 - 011 | 15.0 kmTurn right  for about 110 m where the path has been interrupted by a new housing development. You will have to search here for the trail. It runs parallel to the main road between the road and the development before heading downhill and crossing a small drainage creek. The trail then ascends and turns right into a wooded area on a narrow hilly path on the upper slope of the riverbank overlooking the Grand River about 100 m below. Leaving the woods, the trail comes out to another new housing development and goes right along the gravel track for some distance. The trail continues ahead as a narrow dirt path along the edge of the embankment. At the end of the development the trail turns left to go downhill and then swings left. At a rickety bridge over a small creek the trail swings right and uphill. Passing a large drainage pond on the left, the trail continues forward to Zeller Dr. (011).

011 - 012 | 17.9 kmTurn right and head downhill to the river and take the path to the left either along the straightaway (part of the Walter Bean Grand River Trail ) or the more wooded path closer to the river. At a large maple tree and a rock, the sign indicates that the trail turns right into the woods (012).

012 - 013 | 18.9 kmHere the trail gets disrupted by another housing development. Past a huge drainage ditch leading to the river, you need to cross over to your right and climb up the hill to the fence and the path. You may need to do some searching here but go right and high and you will find the trail going left at the top. At a Y-intersection take the trail to the left away from the Grand River. The trail emerges at a gravel path and turns right. This is again the Walter Bean Trail. The trail curves to descend to the left following the white blazes through some evergreens. Passing through a cedar area that can be wet and muddy, the trail does a jog heading downhill to cross a small stream by a bridge. Up ahead, a multi-level plank bridge crosses the same creek.

After a sustained climb, the trail comes to a path and turns right heading uphill. The trail meets the Zeller Side Trail (013) which goes left towards the Lackner Woods Public School where you can park on weekends. To continue the hike we instead go right on the main trail entering the southern part of Natchez Woods. Crossing a small stream on a plank the trail comes out to a sidewalk along the back of the houses (Ottawa St. extension). Turn right on this sidewalk which takes you to Otterbein Rd (014) and a possible end parking location a bit further down the road to the right.
Enjoy the hike and the day!

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