Opening of New Side Trail in Toronto Section

Opening of New Side Trail in Toronto Section

Volunteers were out on Saturday, June 25 to do the final blazing and posting of direction signs on the newly created Trafalgar SideTrail.

This new 1.6 km trail starts at the Duff Pit Side trail, heads northwest and crosses Highway 7 at the intersection with Trafalgar Rd, eventually connects to the Great Esker Side trail. The Duff Pit Side Trail has been shorted to 1.3 km, where it intersects with the new Trafalgar Trail, and the newly named Reservoir Side Trail, now a 1.2 km loop around the old Georgetown reservoir (and formerly the southwest portion of the Duff Pit Side Trail.

The new Trafalgar Side Trail features a beautiful walk through a restored aggregate pit, with lush meadows, prairie grass, wildflowers, shrubs, and a wooded area with a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees.

A big thank you to Peter Pritchard of the Toronto Club for successfully orchestrating the purchase of the Duff Pit property a few years ago, said Laurent Thibault, Trail Director. He added: “Thanks to all the volunteers who were out numerous times over the past couple of years to plan and clear the trail; and to all the staff at the BTC for their help and support, including Scott Langley of the Bruce Trail Conservancy who did the final step of designing and supplying all the new signs.

Hikers should be aware that parking access to the new trail is only from official parking areas on the Eighth Line, Sixth Line and Scotsdale Farm. It is unsafe to park on Highway 7. Also be extremely cautious when crossing the new Trail where it intersects with Highway 7 and Trafalgar Road (at the lights).

According to one of our unofficial trail historians, Barry Westhouse, the new Trafalgar Side Trail is a variation of the original Bruce Trail. It was closed and rerouted about 20 years ago through to Scotsdale Farm, where the main train still is located, said Barry.

The BTC has updated the BTC Trail App and its website to inform hikers of this new piece of trail.

Shown in the photo, from left to right, are long-time volunteers Paul Vanhanen, Rose Mary Mitter, and Dave Paape who were delighted to declare the trail safe and open to hikers.