Glen Ross to Bonarlaw
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1) Glen Ross to Hoard's Road
Running total (from
Trenton): 26.5 kilometres
the Hastings Heritage Trail officially starts at Glen Ross, I have
included the Lower Trent Trail in the running total, as it is really
all one trail for walkers.
The Hastings Heritage Trail
continues the Lower Trent Trail, but now walkers have to beware of ATVs
and snowmobiles. There is a parking lot on the west side of Glen Ross
Road road just north of the canal. Walk west along the canal following
the ruts the ATVs have made. The trail will soon turn right through
some bushes and rise from the canal between a few houses to Rosebush
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sign here notes that the "trail ends." Another, announcing the Hastings
Heritage Trail, lists the kilometres at this point at 22.25. I'd guess
that the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance, an ATV and snowmobile group
that oversees the Hastings Heritage Trail, is lusting to get the Lower
Trent Trail in into its fold — which would open the latter to
A dead snake, victim of an ATV
tire, lies in a track of the trail. This is the fate
of a number of snakes who like to sun themselves on the open
difference between the Lower Trent Trail and this one is immediately
apparent. Tree branches and bushes have been mercilessly sliced away to
widen the track for vehicles. When you add the straightness of the
trail into the mix, it vastly reduces the attraction for walkers.
opening section of the trail passes through rolling farmland. As the
trail approaches Carmel Road, a couple of farmhouses appear. An old
cement silo and an old barn make the west side interesting. After
Road, marshland (at least in the spring) and bush spread out on both
sides before the land gives way to more fields.
crosses Anson Road and shortly after meets the Trans Canada Trail.
The TCT has been shared with the northern section of the
Heritage we are about to encounter, but heads west here toward
Campbellford. The trail from the east at this intersection comes from
Madoc Junction and the Trail of Two Lakes. This intersection is just
before Hoard's Road.
On the west side, just before
the Trans Canada, a huge factory-style barn sits, with big fans set out
along the walls. You can hear the fans whirring as you pass by.
Hoard's Road, Weaver's Cometary sits high on a hill just to the
north-west of the trail. Unfortunately, the gate is locked.
Someone has cut a hole in the wire of the gate.
There are some interesting stones in this graveyard dating
back to the mid 1800s.
Looking west down Hoard's Road, you can see the old Central cheese
factory on the south side. It's no longer in operation.
April 26, 2009
the intersection of trails south of Hoard's Road to Bonarlaw, the
following section is the northward chronicle of the identical southward description I have made in the Trans Canada
2) Hoard's Road (Anson) to Harold Road
Running total: 35.2 kilometres
As I returned from this walk, on an early May evening, three
vehicle, a car and two trucks, set off at a pretty good pace, heading
north up the trail from Hoard's Road. The car led, bouncing up and down
in the ruts. Earlier I had seen a muddy, dented unlicenced car with
bashed-out back lights sitting behind a shed at 476 Hoard's Road. A
quick check revealed that the car was gone, with new tracks in the
trail showing where it had gone.
This busted car made plenty of
noise, a bonus I suppose for any walker on the trail. A car with a
muffler could take a walker by surprise. Nevertheless, I was glad I was
off the trail as kind of activity is a recipe for disaster; in any
collision with a walker, the latter will always lose. It's wise to
remember that these sections of the trail are no different than country
backroads for a few local drivers.
smooth out excessive bumps or wet spots, parts of the trail
have been covered with gravel made up of largish stones. It's just a
nuisance for a walker, but I imagine it would be no fun for many
To Mount Pleasant Road and beyond, fields dominate. Human-made ditches
down both sides of much of the trail, with more ditches running across
fields, draining water from the land. Notice too the old water troughs
(at least I think that is what the rectangular open boxes are.)
Just after Mount Pleasant
Road, you'll see an apiary, with a collection of hives set out in a
clearing. On the
warm day in late April that I walked this
section, the bees were already busily going about their business.
trail starts to curve a bit as it approaches Barrett Road, then
parallels Coutts, which is on the right (east), until the trail curves
off to the east over Coutts and across King's Mills Road. When I walked
two ATVs had switched off the trail and onto Coutts, where they could
spread out into both lanes and do a bit of racing. As usual, the
machines were loud and obnoxious. Thankfully they were not on the trail
when they roared past me.
Just north of King's Mills
Road, as the trail curves, you leave the fields for a time and
cedar trees, then some hardwood, line the trial. On a hot day, you'll
find this a blessing. The trail then straightens out and crosses
Hoard's Creek and then a little stream that's likely to be
most of the year.
