Lake Ontario Waterfront
Trenton to Presqu'ile Park
12 O'clock Point to Presqu'ile Park
or on any photo for more photos of this section.
O'clock Point to Lovett/Murray Canal: 6.2 km
Western extension of canal: 1.6
km x 2
section runs along Murray
Canal from 12 O'clock Point to Lovett (or the village of Murray Canal —
it's Lovett on the map, Murray Canal on village signs) is a flat and
easy walk, but very straight. You can walk on either side. The south
looks a bit more attractive, and there is the occasional vehicle on a
section of the northern side.
Shortly after leaving the Bay
shores, you should spend a bit of time having a look at the swing
bridge at Loyalist
Parkway. There’s a small “boat”
(a tugboat, perhaps?) — a platform shaped like a boat
with a ship’s wheel, a bench and some posters with canal history —
can relax and watch the boats float by in summer and the bits of ice in
gracefully flowing toward the Bay of Quinte. A
further east along the canal where it intersects with the abandoned
is an old steel swing bridge with two sets of rails.
"tugboat" at the Loyalist parkway (County Road #33) just north of 12
with the swing bridge in the
background. (See the photo section for
on the tugboat, which
describe the history of the canal.)
January 5, 2009
Lovett end, there are cedars between
the trail and the canal. If there's a cold breeze blowing, they cut the wind nicely.
trail on the south
side has similar cedars. At several
places, there were trails used by snowmobiles heading
off north. They
looked more promising, but I stuck to the straight and
north of the canal, English
curves close to the canal and there is a short road that opens onto the
If any of the northbound trails were worth it, this might be a way of
to them faster.
across Brighton Road/64, I followed
the canal along the south trail. This is a side tour on the shoreline
it seems essential to walk the length of the Murray Canal.
It’ll only add 3.2 kilometres to your journey, round trip. The canal
starts/ends at Presqu’ile Bay with a cement abutment that projects
fifty feet into the water. The open water on a cloudy winter day is
impressive; it’s a mixture
of the bleak stillness of the shoreline amplified by the cold choppy
water, uninviting but attractive all at once. In summer, I’m sure I’d
see people going
about their business along the shoreline. When I walked it in winter, I
was the only person standing
on the edge of the water.
would make a good family outing with no
surprises. The canal cuts through Dead Creek marsh which is its most
interesting feature. I tried to imagine walking it in summer and
would be a good place to bring folks who were not up for more than a
by the water with no surprises. That said, a lone duck and a beaver
startled me as they splashed about in the water. The beaver was taking
must have been a cold winter swim in mid-canal; I couldn’t see its
there was a channel nearby coming in from the southern marsh. I figure
where he must have come in from.
January 5, 8, 2009
Road #64 Lovett (Murray Canal) to Presqu'ile Park (13.2 km)
get to Gosport, this is a boring
section. There are pretty
ordinary houses along this paved road. Brighton Speedway
is situated on the
south side just over a kilometre out of Murray Canal.
There’s an interesting monument made of of cemetery
stones at Boes Road,
describing some of the history of the Van Sicklen family (see photos).
After Boes Road,
it gets mildly more interesting.
You can see the lake and the marshes off to the south and there are a
interesting points on the north side too. DEG
Environmental Ltd. have a
facility on County Road
#64. They remediate petroleum hydrocarbon impacted soils – which means
clean up soil from old gas stations, fuel spills, transformer leaks and
on the north side of County Road #64 is the property of the Brighton RC
Hawks, a radio-controlled model airplane flying club ("R/C" stands for
"radio control"). (See photo, left.)
“Constructed Wetland for Waste Water
Polishing” on County Road 64 just before the turn south into Gosport
at Harbour road. It’s the last stage in Brighton’s
sewage disposal system which now (I write this in January 2009) needs
“polishing” (what a great euphemism!) is apparently
effective, and the plant includes an aerated lagoon and a waste
stabilization pond, both
can be viewed on the north side of County Road #64. The
constructed wetland was installed in 1999, but now the system needs a
birders, the constructed wetland has a
number of treasures. Here’s a
birder’s sightings from April, 2008 (unedited):
Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Dunlins, a Semi-palmated Sandpiper as well
Blue-Winged Teal, Buffleheads, Green-Winged Teal, a few Mallard,
Shovellers, Mute Swans including the mixed pair Trumpeter/Mute, the
Moorhen seen as well as heard calling, a pair of Belted Kingfisher and
of Osprey (on their pole), White throated Sparrow and Song Sparrows,
Double Crested Cormorant and Caspian Tern also did a very low fly-by.
