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  1. #1
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    Trans-Canada Trail

    Recently I decided to try following the Trans-Canada Trail for the first time. According to the map, I should be able to get on the trail near my house in Waterloo and follow it as far as Guelph -- this is where the trail stops and the proposed section has yet to be built. As it turns out, the Laurel Trail I use to get to work is actually one of the trans-canada sections.

    But I never made it to Guelph, or even out of town. The trail was impossible to follow. Numerous times, the trail would drop off with no sign of where it picks up again. I kept on going to my phone so I could consult a map and see where to go to follow the trail. For the ride through town, much of the trail, as it was marked on the map, was just a city street.

    I didn't find a real trail; just a lot of hype and a mirage. I grant that it isn't complete yet, but the section I was trying to follow was supposedly finished. Has anybody else tried following this trail? Since trail sections are done locally, I suppose that there would be better and worse parts of the trail made by different municipalities.

  2. #2
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
    Recently I decided to try following the Trans-Canada Trail for the first time. According to the map, I should be able to get on the trail near my house in Waterloo and follow it as far as Guelph -- this is where the trail stops and the proposed section has yet to be built. As it turns out, the Laurel Trail I use to get to work is actually one of the trans-canada sections.

    But I never made it to Guelph, or even out of town. The trail was impossible to follow. Numerous times, the trail would drop off with no sign of where it picks up again. I kept on going to my phone so I could consult a map and see where to go to follow the trail. For the ride through town, much of the trail, as it was marked on the map, was just a city street.

    I didn't find a real trail; just a lot of hype and a mirage. I grant that it isn't complete yet, but the section I was trying to follow was supposedly finished. Has anybody else tried following this trail? Since trail sections are done locally, I suppose that there would be better and worse parts of the trail made by different municipalities.
    I don't think there is a way to do it entirely off road, but there is a trail from Waterloo to St. Jacobs. From there, you can go the back road to Elmira and take the Kissing Bridge Trail. I don't know for sure if the trail is complete into Guelph, but the old CPR line that it follows went from Guelph to Goderich. The literature says it goes from Guelph to Millbank, but I have not ridden the entire length so I don't know for sure that is true.
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  3. #3
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    There are some bridges out on the Kissing Bridge Trail, so some on-road diversions (or stream fordings) are required. Also, the maintenance gets much worse toward Millbank.

    I agree that the TCT can be difficult to follow, and is somewhat disappointing in the sense that so much of it is on-road, especially through cities.

  4. #4
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aglauser View Post
    There are some bridges out on the Kissing Bridge Trail, so some on-road diversions (or stream fordings) are required. Also, the maintenance gets much worse toward Millbank.

    I agree that the TCT can be difficult to follow, and is somewhat disappointing in the sense that so much of it is on-road, especially through cities.
    Yeah. To cross the Grand river requires a detour on line 86 or through West Montrose over the kissing bridge. Unfortunately, the CPR was so concerned with liability, they removed all the bridges on the line the day after they shut down the rail line.
    Not only the bridge over the Grand, and the Wallenstein bridge, but they removed all the smaller ones over every creek and drainage ditch.
    I grew up in Floradale, a little over a mile from where the trail crosses road 19. I'm old enough to remember when the CPR ran steam trains on that line, the last of which was in 1961. The water tower and station in Elmira stood into the 70s, so they weren't too concerned about liability back then.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Yeah. To cross the Grand river requires a detour on line 86 or through West Montrose over the kissing bridge. Unfortunately, the CPR was so concerned with liability, they removed all the bridges on the line the day after they shut down the rail line.
    Not only the bridge over the Grand, and the Wallenstein bridge, but they removed all the smaller ones over every creek and drainage ditch.
    I grew up in Floradale, a little over a mile from where the trail crosses road 19. I'm old enough to remember when the CPR ran steam trains on that line, the last of which was in 1961. The water tower and station in Elmira stood into the 70s, so they weren't too concerned about liability back then.
    I don't blame them. Those bridges would be nice to have, but the company doesn't deserve to get sued because some idiot dove into a creek and smashed his head open. And you know it would happen.

    I really, really like the idea of having this trail complete, but there are definitely improvements to be made on what we've done so far. My biggest problem was the lack of crystal clear directions -- I had to keep checking a map to see what way the trail would go. Now that I think of it, I'll try talking to someone at Waterloo Parks & Recreation. Maybe something will come of it.

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    I live right beside a pretty good section of rail trail that is part of the TransCanada Trail. I decided I wanted to ride to Campbelford(SP) I took off East. When I got to Peterborough I ended up finally sitting down at Wendys and surfing my phone to try to find directions to where it continued.


    It is definitely not TransCanada yet. There are plenty of stops and starts. But it is pretty cool. I ended up running out of daylight and warmth about 45 shy of where I wanted to be. But it was a good ride.


    A while after that, I had a few glasses of wine and was surfing the net, I found the Trans Canada Trail site, and sent them an email.


    Me - "Although I am a glass or two of wine into this thought, I suspect even without the wine this trail would seem disappointing. How is it the transcanada trail, when a good portion of it is disconnected and very very twisty turny. Also I did not see the trail go west, it seemed to go north . I checked, I was wrong it goes west, but still disconnected and very twisty. What is the timeline for the trail becoming complete? And more specifically if I ride to Peterborough from the west, when do I run out of trail, and when would that problem be rectified?"

    Polite TransCanada Trail Representative - "Thanks for your email. The Trail is currently about 73% complete. We are currently fundraising to complete the Trail by 2017; all donations are much appreciated and will bring us that much closer to our goal http://tctrail.ca/donate/
    You can see where the Trail goes west of Peterborough on our website http://tctrail.ca/explore-the-trail/ operational Trails are marked with a solid green line whereas proposed Trails are marked with a dashed green line.

    Have a nice day!"

    Me (Sheepishly) - "You're a good sport. I forgot about my tipsy email. I will read your reply more completely and act where I can."

    This topic has reminded me of my commitment and I will donate some funds to help with the development.

    Regards,

    Rick

    (A bridge that was left standing, between Omemee and Peterborough)
    IMG_0813.jpgIMG_0812.jpg

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