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Millenium Trail

You can find a very brief history of the trail here, and a more detailed five-minute YouTube here.

I describe this trail starting near Picton and heading southwest west and then northwest. You can, of course, do it the other way around. Its northern termination point is officially Carrying Place, but it goes farther. We'll talk about that when we get to Carrying Place and the trail moves into downtown Trenton.

From County Road #49 just north of Picton to Fort Kente Road in Carrying Place, the trail is 45 kilometres long.

Unless otherwise noted, parking at trail and road entrances is possible but not always convenient. 

There are ATVs and snowmobiles on the trail. Take care.

Unofficial  Start/End of the trail

The Millenium Trail officially starts in a south-westerly direction at County Road 49, just south of where #49 meets County Road 6. This is just north of Picton.

However, the old rail bed does continues north a stretch too, curving slightly west until it parallels 49 on its journey north and eventually disappearing into the Lehigh Cement Company.

It's impossible to start at the cement company. If you drive #49 1.5 kilometres north of the official start, there is an open track on the east side where farmers, snowmobiles and ATVs enter the trail. You can see the trail clearly here and catch about 1.5 kilometres of the rail bed south to the official start. North of said entrance, the railbed goes under hydro lines and walking requires fence climbing and bushwacking. Not recommended.

From the hydro line, the trail heads south, parallel to #49 (almost immediately to the west), with residences and fields on both sides. There are old farmhouses across fields and very new residences close to the trail. Notice the old windmill outside one residence on the west side. The bed rides high and it's pleasant, if unremarkable.

Perhaps the strongest incentive to walk this short section is to notice the transformation of the county from agricultural/rural to suburban. This has been going on for some time and you can see it at various points on the trail. It's clear here, with the jusxtaposition of ridiculously large suburban houses, farmers' fields, old farm houses and vast lawns. Walk and watch history in action.

Just before the trail crosses #49 at the official start, it passes two massive back lawns belonging to two new residences on the east side, followed by the back side of Parsons Brewing Company just behind the trees, to the east.

1) Highway #49 to Bloomfield: 10 kilometres

There is no adequate parking at 49 and the official start of the trail. County Road 49 is busy. Take care. (In March 2021, there were concrete moves afoot to improve this situation.)

The trail passes a residential drive and immediately curves southwest. It passes through a golf course with lots of advice to slow down and watch for carts. There are some intriguing pathways for golf carts that run off the trail. I haven't tried them.

The trail crosses a stream and has one curve before it reaches County Road 5. After the golf course there is a mix of wood and field on either side, and several possible trail entrances from the south-east side. The trail is, as most railbeds are, very flat. I find the long stretches here uninspiring. The trail stretches off to a straight, distant point. Compare that with the mystery of a twisty forest walk or urban stroll.

Just before County Road 5, the trail passes the back side of an Ontario Hydro centre, There are footings here for an unknown building next to the Hydro building. Parking at County Road 5 is limited to the curb. Again, be careful. Start to Johnson Road/County Road 5: 2.4 kilometres.

If you want to walk into the town of Picton, I'd suggest the little path west of Johnson that leads into Paul Street. That way, you'll avoid the traffic on Johnson. Alternatively, 650 metres west of Johnson, a pleasant-looking track leads to Barker Street. Turn left (north-east) to Bowery Street, then right (south-east) downtown.

From Johnson to Talbot Street/County Road #4 (1.3 kilometres) it's mostly farmer's field's with a scrim of trees and brush to protect the trail. Just past midway, there are relatively newly constructed suburbs to the south, presumably built by clearing the scrubby woods and filling in the marsh. There's a pond between the houses and the trail. It looks like there has been considerable effort put into controlling the water. Closer to Talbot, you can see detritus piled from the labours of Terra Vista Landscape Construction.

