Length – 17 km (one way)
90% rail trail path
10% road crossings, detours
Elevation – Flat as a pancake, with one notable small hill.
Terrain – All asphalt, smooth wide path, well maintained, many road crossings, and seldom busy. Entrance gates are a tight squeeze to thread.
Skill – Easy cruising.
Maps – Map boards, and plenty of signs (most facing west?).
Traffic – Busy on nice days, with bicycles, hikers, dogs, rollerbladers, X-country skiers. Watch for turtles!
Facilities – Parking on street, toilets, benches, picnic tables, places to buy snacks, refill water bottles, outhouses and bike repair stations, eateries, lodging nearby.
Highlights – More of a fancy Park ride, scenic views of the bay and wetlands, historic Ste. Marie among the Hurons in the area.
Trail Fee – Free
Phone – 705 534 7248
Access – Car parking lots in Waubaushene, on Coldwater Rd. off Hwy 400, Albert St. in Victoria Harbour, Trestle Park on Hwy 12, Sainte Marie fort, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre.
History – This Rail line was built around 1879 with 5 flag stations on the route between Orillia and Midland. One of them, at Sturgeon Bay, would wave a flag (or lantern at night) to have the train stop for passengers.
The line served local lumber mills and connected with the busy shipping ports of Port McNicoll, Midland and Penatang to move freight inland to the southeast.
In 1912 during a blinding snowstorm, a train rear-ended another causing much damage and crew deaths.
The last Canadian National Railways steam locomotive ran on October 1958 and then sold for scrap.
Much later in 2007, this route opened as part of the Trans Canada Trail as a paved recreational path.