8) Burnbrae Road to the intersection of Grand Road and Alma Street (Campbellford)
Running Total: 66 kilometres
Burnbrae Road, you have some alternatives:
1) Take the route as described in the Trans Canada Trails "Trail Locator" page
It suggests you turn left on Burnbrae, turn left on Centre Street
(County Road 8) and walk into Ferris Provincial Park to Ranney Falls
Suspension Bridge. This is the most boring alternative.
left at Burnbrae as above, but at Centre Street cut south on a trail
that starts at the south west corner of Burnbrae and Centre
runs through Ferris Park to the suspension bridge. Park literature
lists this route as part of the Trans Canada Trail. This is far
superior to walking south down the relatively high-traffic Centre
Street. This is the route I have measured for this section which comes
in at 4.5 kilometres; the third option described below is 4 kilometres
long. I didn't walk Centre Street to Ferris Park and don't recommend it.
Continue on the trail bed on the north side of Burnbrae, then take
Cockburn and Second streets to Saskatoon Street. Turn left here and
walk along the banks of the Trent to Ranney Falls suspension bridge,
where all three choices meet. This route has some problems,
they are not insurmountable and you spend less time on boring roads.
The roads you do take are interesting and in town. It takes
close to downtown, so a quick detour for a meal or even a movie is
possible. It also takes you past a beer store, a chocolate outlet and a
(separate) chocolate factory. This is my preferred route.
If you are doing a loop here, you can combine some of these options.
trail meets Burnbrae Road (the 6th Line East) just under 1 kilometre
east of Centre Street. Head left thttp://turnstone.ca/index.phpoward Centre Street. The most
interesting spots in this section are Burnbrae Gardens
a long-term care facility on the north side of the road and the little
cemetery at little farther along on on the same side.
Centre Street, turn south. I have not walked this road, but traffic can
move at a fair clip along this section running south out of
Campbellford. The entrance to Ferris Provincial Park is 1.4 kilometres
from Burnbrae Road. Turn right here and walk back northward to the park
gates. Shortly after this, the road meets the route described in Route
#2. Head left here and follow the Route #2 description.
in Route #1, head east down Burnbrae Road. From the south-west corner
of Centre and Burnbrae, you'll see a trail heading off at an angle.
There's a bear and bear cub warning sign indicating the trail.
trail winds south along the bottom edge of a ridge (on your right).
County Road #8 is not far to your left. The path is mown grass and is
clear and easy on your feet.
After passing a sign banning
ATVs in the park, you'll turn left and face a house
of you. However, the trail turns right and continues past the
Ferris Provincial park offices. Shortly afterwards, the road branches
Stay right; the left road heads off to the front gate.
Follow the road around as it winds toward Ranney Fall Suspension
Bridge. You'll see intriguing trails heading off to the left and right
as well as a road heading southward. These trails with colours for
names need investigating; I haven't walked them, but they're definitely
on my list.
Stay with the road until it come to a "T"
intersection; this is the extension of Saskatoon Avenue (but you can't
drive north from here to the town). There are signs here pointing the
way to the bridge. Turn left and follow the road until you come to a
trail. There is a parking lot here and a field beyond it with a picnic
table off to the right; it's a good place to have a picnic.
The trail to the bridge is clear, running off to the right. Follow it
to the bridge.
you cross the bridge, it's worth taking a brief diversion north along
the trail that runs along the river's edge. You'll get some good views
of Ranney Falls to the north, the hydro outlet on the opposite bank and
the gorge itself. Not far north is a little observation spot by the
falls, where you can look at the falls safely behind a railing.
From the bridge, follow the trail as described below in Route #3.
Burnbrae Road, continue north on the rail bed. There are four cement
pylons in front of a dilapidated wire fence on the north side of the
road. You can easily find a spot to step over the fence. However, watch
the poison ivy. It's all over here, sometimes hidden in the underbrush.
The terrain is a bit rough, but stick as much as possible to the high
ground and it sorts itself out.
For a brief section, the trail
is overgrown and the poison ivy continues to be a bit of a problem.
Eventually the trail meets a farmer's double track coming from the back
of a house on Burnbrae Road. The trail is easy here, until you
meet more pylons just before crossing Dart Road.
You'll see the Dart
foam recycling factory to your right. Dart is a U.S. company with
manufacturing operations around the world. They make plastic containers
for food and other products. Most people would call the material
"Styrofoam" but Dart doesn't because that is a trademark of the Dow
Chemical Company. The generic name is polystyrene. It's been in
Campbellford since 1985.
