Length – 72 km (one way)
95% rail trail path
5% road crossings, detours
Elevation – This is a flat section of Ontario.
Terrain – Fine crushed stone, gravel, with paved asphalt in towns.
Skill – Easy
Maps – Map board at parking lots, with plenty of signage on the route.
Traffic – Very light use by bicycles, hikers, horseback riders, and snowmobiles in winter.
Facilities – Large parking lots, outhouses, picnic benches, bike racks, benches on the route.
Highlights – Some farms, bridge at Plantagenet, the train station in Bourget.
Trail Fee – Free
Phone – 1 800 361 7439
Local Clubs – Ottawa Bicycle Club
Access – Parking lots at the Rail Trail Pavilions:
- Ottawa – Anderson Rd. Hwy 27
- Hammond – Hwy 21
- Bourget – Levis St. and Etienne St.
- Plantagenet – Hwy 9
- Vankleek Hill – Hwy 34
- St. Eugene – Mill St.
Other parking areas are located (from east to west) at Cassburn Road (Vankleek Hill), Caledonia Springs Road (Alfred), Station Road (Alfred), County Road 2 (Cobb Lake, Bourget) and Drouin Road (Hammond).
History – After 1872, the Montreal & City of Ottawa Junction Railway (M&OJ) would run south-east from Ottawa to Coteau, QC, just west of Montreal.
It eventually sent trains to Vermont with grain and wood products. But first, there had to be a bridge built across the mighty St. Lawrence and that was a challenge to complete for many years.
In 1898, it became the Canada Atlantic Railway run by tycoon J.R. Booth. Within 10 years this was sold to the Grand Trunk Railroad which eventually was owned by CP Rail.
The City of Ottawa signed an agreement with VIA Rail to build this recreational trail in 2011. (VIA can claim it back at any time for rail service if needed.)