When you reach Wellman's Road (County Road
19), you'll notice Hoover road to your left (west), which you parallel
for a while. About 700 metres north of Wellman, take a stroll across
the rocks to Hoard's Creek. In the spring,
all sorts of little rivulets empty into the creek. There's a
particularly nice min-waterfall (by which I mean two feet high
less) hiding under a bush here in the spring. As you walk this section,
with Hoard's creek on your right take a tour at appropriate
places across the flat rocks to your left
to check them out.
It's pretty straight going from Wellman's
Road (County Road #19).
As you walk toward Harold Road, Hoard's Creek bubbles along
east of the trail. In the spring it has little rapids and
"mini-gorges" (very small cuts into the land) that are well worth
checking out. There are plenty of opportunities to walk across open
rock to get to the creek.
April 17, 29, May 2, 2009
3) Harold Road to Bonarlaw
Running total: 41.8 kilometres
trail is nasty straight for a while before it takes a welcome curve and
Hoard's creek appears a couple of times. Hoards Creek is host to a
large community of wildlife and a quiet sit
by the riverbank is certainly rewarding. The creek flows eventually
past King's Mills Conservation Area, through the hamlet of Hoards
Station (where one of the province's few cattle sales barns still
operates) and empties into the Trent River. Like nearby Rawdon Creek,
it is one of a complex of streams and marshland that feed the Trent
out for the underpass just south of the McConnell Road extension. It
was totally dry and seemed made more for human passage than for water.
When I did my return walk (southward) on this section, I had time to
stop at this section for a while.
I passed under the tunnel to the riverbank and watched a beaver cruise
about. He thrashed his tail a couple of times, but eventually climbed
out of the water on the opposite bank and began loudly chomping at a
bit of wood. I walked back under the tunnel and followed a
that ran up the hill and off to the right.
This is a great area,
with trails running here and there in the bush. Some sections were a
bit wet, while others rose up to mini-meadows. I came upon a hunt camp
at one point, made partly from an old trailer. It was in serious
disrepair. At another point a pheasant strutted across a
This side trip was definitely a highlight of the day's
walk. I'm guessing that there are many more fine trails on the west
At about 1.6 kilometres north of Harold Road,
McConnell Road comes
in from the east. On my map it shows the road as coming as far as the
trail, but it actually ends 60 metres before that and a rough gravel
trail runs to the trail. On the west side, the a dirt track continues
down to the edge of Hoards Creek. Across the creek, I could see the
path continuing. Definitely a route to explore when the water is lower,
but the spring run-off water looked a little daunting.
At about one
kilometre south of Spring Brook Road a murder of ATVs came toward me on
the trail, so I decide to head to the west and follow what
like an old horse trail through the woods and around some wet spots. It
eventually petered out and I did a short bit of bushwhacking
until I met a fence that led me back to the trail. All along this
little side trail where choices I could have made and I happily buried
myself in the woods for a while — a welcome relief from the
straightness and flatness of the trail. A great example of the joys of
As I rejoined the trail, more ATVs descended and
I spent some time along the edges of the trail wishing I could spend
more time investigating paths that disappeared into the bush. There are
all sorts of
tantalizing trails heading off on each side. The red circle
indicating private land is also prevalent.
Shortly before Spring Brook Road, the trail cuts into the hillside and
brief while, you don't get to see much of the countryside.
you come up to Spring Brook Road, you'll see a little parking lot
beside the trail. It features a dilapidated outhouse. Don't use it;
disgusting. Once over the road, you'll see houses to your
farm on the left.
After a bit of a curve, this next section is pretty straight. Despite
this, there are some great marsh sections and
in the spring, the peepers were out in force along with ducks and other
feathered creatures. We watched a couple of garter snakes sunning
themselves beside the trail and wondered about the fate of several
furry caterpillars running along the trail's tracks.
bed is generally comfortable walking, although, it can be a bit hard
on the feet stuck in a tire track; switch sides periodically. The
trail, as usual, is too straight for comfort, but
rides high through farmland, bush and a lot of marsh.
On the sunny spring Sunday afternoon we did this bit (I walked this
section with my wife, Carol), there were numerous ATVs,
usually in groups of two or three, heading in both directions. All were
travelling at reasonable speeds. A motorcycle also passed us on this
Partway along this section, we saw Holstein cattle off to our
left. In the spring, the cattle wade
through marshland, munching on the surrounding grass, and drinking and
defecating in the water. Not a pretty sight.
crossing St Mark's Road (or St. Mark's, depending
literature or sign you're reading) it's a short jaunt to the junction
of the Trans Canada and a trail that heads off to near
Havelock. A few houses line St. Mark's Road.
Hastings Heritage Trail northward at this point on April 5 was
wide south-flowing stream, so it was an appropriate spot to turn around
for the day. A heavy rain a couple of days before made
walking this section along the built-up sides of the trail difficult,
although we saw a couple doing just that, as well as a couple
ploughing northward through the water.
Side trails south of
Spring Brook Road:
April 5, 10, 2009
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