Follow the Dart fence eastward across a
dried (in August) creek bed. If you walk close to the corn field,
there's a stretch of earth along the last line of corn where
undergrowth is considerably less; I imagine the chemicals used to kill
the weeds in the corn field are responsible for this little strip. If
you're walking this section in the height of summer, this route could
avoid the worst of the undergrowth.
As the Dart fence ends,
you'll see a little hill. Climb it to get a view of Campbellford to the
north-west. Then, skirt the hill and head along the left side of the
line of trees until you get to the wooden fences on your left
enclosing suburban gardens. The trees are a relief if you're walking on
a hot day.
Shortly after you pass along the fences, you'll have
to jog right to the edge of a bean field, as the path straight ahead
leads to someone's back yard. Skirt the bean field and walk along the
edge of the lawns and the field until you come to an open spot. I'm not
sure if this is actually a little park, but the space between houses is
enough to pass unobtrusively. Just before you reach the street, you'll
pass a little apple tree.
You are now on Elmore Street. Jog
right to get to Cockburn Street and walk westward to Centre Street,
where you'll find a beer store. It's nicely placed if you are in the
middle of a hot walk. They have only one brand of beer you can buy in
single bottles: a polish beer called Zywiec.
If you buy a bottle, don't open it immediately, because you'll soon be
passing The World's Finest Chocolate
outlet, where all kinds of candy is sold. Continue down Cockburn which
turns into 2nd Street. The World's Finest Chocolate. is on the south
side of the street. The Chicago-based company has had its Canadian
operations in Campbellford since 1958.
company (at least in Canada) has focused on providing chocolates for
schools and charities to use as fundraisers. However, schools recently
have focused more on flogging healthy stuff and shied away from
chocolates, which has hurt the company.
Now here's the weird
part: Immediately to the west of the World's Finest is
Chocolate, with a plant in Campbellford since 2006.. According to this
the finest chocolate in the world. They are also based in Chicago. They
also say they are "North America's largest processor of cocoa beans and
ingredient chocolate" The Campbellford plant ships most of
product south of the border.
Meanwhile, World's Finest ships its product in from Chicago. And they
say capitalists thrive on efficiency. I'm not convinced...
I bought the Chicago chocolate. A really nice saleswoman gave me a
frozen bottle of water to put in my pack so my chocolate almonds (two
for the price of one!) wouldn't melt. The World's Finest have a single
open room with all their products. In a second room, women stand by
tables packaging the product as it streams in from Chicago.
to the street: continue down Second Street to Saskatoon Avenue. Have a
few chocolates on the way. If it's a sunny day, glory in the day and
ignore the fact that the World's Finest is not, in fact, the world's
finest by a long stretch. Crack your bottle of Zywiec and note that
these Polish folks make an OK beer, nice and light for a hot day, but
again, far from remarkable. Maybe I should have stuck with my Sir
Perry's Pear Cider in my backpack, which is
finest. Never fear! It's upward and onward to Saskatoon Avenue.
Head left down Saskatoon. The road passes the Trent River control dam.
Notice the soccer pitches on your left.
the way, to back up a bit, you can try to track part of the old rail
bed by heading south down Centre Street at the beer store. Go right at
1st Street and then cut back north on King until the street runs out.
Turn left before the fence.
Follow the fence left until you can
squeeze out onto the road and follow the road west past the back of the
chocolate factory and up a little hill into the parking lot of a small
set of apartments. Then cut straight through a bit of brush onto the
soccer pitches and finally on to Saskatoon Road.
rail bed is not at all clear. You can imagine bits here and there, but
you have to skirt sections where there are now buildings and fences, so
it's not the most instructive of walks.
However you get here, at
the dam you must make a short diversion to climb the hill to
shore of the river. The Canadian Tire on the opposite bank mars the
view a bit.
You can just make out the
abutments to the old railway bridge here just to the west
Saskatoon Avenue in Campbellford, near the soccer pitches. The rail bed
is pretty well
as it passes through the town; this is a last reminder. On a warm
summer evening, this
fine place to pass the time. (Photo July 20, 2009)
if you squint a lot or sit with one of the old railway abutments
blocking the unsightly stuff, you can create a good view. It's a good
peaceful spot to pause.
Continue down Saskatoon. The river below
the dam does change. A sign warns you to stay off the river bed. It's
wise counsel. I've seen the river bed almost dry; I've also
it gushing with white water after they've opened the dams.
your left is a youth centre and a skate park. The latter was in the
middle stages of construction when I passed by in August, 2009. A sign
indicated that fundraisers were still quite a way from their goal for
several recreational projects.
