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The Glen Gavel / Benson Rd (Cobourg) Trail Review
This is another local “not listed anywhere” No Exit loop trail. Another trail that just carries on after you hit the No Exit sign. This one is just North and slightly East of Port Hope, off Hwy 28. As per usual, there are two parallel trails from No Exit roads separated by 2 paved roads making a square loop trail. The 2 roads that have to be walked to link the trails are not major routes and are generally quiet.
I would recommend you begin the loop at the North end of Glen Gavel Rd. as that is the steepest hill of the whole loop, and it’s much nicer to go downhill steeply at the beginning of a walk, than to have to crawl up the last hill to get to your car after a coupla hours walking. You can leave your car on Gibbs Rd (also a No Exit) directly across from the Glen Gavel opening in the trees (which is really all it is, there’s no “road” visible).
As stated, the beginning at Glen Gavel is the roughest part of the loop, but that only means you can’t walk side-by-side for the first few minutes of the trail. There’s an obvious slight detour alongside a cornfield anyway. Once past the rough patch, the walking is pretty easy. I spotted gooseberry bushes along the way. The trail is typical of the No Exit trails of Southern Ontario. Cool, quiet canopied areas interspersed with open vistas presenting crop fields as far as the eye can see. A pleasant breeze wafting across the hills, before plunging you back into the cool shadowed forest. Ranger and I have spotted wild turkeys in the remote fields this trail wanders through.
Benson Rd is heavily eroded at the South end making motorized vehicle traffic all but impossible though Ranger and I took the trusty Toyota through it last Summer (we swore we’d never do that again). The trail climbs up and back down a modest hill. It’s a steady, gradual grade both up and down. The trail is wide and clear enough for two to walk side-by-side for it’s entirety. There are hickory nuts and apples in season. Deer tracks were plentiful when last we walked it.
There’s a sidetrail that heads off to the West just South of the power lines. It’s a Hydro access path for the towers and leads nowhere. The North end of Benson Rd. comes out at the back of a small grain handling business that I’ve never seen any activity at.
The Final Take
The trail lengths of this loop are slightly over two kilometers each, while the paved road walks that connect them aren’t even 900 meters. So the entire loop is about six kilometers. I can’t say as I prefer one trail over the other as they both have their merits. They meander from one concession road to another (even with names, they’re still concession roads), through a channel of trees. Sometimes sheltered and canopied, sometimes open and exposed.