From Talbot to #33/Loyalist Parkway (0.9 km) it's more of the same. You'll see the Abundant Life Pentacostal Church on the north side at Highway #33. After crossing the road at #33 you'll see the Canadian Tire off to the south-east, and beyond that No Frills. North west, suburban-style houses line the southern side of  #33 and their backyards abut the trail until it drops south and fields return. (#33 to Sandy Hook Road 1 km)

[To those travelling east-west toward Picton: just east of Sandy Hook Road, the trail curves northward. The trail that continues straight (the more southerly one)  will get you to the crossroads of Talbot Street and Picton Main Street. The V where the trails split is not marked well, and it would be an easy mistake to continue on the trail heading to Talbot. The latter is a nice trail that gets you into town faster and more pleasantly than #33. When I walked it in March 2021, I met four young women on this trail, all sporting front baby carriers with infants. Magic!

Just west of Sandy Hook Road to County Road #32 (4 km), you will see the backside of the Waring House Inn on the north side, showing off some of the rooms for guests. The trail continues flat and straight. There are fields on both sides, usually with with a line of brush and trees beside the trail. On windy days, the open stretches may leave you fighting if you're walking into the wind. There is a larger cluster of trees on both sides of the road at #32.

Things get a bit more interesting between #32 and #12 (1.4 km). Approaching #12, there are modest homes on the south side with interesting back yards. One back yard has crammed a swimming pool and raised deck into a very restricted space. After #12, the backyard and homes switch to the north side. To go into Bloomfield (a lovely town with lots of bijou things to do), head up #12. Or continue another 900 metres to where a road circles back on itself. This is Wight Street and it will get you to Main Street with less traffic.

2. Bloomfield (at #12) to Wellington (11 kilometres)

Barker's Lane crosses the trail shortly after #12. Notice the sign on the south side of the highway (see photo). Shortly after this, two small bridges cross Bloomfield Creek. There's lot's of mature hardwood falling into the creek here, making for some impressive patterns.

The trail then crosses Wesley Acres Road (#12 to Wesley Acres Road: 1.5 km). From here, it's a longer stretch to #33 (3.9 km). The trail continues with scrim of brush along the trail as usual. At roughly 1.3 km after #12, keep a look out for the ponies and a donkey on the south side and the alpacas on the north side. They are from Noble Beast Farms and they are impressive!

There are bird houses with numbers on them along this stretch of the trail.

It's marshy on both sides, big old hardwoods tipping over on the north side. There are a couple of houses just off 33 to the north of the trail. On some maps, this juncture is noted as Hallowell, but there's no real community here. There's a plaque in a little park at Hill and Bay streets in Picton that commemorates Hallowell, but that community was on the northwest side of Picton Bay before it amalgamated with Picton. This part of the trail is, however, in the Township of Hallowell, which it passes through on its way north to Hillier and Ameliasburg townships.

Farther along, note the lovely white house on north side, set back, with a long drive leading to it from #33. There's old (useless) farm equipment stashed at the edge of the field on the north side. On the south side is The Eddy Hotel and Farm; it's a space with a converted barn for conferences and weddings and the like. For some years now, it's been one of the performance spaces used by the local professional theatre. Check out the  theatre at the Eddy for 2021.

Moving on, note the field of solar panels on the north side. Then, to the south there's an intriguing cattle farm with different enclosures for cattle, including a raised circular fenced-in area. Check to see if there are any the cattle lounging in the woods just beyond. Conley Road is 2.6 kilometres from the #33 crossing (Hallowell).

Shortly after this, there's a stretch of trail with no tree cover. On cold windy days this can be a nasty walk that will have you running for the tree protection just before Belleville Street (aka County Road #2, 4.6 km from #33), our introduction to Wellington. Then there's a little bridge just before Maple Street (5 km from #33) followed by a lane (just before the big warehouse building on the south side) that leads down across a bridge over a creek and to Maple Street proper. There's plenty of parking here behind the arena. 

Moving along, we get to peek at the backyards of Wellington residents. In short order we pass Wharf Lane and come to West Street (5.6 km from #33 crossing), where there is a nice shelter with a map, some written information and a bench. There's a toilet here and good parking. From here, stroll into town for a meal, perhaps looking out on Lake Ontario or West Lake.