On down Saskatoon, you'll notice
some grand houses on your left before the road ends at a gate that
announces that Ferris Park is very near
Past the gate, the trail
turns into a pleasant path that winds to the old front gate of Ferris
Park. Saskatoon Avenue, (which is not drivable at this point), heads up
a slight incline. However, the riverside path is more interesting. It
winds about until it reaches a little platform near the water where you
can view Ranney Falls. From the platform, climb the hill to an open
grassy spot where you can rest at a bench and get another view of the
falls. Then the trail winds a bit farther to the bridge.
bridge is fun. It sways slightly, especially if there are a few people
on it. As you get to the centre, you get great views of the falls and
the sides of the gorge both to the north and to the south. The north
part of the river has a few rapids that whitewater canoe enthusiasts
can ponder over, while the south view is more ponderous as the river
winds down to reconnect with the Trent Canal that runs just to the west.
The Ranney Fall suspension bridge.
canal and the hydro dam draw the water they need from the river. The
hydro dam spits the water back through a gorge cut into the
near the hydro plant..
From the bridge, the trail runs by the
hydro generating plant to the right. If you cut right, you can walk
down a road into a little gully and see the water as it rushes out from
beneath the main building. Then at the front of the building,
notice the "forebay" area — a constructed pond in front of the main
After that it's over the bridge, with a look to the
left to see the Trent-Severn Waterway Locks Number 11 and 12. Then turn
right along Trent Road. Jog slightly right to get on the Rotary Trail
which follows the canal around until you get to the Rotary's gazebo
that sits between Grand Road (the main southbound road out of
Campbellford) and the canal-side Rotary Trail. There's a sign here that
gives you a quick history of Campbellford.
1.3 kilometres from the gazebo to Alma Street, along the Rotary
Trail which takes you along the west side of the canal. On a nice
day, this can be a pleasant walk along a path of fine gravel, although
traffic noise is always present.
The Trent-Severn Canal, Campbellford, looking south from the west bank.
your left, the Houses of Grand Street turn from relatively modern
suburban to some grand old 19th-century brick homes. Across the canal,
Trent Drive is lined with standard suburban homes.
The Trent-Severn Canal (see Wikipedia for a general description
is 386 kilometres long, operated by Parks Canada, and used for
recreational boating. Since the canal requires a relatively consistent
water level, it draws from lakes and human-made reservoirs to maintain
A look northward from the west side of the Trent-Severn Canal in Campbellford. This
shot gives a good idea of the Rotary Trail. It runs between the canal and Grand Road
(seen just to the left in the photo) on a small strip of greenery. The abutments in the canal
are from the old bridge that used to carry the Grand Junction Railway. The Trans Canada will
pick up the rail bed again just west of Alma Road.
is competition for water use cottagers, canal users and the plants and
animals living on or near the waterways. The loss of forests and
marshes because of urban and agricultural development has made water
retention is an ongoing problem. The priority of the canal's needs has
caused problems for cottagers and wildlife on reservoir lakes many
miles from the canal itself.
Have a look at the "erratic" or Gabbro boulder
installed along the trail. (This link gives a detailed history of the rock. See the rest of the site — Turnstone.ca
— if you're interested in things geological, both local and otherwise.)
An "erratic boulder" can be found beside the Rotary Trail in Campbellford. Notice the
old railway abutments in the canal in the background.
At Alma Street, turn left. The
Canadian Tire will be on your left on the west side of Grand Road. It
sits on the land the Grand Junction Railway once ran. We'll rejoin the
Grand Junction rail bed shortly.
On to the next section: Campbellford to HastingsBack
the previous section: Bonarlaw to Campbellford
Back to the Ontario Trans
Canada Trail main page
Rating: Burnbrae and Centre roads:
; Rail sections, and Ferris Park (road sections):
; Campbellford streets, riverside trail sections and Ranney bridge sections:
Walked: August 11, 28, 2009 How to get there:
Campbellford is just under 28 kilometres north of the Highway #401 at
the County Road #30 cutoff. (Brighton is signposted as being south, but
you'll be heading north.) County Road #30 is 134 kilometres east
from the Don Valley
and Highway #401 in Toronto and 15 kilometres west of the Highway #401 Trenton
As you come into the town, watch out for the
gazebo on the right, and the Rotary trail along the Trent Canal, which
will pinpoint the trail. If you want to get to Ferris Provincial Park,
continue north up #30 (which is now Grand Road) up to the lights and
the bridge, turn right over the bridge and head through town.
Drive up the hill to Centre Street and turn right. Drive just over two kilometres to the gates of the park.
get to Saskatoon Avenue along the Trent River near the back of Ferris
Park, turn right at Front Street immediately on the east side of the
Campbellford bridge. Stay right as the streets head south until you
flow into Saskatoon Avenue. There's a small parking spot at the
gate just before the road turns into a trail.