This is a pleasant little triangular trail which we determined from a piece of the huge Ganaraska Hiking Trail which follows alot of roads. The intent here is to present the parts which run through woods. It follows the berm of the old Grand Trunk railroad from the 1800’s. The view from the height of land is quiet impressive in the Fall of the year. I call it Heaslip as that’s the backroad it’s accessed from. Heaslip is, of course … a No Exit road. It’s just off the 5th line that runs between County Rd 10 and Hwy 28 North from Port Hope.
Just take Heaslip Lane north until you come out from under the canopy of roadside trees and enter open farmland. There will be a driveway on the right. Leave your vehicle anywhere along the roadside (just don’t block the driveway). The trail is actually behind you with a little bit of a stroll down the same driveway until you see the culvert guiding the stream under the driveway.
The trail runs close to Heaslip Lane, but worry not, it takes a diagonal path back to the corner of 5th line and Knoxville Rd. You can actually see the trail from Google’s satellite view just to the left of the green line I drew in. Trilliums abound in season in the valleys on each side of the berm.
This trail is one of the wife’s and my favourites in the Spring. I’ve had to tread softly to avoid stepping on the clouds of butterflies who seem to like this trail too. As well, the Spring wildflowers (bloodroot in particular) are everywhere.
The wife and I have collected numerous wild turkey feathers here, and have scared up a number of grouse. There’s evidence of civilization along some parts of the trail, but there are lots of seemingly “middle of nowhere” stretches as well.
About 1/3 the way along, you’ll come to what appears to be a mowed lawn. It might well be, I don’t know. But I do know you’ll need to keep looking south and not follow the very wide path to the left where you’ll end up walking into someone’s backyard. You’ll need to look for the GHT white blaze mark on the trees and follow it.
One of our favourite parts are the stairs which I understand were built by British volunteers who came over to have a Canadian adventure. There’s a natural stone bridge over the stream at the bottom of the stairs. This is where things have changed from the last time we walked this trail last Spring. The trail used to go under a fallen tree and down very steep stairs with no handrails nor ropes.
The only variable of this trail is that the very last part of the trail is often VERY wet. On occasion we’ve had to turn and go back. You could actually check this part by simply pulling over and walking in a short ways from where the trail comes out on 5th Line just slightly west of Knoxville Rd.
The roadside walk along 5th Line is only about 400 meters and takes 5 minutes.
The walk up Heaslip is even better on foot than it is at the wheel.
The entire triangle is about 2 kilometers long.
The Final Take
The Heaslip Triangle is a single file trail for most part though there are a few lengths at the start where you can walk side-by-side. There’s a possibility of a wet patch right at the end of the trail at the 5th line. The stairs are stable but steep, and there’s no handrail to hold onto. The drop is at least 20 feet and would be very unpleasant. The stairs aren’t standard depth and height either, so be careful. Don’t get me wrong, even if you have to turn back at the stairs or even if you get as far as the wet spot near 5th line and have to turn back, you’ll still have had a lovely walk on a beautiful raised old railway berm trail.
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