Speed River – Park / Rail Trail

Guelph, Ontario
Posted on June 16, 2018 / 6647
Speed River – Park / Rail Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail / Rail Trail
Location : Western Ontario
Total Trail Km : 8
Park Path % : 95
Road % : 5
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : smooth soil, paved, flat sections, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length –  7 + 2 km (one way)

95% park path
5 % road, detours

Elevation – gradual incline as it follows the Speed River, road/bridge crossings

Terrain – most is paved, some interlocking brick, gets a bit rough and natural on the north end

Skill – easy

Maps – sign posts and maps

Facilities – local amenities in town, benches

Highlights – bridges, river, old buildings, forest setting, dam

Trail Fee – free

Phone – 519-822-1260

Website –  City of Guelph

Similar Trails – Greenway,  Beltline, Thames Valley

Local Clubs – GORBA

Access – Parking Riverside Park, Guelph Lake dam

Right from the heart of downtown Guelph runs a 7 km Park/Rail trail that leads all the way out to Guelph Lake. This is one of the Royal Recreation Trail routes, which follows the Speed River to the dam at the lake.

The route is a mix of old rail line, parkland, and forest, with five road and bridge crossings. Following the river makes this a comfortable and flat, yet long, ride if one does the full length and back (16 km).

The scenery is indeed varied and enjoyable. Starting from downtown, at Wyndham St. S. and Wellington St. E., the Downtown Trail (as locals call it) works its way from there and up the riverbank.

The path passes by old stone buildings (some in ruins) and through parklands, providing glimpses of the slow-flowing river on the right. One can see old homes and industries while travelling on behind the buildings.

As an urban Rail Trail, some of the route runs parallel to train tracks that I believe are still in use. After George St. a short 2 km of the trail splits off west and into… 


Read more of this review in my trail guidebook, plus 64 others. Featuring better maps, more parking locations and elevation graphs. Available as an eBook or paperback.

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