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The Heaslip Triangle (Port Hope) Trail Revisited
With hundreds of individual trails listed on this site (and dozens yet to be covered), we don’t often think of re–visiting these short, local trails as much as we should. This trail (about 2 kilometers long) can be a loop (technically a triangle) if you wanna take Heaslip road back. Otherwise, just turn around and walk it back. Though I’ll tell you, Heaslip is a no exit road with only 2 or 3 residences on it, and it does make a pleasant walk as well.
It’s been awhile since we first walked this one, and I have been adding updates over the last seven years. However, after recently walking it again (and reading the review again), I think all those updates are just confusing matters. So here’s a refreshed review with all the updates incorporated into it. 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.
There’s a new trailhead access I would recommend on the North side of the 5th Line, just West of where Knoxville Rd crosses it. This link will open Google Maps at the parking location (a wide spot on the roadside) : https://goo.gl/maps/H89A9Q3YjGJR1Eov9
You’ll notice a driveway about 30 meters to the West (with address # 5672) on the North side of the 5th Line. If you walk up to that driveway, you’ll see white painted rectangles on the trees leading into the bush.
The original trail access used to be 20 meters of “muck to the shins” at this point. So, please silently thank the owner of that driveway for allowing walkers to use it. Though the trail is well marked with those same white rectangles on the trees, it is quite obvious on the ground and through the bush.
The trail runs alongside a small stream (the previous path of the trail, hence, the mucky access mentioned above) and the driveway, for awhile. It will then pass a wee bit of an “old cars, trucks, metal drums” etc backyard storage site for a few short meters, before wandering off into the bush proper.
You’ll come to a drop in the forest floor which is the remnants of an old stream which has eroded the landscape into a steep decline. Years ago, there was a scarily steep set of stairs straight up and down the sides of the small valley. Fortunately, the trail has been re-routed up a smoother, curving incline now.
Once back up on the old railway berm, you’ll walk past a good sized pond down and off to the right. This stretch of trail is always lousy with butterflies and wildflowers. The species vary with the time of year. You’ll come to an abrupt hump in the trail that (once climbed over), will open up into an open meadow-like area where the trail can go straight ahead, or off to the right. Continue going straight, as to the right will simply drop you into someone’s backyard.
The trail exits onto Heaslip Lane where you can walk it out to the 5th Line and back to your ride, or turn around and take the trail back. You might notice the trail appears to continue North. That’s because it does. It will lead you to the 6th Line and another review which can be found here : The Knoxville/6th Line Trail Review. I don’t care for the stretch between these two reviews since it’s a perpetually wet lowland, between two ridges. Not a pleasant stroll really, so I’ve never bothered to review/recommend it.
The Final Take
A short but pretty little trail that offers little challenge, except the slight stream valley. It always seems to have an impressive butterfly presence for some reason. Only a kilometer long (one – way) it’s a pleasant way to while away an hour or so, perhaps combined with another trail nearby.
Have a nice walk,