Northumberland – Rail Trail

Hastings - Stirling
Posted on August 16, 2023 / 1697
Northumberland – Rail Trail
Listing Types : Rail Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 51
Double track % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Intermediate
Terrain : sandy spots, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections, gentle hills, open field, rocky patches
Faclities : parking, food close by, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 51 = 40 + 11 km (one way)

90% rail trail path
10% road crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat, gradually descending eastward

Terrain – Rougher ATV ruts worn in, gravel, loose aggregate, stones, puddles

Skill – Intermediate

Maps – Signs for ATVs and snowmobiles mark the distances

Traffic – Cyclists, walkers/hikers, horseback riders, ATVs, snowmobiles

Facilities – Parking lots, washrooms,

Highlights – Ranney Falls and long suspension bridge, Trent River locks, rolling scenic hills, Hastings, Stirling

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – 905 372 3329

Website – Northumberland Tourism, Trans Canada Trail

Similar Trails – Trail of Two Lakes RT, Tay Havelock RT, Victoria South RT

Local Clubs – None

Access – At rail crossing on side roads and these suggested lots:

Station St, Stirling

Burnbrae Rd E, Campbellford

Ferris Provincial Park, Campbellford

Bridge St & Dit Clapper Dr, Hastings

For this review, I’m combining the 40 km Northumberland Rail Trail with the next 11 km short segment that goes through Stirling to meet the Trail of Two Lakes RT.

This was all part of the Grand Junction Railway back in the day. I’ll start on the west side of the RT, heading out of Hastings, where the scenery continues to be beautiful just like the Lang Hastings RT, but the path does get rougher.

On this RT, motorized ATVs and snowmobiles are allowed, so you will find larger stones and loose gravel on a somewhat rutted double-tracked path. I don’t want to make it sound impassable, but just make you aware that you need a sturdy gravel/hybrid or mountain bike for this Intermediate RT ride. Wider tires and preferably shocks or a spring loaded seat post will help to soften the rough patches.

This Rail trail winds through hundreds of ancient hilly glacial deposits from when the ice sheet was over 2 km thick 20,000 years agocan you picture that? It makes for a less than straight route (all the better, if you ask me).

You probably won’t need any bug spray, but do pull out the sunscreen, as this farm country tour has little shade.

This idyllic country ride passes many wetlands and rolling farm fields, with cattle and sheep staring at you and your odd wheeled contraption. After an hour or so, you’ll be closing in on Campbellford, which sits on the Trent River. Here you will cross over the locks and an impressive suspension bridge to view Ranney Falls, the highlight of this RT.

The bridge takes you to Ferris Provincial Park, where you could camp. It also takes you around on a detour out of town to meet the continuation of the RT. The connection is a little disjointed, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

You could also go north when you see the water to visit Campbellford, a medium-size community where you can have a meal, play the tourist by doing the river walk, or stay over. The bike path on Trent Dr by the water’s edge is lovely.

Over the distance of this RT, you will notice a …

Read the rest of this review and 59 others in my NEW book, Volume 2 of Best Bicycle Park & Rail Trails in Ontario.

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Northumberland Rail Trail Map

Northumberland Rail Trail Map

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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
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