CAMBRIDGE TO PARIS RAIL-TRAIL
Between Cambridge and Paris, Ontario, Canada
ABOUT THE TRAIL
Opened on July 24, 1994, the Cambridge to Paris Rail-Trail is a 19 km (12 mile) recreational hiking and bicycling trail, along the east side of The Grand - A Canadian Heritage River, on abandoned right-of-way of the former Lake Erie & Northern Railway. This electrically operated rail line once ran from Galt (now Cambridge) to Port Dover on the north shore of Lake Erie. The Grand River Conservation Authority operates the trail which is part of the Trans-Canada Trail Network.
In October 1998 the 10 km (6.2 mile) S C Johnson Paris to Brantford Trail was officially opened.
TRAIL ACCESS POINTS
CAMBRIDGE - parking area beside GTO Gas Bar Highway 24 (south entrance to Cambridge).
GLEN MORRIS - parking area at end of Washington St.
PARIS - parking area East River Road/Willow Street.
DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAIL
Highway 401 to exit 282 and take highway 24 South. Stay on highway 24 South to the south end of Cambridge. Entrance to the trail is on west side of the road (across from the entrance to Churchill Park).
A map of the area is available by clicking HERE.
SOME POINTS OF INTEREST ALONG THE TRAIL
0.0 - CAMBRIDGE PARKING AREA - Parking area for 20 cars plus an interpretive display kiosk. Snacks and washrooms are available in the nearby GTO Gas Bar.
1.0 - GRAND RIVER FLOODPLAIN - An area of the river that is quite often flooded in the spring.
3.0 - THE FOOTBRIDGE - The original bridge at this location was indeed a footbridge. Today a modern concrete structure carries road traffic across the river.
4.6 - FRESHWATER SPRING - A good spot to get a drink of cold spring water that is regularly tested for quality.
9.1 - GLEN MORRIS STATION PARKING AREA - The second of two bridges crossing the Grand River, between Cambridge and Paris, is located here. The road crossing over the bridge is the best road to take in order to reach the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area for camping. Proceed west along this road until you reach Hwy. 24A. Turn left (south) at this point. The conservation area is approximately 2 km (1-1/2 miles) down the road.
The Glen Morris General Store is a short three block walk up the road and to the left (east) where you will find washrooms, drinks and snacks, etc.
10.3 - FALL COLOURS - An especially beautiful spot to view the coloured leaves of autumn.
14.4 - SPRING WATERFALL LOOKOUT - A cool, shady rest stop in the woods with a view of the river.
15.0 - GRAND VALLEY RAILWAY - The grade of the original rail line between Cambridge (then Galt) and Paris, built by the Grand Valley, may be seen from this point when the leaves are off the trees. The Lake Erie & Northern was the second rail line in the valley.
15.6 - GENERATING STATION - The Grand Valley Railway, being an electric line, had to supply its own electricity as it was built before Ontario Hydro came into existance. Ruins of the old coal powered generating station can be seen here when the leaves are off the trees.
15.9 - THE MURRAY OUTLOOK - Visable here are the ruins of a portion of the original Grand Trunk Toronto to Windsor mainline abandoned in 1933. The old bridge abutments are still visable in the river.
18.7 - PARIS PARKING LOT - South end of the trail. Downtown Paris is home to many fine shops and restaurants. Look around and enjoy a good meal before heading back towards Cambridge.
The Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail connects here with the S.C. Johnson Trail
NEARBY CAMPING AREAS
Camping along the Rail-Trail is prohibited. However, nearby Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area offers excellent facilities for all types of camping. It is located mid-way between Cambridge and Paris on Highway 24A (west side of the Grand River).
A camping area is also located in Churchill Park, Cambridge, directly across the road from the start of the trail.
For further information, please contact the Grand River Conservation Authority, 400 Clyde Road, P.O. Box 729, Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 5W6, Phone (519) 621-2761, Fax (519) 621-4844.
LINKS TO RELATED SITES
OF POSSIBLE INTEREST
The Halton County Radial Railway Museum at Milton, Ontario have in their collection, a couple of pieces of railway equipment that used to operate on the rail line where the Cambridge to Paris Rail-Trail is now located.
This page, a private effort, is intended as an extension of my Canadian Pacific Electric Lines pages providing information on the current usage of the former Lake Erie & Northern Railway right-of-way between Cambridge and Paris. The Grand River Conservation Authority is not associated with, nor have they participated in the preparation of this page. Although every effort is made to maintain accuracy, I will not be held liable for any errors or omissions.
Last revised September 14, 2009