Archie Coulter Conservation Area
46900 Brouwer’s Line – south of hwy 3 at Orwell
Dalewood Conservation Area
Referenced from Hwy. 401: Take exit 189, Highbury Ave. South for approx. 14 km and turn right on Ron McNeil Line at the traffic lights, continue approx. 2.5 km and just past a big dip in the road turn left on Dalewood Drive, follow this till you arrive at a single lane bridge, cross and immediately turn left into a small parking area.
Dan Patterson Conservation Area
Referenced from Hwy. 401: Take exit 189, Highbury Ave. South for approx. 13 km. Just past Ferguson Line the highway crosses a cement bridge and immediately after you turn left on Mapleton Line. The Dan Patterson Area is on your left with a small parking lot.
Elgin Hiking Trail – 41 km.
Port Stanley along Kettle Creek to St Thomas and along Dodd Creek to Southdel Line.
Referenced from Hwy. 401: Take exit 177 south and proceed on Highway 4 to Port Stanley, Ontario. After entering the village of Port Stanley turn right at the first traffic light, cross the bridge, follow the road ahead and turn left at the next intersection (William Street) towards the beach on Lake Erie.
The trail starts at the beach, next to Mackie’s Restaurant, look for the
three two Post People Hikers.
Parking is available across from Mackie’s. Paid parking is in force from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week from Saturday of the Victoria Day weekend until
Thanksgiving Labour Day (changed in 2014).
Many access points are available off Hwy. 4 on all cross roads south of St. Thomas, Ontario ie Southdale Line, John Wise Line, Fruit Ridge Line, Sparta Line. The two trails veering off to the right on the map are side trails and the trail markers their are blue.
E. M. Warwick Conservation Area
26135 Warwick Line, follow Talbot Trail (Hwy 3) east from Eagle, take McKillop Side Road south for 3 km.
Fingal Wildlife Management Area
34469 Fingal Line
Kirk-Cousins Management Area
(Day use permit required)
Lake Margaret Trail
Lake Whittaker Conservation Area
5840 Whittaker Lane, Harrietsville
Port Burwell Provincial Park
9 Wilson Lane
29424 Lakeview Line
Springwater Conservation Area
8079 Springwater Road
The Trans Canada Trail is a 16,000 km dream, connecting Canadians between three oceans, the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. The vision emerged from the celebration of Canada’s 125th year in 1992.
By 1993, the Trans Canada Trail Foundation were on a search for local organizers and had started fund raising. They encouraged Canadians to donate $36 a metre. I remember that, and donated, as did the Elgin Hiking Trail Club, as marked in the TCT Pavilion at Station Parkette, across from the CASO Station downtown. The concepts are exciting. It echoes two sentiments, mutual respect and love for our country, cornerstone values upon which this trail is being built.
It will be the World’s Longest Recreational Trail when completed hopefully by 2017, the year of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. It is a multi-use trail. The five main uses include walking, cycling, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. That is where the Elgin Hiking Trail is different.
The Elgin Hiking trail is for HIKING only. None of the other uses are permitted. We are connected to the Legacy of Ontario Hiking Trails, including the Bruce Trail. Interestingly our trail runs basically north/south along Kettle Creek. The Trans Canada Trail runs east/west through Southwestern Ontario. So they intersect in St. Thomas. We both follow a short piece on Sunset Drive. Interesting too, that a movement has started up to make an elevated park on the old trestle bridge that crosses Sunset Drive and old Talbot Street. The bridge has been purchased but is still fenced off to the public.
The Elgin Hiking Trail has access under the bridge, on the west side of the Creek. The trail heads northwest to Payne’s Mills, 10 km and it goes 2 km south around the old horse farm, before using one km of Sunset Road. The old trestle bridge, is about the middle marker on the Elgin Trail. It is 21 km north to Southdel Line, where it connects with the Thames Valley Trail. It is 20 km south to Mackie’s at the beach in Port Stanley, the southern extent of the Elgin Hiking Trail.
Brian Wilsdon, August 21, 2012.