A little trail intro
The Walter Bean Trail meanders along the banks of the Grand River, and the tri-cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge all house entry points. The trail stretches 76km in total but it’s easy to tackle different segments on which city you’re starting from. Some stretches will bring you through heritage farmland and wetlands while others will pass towns and historic villages.
A multi-use space
The trail and road surfaces of Walter Bean have a delicate and intentional relationship as it was designed for multi-use. Because the trail is broken up with sections of roadway, you can expect to share your run with cyclists, people rollerblading and casual walkers in the warmer months.
The southern route
Try starting your run at the Walter Bean Trailhead, the southernmost point of the trail on the edge of Cambridge. As part of the Musagetes Pathway, this entry point leads to well-marked and maintained paths where you’ll run by limestone cliffs and Carolinian forests of oak, black walnut and red maple. You can expect a comfortable 5.5km running route through the historic village of Blair to end at the Record Heritage Trailpoint.
The northern route
One of Waterloo’s best-kept secrets (so much so that many locals don’t even know its proper name) and a northern entry point for the trail, Snyder’s Flats is a local watering hole for people and their adventure dogs. The area’s grown in popularity over the past few years, so on a sunny summer afternoon you may find a few dozen people venturing into the water – or you may be treated to a solo visit. If you continue north on the trail from here, you’ll pass by RIM Park before entering the charming township of Woolwich.