There are several trails within the township, some are hiking only, some are multi-use. The two longest trails are the Rideau Trail, extending from Kingston to Ottawa and the Cataraqui Trail, part of the Trans-Canada trail system, extending from Strathcona to Smiths Falls.
The Cataraqui Trail is a multi-use trail on the former CN rail line from Smiths Falls to Strathcona, just north of Napanee. The trail is 104 kilometres long and begins at the south end of Smiths Falls. Along its route, it passes through a number of communities including Portland, Chaffeys Lock, Sydenham and Harrowsmith.
Cycling, walking, and horseback riding are permitted uses during the spring, summer and fall. During the winter months when there is sufficient snow, the trail is groomed for snowmobiling and is open to snowmobilers bearing a current Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trail permit. It is also open in the winter to cross-country skiers and walkers. Motorized vehicles such as cars, ATVs and motor bikes are not allowed on the trail.
The Trail is managed by the Cataraqui Trail Management Board and maintained by community volunteers. Memberships and donations help to keep the Trail open. Income tax receipts are issued for all memberships and donations. The other way to help keep the Trail open is to volunteer some of your time.
You can find more information about the Trail on their web site www.cataraquitrail.ca or call (613) 546-4228 ext. 304 or toll free 1-877-956-CRCA ext. 304 and leave a message. A volunteer will return your call within a few days.
The Rideau Trail is a footpath reserved for hikers and was established in 1971. It runs 300 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa and is maintained and improved by volunteers. It passes through Provincial Parks, conservation areas and private land. The trail meanders along lakeshores, creeks and unopened road allowances. Hikers can enjoy the trail on their own using the "Rideau Trail Guidebook" or join us for group hikes lead by experienced leaders. In winter we see scenes of pristine wilderness and snow laden pine trees. Sometimes we catch glimpses of birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Some of our members cross country ski or snowshoe. In summer, the shady paths provide a welcome respite from the heat of the city and we often stop for a swim.
The Rideau Trail Association offers three (3) hikes weekly. We meet in the Canadian Tire parking lot along Bath Rd towards the gas station. Every Wednesday we meet at 1:30 p.m. for a short hike and then stop for coffee. On the second Wednesday of the month there is a full day hike. For information on the Wednesday afternoon hikes call 613 530 2142.The full day hikes on Saturday and Sunday are more challenging averaging 8 to 20 kilometres. Car parking is arranged. Dress prepared for temperature changes. Wear sturdy boots and bring water and a lunch.
We invite you to come and hike with us. All are welcome. Upcoming events are announced in the local media. For more information call the RTA information line at 613 545 0823 or visit our website at www.rideautrail.org.
FOLEY MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION AREA
Owned and operated by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Foley Mountain Conservation Area consists of 800 acres of mixed forests, ponds, and fields. It is nestled on the top of the "mountain" overlooking the village of Westport and offers a variety of outdoor opportunities, including eight marked trails:
Scenic Spy Rock lookout
Eight marked hiking trails of varying length and difficulty including a section of the Rideau Trail and a trail accessible for people with limited mobility
Picnic areas and benches, natural swimming area on Upper Rideau Lake
Interpretive Centre open most Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm during July and August
Family nature programs most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am - 11:30 pm
Outdoor Environmental Education for schools and groups
Interpretive Centre and picnic shelter rentals available and a group campground that can be reserved by organized youth groups
For more information about Foley Mountain CA contact Rebecca Whitman, Area Supervisor
A local heritage trail located in Chaffeys Locks. Look for the trail entrance just before the lock off County Road 9 between two flower planters. Follow the forested short walk to the Chaffeys Locks cemetery. Here are cut rocks Col. By decided were not worthy for use by the canal builders, but have become a memorial wall for residents and visitors. The cemetery has 72 graves of canal workers that came from many different lands. Although no longer maintained by Parks Canada, the Marion Dunn Trail is open to the public to use at their own risk
Located off Stanley Lash Lane in Morton will offer hikers who want a challenge a good 2 to 3 hour hike. Rough terrain, steep hills, rocks to
manoeuvre and a spectacular view is owned and operated by the Rideau Waterway Land Trust. At the parking lot visitors will see a map depicting the various trails offered and an “Honest John” donation box. The trail is a carry-in carry-out site and is suitable from sunrise to sunset. No fires are permitted.
The lockstation at Jones Falls hosts a number of loops in and around the locks. A trail from the parking lot will give you access to the Stone Arch Dam - a site well worth visiting. A mre robust trail offers the hiker a trip from the lockmasters station, along rocky terrain that runs parallel to the turning basin to the blacksmiths shop.
MILL POND CONSERVATION AREA
At the end of Britton-Houghton Bay Road is the Mill Pond Conservation Area. Low undulating hills, forest, water views and a trail to the Lime Kiln provides you with a relaxing but worthy hike. Bring your picnic lunch and your snow shoes! Enjoy this wee bit of paradise.
This is a Rideau Waterway Land Trust property which offers an easy hike amongst magnificent Butternut, Sugar Maple, White Pine and Bitternut trees. It has abundance of wildlife and bird life and is located off Davis Lock Road just west of the junction of Sleepy Hollow Road across from Chaffeys Locks on Opinicon Lake.