The Heaslip Triangle (Port Hope) Trail Review

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The Heaslip Triangle (Port Hope) Trail Review

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.

Heaslip Trail Satellite fixed1

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. UPDATE May 12 2018 – The wet spot problem has been addressed. The trail now ends by coming out of the driveway of the (very considerate) owner of the property @ 5672 5th Line. That’s the 1st house West of the old exit. In fact, you could leave your car on the 5th Line at the old exit where there’s a wide gravelled spot, and start your walk by following the white blazes on the trees just up the private driveway @ 5672 5th Line.

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 the most part, though there are a few lengths where you can walk side-by-side. The roadway stretches are quite nice too. Wildflowers and butterflies seem to like this trail as well. The precarious “staircase” has been replaced by a much safer and less steep climb. As well, the new access from the driveway of the home owner at 5672 on the 5th Line, eliminates the potential wet stretch near the 5th Line. There are no parking lots at either access, but the roadsides are clear for parking at either. 



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