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The Trans-Canada Trail: Ontario

The Trans-Canada Trail incorporates a number of trails across Canada, many with distinctive characteristics that make parts of this trail world-class and parts rather unfriendly to walkers.

While the dream is a coast-to-coast trail, it has many breaks. Sections end and the trail picks up again to the north or south, with little bits here and there. I'll try to make "unofficial" connections between sections when I can.

The official site envisions 24,000 kilometres of trail, with "nearly" 17,00 kilometres completed (2013 estimate from the trail's official site).

The sections I have walked in the area of central Ontario that I live in are disappointing. Abandoned rail beds can be (but are not always) straight and boring; however, they are not a complete loss as they pass through some beautiful terrain. Sections near me allow motorized vehicles which make them potentially dangerous and they have low air quality if there is a steady flow of vehicles.

On the other hand, sections like the Voyageur Hiking Trail or in more developed areas in the south sound exciting and I'm anxious to give them a try.

The official Trans Canada Trail site has a great trail locater map that will pinpoint trails and lead you to pages that will give you more specific information on sections of the trail. It's an essential tool, as some sections of the trail are not marked as the Trans Canada Trail. it's beyond me why one unmarked road links one part of the trail to another and yet at another spot the trail breaks off and doesn't officially link to another section via a road.

It seems that the "multi-use" nature of parts of the trail does not encourage fervent allegiance to it by walkers at least, in the same way as (say) the Appalachian Trail in the United States acts as a kind of Mecca for walkers. As long as vehicles are allowed in sections, the charm of a coast-to-coast-trail  is weakened. Still, perhaps as the trail develops, it can incorporate sections for non-motorized activities only and leave the road-like trails to the vehicles.

Check out my page on rails to trails if you want more information on rail companies that built and ran some of the rail lines described.

The Trans Canada Trail in Ontario
Sections walked are described from east to west.

Sharbot Lake to Kaladar
Kaladar to Tweed
Tweed to Bonarlaw
Bonarlaw to Campbellford
Campbellford to Hastings

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Page Created: February 3, 2009
Updated: October 11, 2013