“The regular visitors
/ summertime residents include Tree Swallow, Northern Rough winged
a couple of Barn Swallows many Red-Winged Black birds and Common
Cardinals, Northern Flickers, Blue Jays and Canada Geese.”
trucks travel at a good clip along
the road section. It’s really the only way I could see to continue
otherwise it’s a waste of a walk. It’s part of the Lake Ontario
Trail and also part of the Port Hope to Trenton
The latter is a driving route and a local promotional
project to attract tourists to take a tour through
one of Ontario’s
the turn left into Harbour St., it gets more interesting. In
winter, just past Butler
Creek,turn left again (on the opposite side from Butler Creek Trail)
and follow the snowmobile trail through the woods and out
marsh. You'll see Butler Creek winding off to your left. When it
leaves the trees, have a look at it. If it's cold enough it makes a
fine walkway out to the lake. Follow it as
it twists its
way to the lake. It goes over a beaver dam at one point and you can
hear water gurgling; give that a bit of a skirt. You can then stay with
the trail on the lake as it goes around the point, or come off the lake
and follow any street westward to Bay Street and Baldwin.
marsh when the ice is firm.
Butler Creek makes a nice trail through the
the summer, I'm afraid the boring walk continues. Once on Harbour
Street and over the Butler Creek bridge, turn left (south) at Baldwin.
Follow that to Bay Street and the Harbourview Café
where you can have a cup of tea and a snack. In winter it's open from 8
a.m,. to 8 p.m., except on Tuesday's when it's closed.
Harbourview Café in Gosport is a fine (and warm) end to a winter walk.
is worth a little tour. In winter you can visit the fishing "village"
just off the shore. Take a walk along Bay, then cut up to the right on
Lambton Street. if you take a short tour down one of the dead-end
streets to your left, you'll get views of Presqu'ile Bay and
Presqu'ile Point. There's some new building going on here — more
private dwellings hogging what should be public waterfront.
the top of Lambton Street turn right and head up Baldwin and back to
Harbour Street. Turn right back to the Butler Creek bridge and head
down the Butler Creek Trail.
Butler Creek makes a nice trail
marsh when the ice is firm. January, 2009
section of Butler Creek Trail is just short of .7 km.
In 2003, the
Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Program (a coalition of federal and
provincial funding) talked about a 4.5 km trail they were supporting
financially. At present, the "Tobey" is the only section
constructed. It passes perilously close to some unfinished suburban
houses in the Mill Pond Woods being constructed by Gordon Tobey
Developments Ltd., presumably the Tobey the trail link is named after.
The trail is squeezed between suburban developments; despite this it's
a good short walk and a welcome relief from the boredom of County road
Cedar Street, you will need to turn left (south). However, a quick walk
into Brighton is worth it, to check out some of the historical bits,
antique shops, restaurants and the like.
In the midst of
you arrive at Cedar Street, turn left and walk just short of
km to Harbour Street, where you will turn right (west). Before that,
head out to the "Observation Point" at the end of Cedar. Just before
the water's edge, you feel like you're walking on someone's private
grass, but the sign indicates it's public property. In winter, you can
go onto the ice to get a good view of the shore. It's not pretty. Ugly
oversize houses have shut the shoreline off from public use. It's a
too- real example of pathetic urban planning. The walk to the entrance
of Presqu'ile Park is pretty boring, so you can amuse yourself by
wandering some of these desolate suburbs; they're an exercise in lack
of imagination. See my mini-photo essay about this in the photos
Kids walking home from school in Brighton at about 4 p.m.,
February 12, 2009. The
temperature was around
freezing, with a cold breeze making things feel
Shorts weather for sure! February 12, 2009.
Harbour Street. This
little park is all that's on offer for the public.
February 12, 2009
getting back to Harbour Street, follow that (with deviations noted
above) all the way to the Presqu'ile Park gates. Older houses along
Harbour street block the shore from you. There is only one tiny park
before Ontario Street left for public use. Pathetic.
Ontario Street, Harbour curves down into a boat launch. It's not a
picturesque spot, so it's best to curve up to the main road again
(still Harbour Street) and head for the sanctuary of the park.
Ratings: County road #64
section (winter) into Gosport::
26, 29, February 12, 2009
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created: February 3, 2009
Updated: February 12, 2009