3. Wellington (West Street rest area) to Danforth Road (4.5 kilometres)

Once past Wellington, you'll soon pass the Wellington Home Building Centre and then, on the left a suburban area, visible across the Wellington on the Lake Golf Course . Then, some solid trees line the trail, with paths for golf carts  on the west side. I'm not a golfer, but this course is intriguing, snaking along amidst the forest. Just when you think the course is behind you, there;s'a a little bridge over Hubbs Creek, followed by a path leading off to the 6th and 7th tee.

Continuing north, there's a spur trail branching off to the Karlo Estates and Hubbs Creek vineyards. I haven't yet walked either, but the signs indicate both wineries are less than a kilometre away.

As you pass Geer Road and then Danforth Road, you can see the vinyards stetching off to the east. Note the Heal With Horses Therapy Centre just to the west of the trail.

4. Danforth Road to Loyalist Parkway (12.5 kilometres)

North of Danforth, the trail enters Hubbs Creek Provincially Significant Wetland. This is perhaps the highlight of the entire trail along with the Slab Street Significantly Significant Wetland that almost immediately follows. Along the trail are signs to help you interpret what you are seeing. Check out the signs before you go and be prepared!

According to PEC trail information, "There are two types of wetlands in the Hubbs Creek/Slab Creek sections of the Millennium Trail – a swamp, which is a wetland dominated by trees; and a marsh which is a wetland usually dominated by grasses and sedges." You'll see both in short order here. This is one of the joys of a rail-to-trail: it allows us to get a glimpse of places we'd never be able to walk through normally. It's only about 3 kilometres long if that, but it's a gem.

Following Station Street (that leads into the hamlet of Hillier), you cross a stream and continue with marshy bits to the right and woods on the left. Fields and farms also feature once more north of Station Road. After Palmer Burris Road the trail curves to the righr and crosses County Road #1. This is a great road to access the trail, by the way. Coming from the east, it makes for a great drive through countryside and hamlets.

The trail now crosses over Consecon Lake. This is the most ambitious bridge on the trail. To their credit, the Prince Edward County Trail Riders Snowmobile Club have taken on much of the maintenance. Admittedly, machines also visibly grind the bridge surface, which was quite evident when I walked it.

The next section passes to the east of the village of Consecon. After one of my walks, I drove around Consecon (it doesn't take long!) and promised to walk the streets there soon. I've yet to do it, but the village is charming and worth a stroll for sure.

5. Loyalist parkway (north of Consecon) to Fort Kente Road (6.8 kilometres)

The trail then crosses Loyalist Parkway and you can get a glimpse of the lake beyond the cottges. The cottages themselves are not ostentatious and reminiscent of a past time. Lets hope they can stay that way, without being devoured by developers. From the parkway to Blakely Road it's 1.7 kilometres and from the parkway to Smokes Road, 4.7 kilometres.

Beyond the cottages and homes is more marsh, with the lake spreading out beyond it. Smokes Point Road and Harbord lane have interesting little communities near the lake and are worth investigating. The trail itself is not particularly interesting here, so take some time to check out the homes and the landscape closer to the lake.

And then. 1.3 kilometres from Harbord Lane—you're done! Of course you could walk farther to the canal (another 9 kilometres), which would be the most fitting end to this trail. However, this section is not interesting. The section just beyond County Road 64 is distressing. Thank goodness it survives, despite housing development immediately to the east. How long the wodds just before Shore Road at the canal last is anybody's guess.

To get to Forte Kente Road, take #64 south-west to Gardenville Road, which heads south-east. At this point, #64 makes a sharp turn north-westerly, but keep going straight onto Fort Kente Road (the oldest Road in Ontario) and you'll be at the end of the trail in short order.

A good page for finding restaurants, wineries, craft stores etc. can be found here.
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Page created: July 13, 2021
Walked: March 10-14, 2021