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THE GLASGOW LOOP TRAIL REVIEW (AND GOODWOOD CA)
This is a pleasant little 2.7 km walk with another 0.8 kms worth of side trails, rather well hidden just South-West of Goodwood Conservation Area near Uxbridge. It’s well hidden, unless you have a copy of the latest “Oak Ridges Moraine Trail Guidebook”. Don’t bother trying to Google it, or Google Map it, ‘cause it won’t show.
We had initially planned to wander Goodwood CA (which does show) until, while looking for more data, we noticed the Glasgow Loop on the ORTA guidebook map. Take Brock ROAD (NOT street) 20 kms to the North from Pickering. Take a left at Webb rd for 6 kms, then another left at Concession #2. Drive 220 meters and just try to miss that colossal parking lot (which is the only thing visible from Google Satellite view). This link will open Google Maps at the parking lot : https://goo.gl/maps/BQEJYYvNvDVWtkCf8
It doesn’t really matter which way you start from the trailhead. Both directions will take you down a gentle slope to the pond. This is an ORTA side trail, so the trail markers are bright blue blazes. We took it to the left, so that’s the direction I’ll describe this trail from. The highland forest is a diverse mix of species as you curve toward the downhill slope to the pond. Just before the decline, you’ll cross a gravelled spot with what appears to be an old, paved road heading off to the North (while the blue blazed trail continues South). We followed it, and found it just led back to an abandoned access point on Webb rd. with a big old rock blocking it from powered vehicles. It’s not worth walking but I figure, you’re gonna see it, and then you’re gonna wonder where it goes. So, now you needn’t bother walking it to find out.
Just before the pond, there’s an abandoned shack, and a trail off to your right (along the top of the pond) which just cuts off the rest of the trail and takes you back to the trailhead (if you turn right at the end of it). The pond is kinda pretty and photogenic and though there appears to be a trail encircling it, there isn’t. The one you think you see, quickly fades into wet footing and dense bush. If you wanna look around the pond, just walk a little ways up the trail that takes you back to the trailhead (mentioned above).
From this point, the woods become (as expected due to the topography) scrub cedar. Then the trees turn upland woodsy and after crossing a picturesque bridge, there’ll be a trail heading off to the West (your left). It’ll be signed as a trail to Secord Wildlife Area and Goodwood CA. It comes out on Webb Rd. near the Goodwood CA access. I wouldn’t bother with it ‘cause the “trail” to Secord from there, is about 3.5 kms of road walking, so you might as well just drive to it of you wanna see it. As for Goodwood, it was the one we initially intended to review before we noticed this Glasgow Loop. I will include a brief review at the end of this one to cover Goodwood for you. Secord Wildlife Area will be fully reviewed once mosquito season has passed. It’s rather famous for them this time of year (Update Jan 17, 2018 Here it is).
From there, the trail rises back into a meadow habitat where we met an ORTA volunteer clearing the way for walkers. I gotta admire and respect the efforts of these volunteers. That old fellow was a kilometer or so from the trailhead, and he was sporting a heavy professional grade grass whipper. He hauled it, and the fuel with him, all around that trail to clear a wide path so strangers could enjoy a nice walk. He’s a better man than I am, ever was, or ever will be.
So, thanks to him, we had a lovely stroll on a wide path through a sea of wildflowers the height of my shoulders. There was a corn field to the left side which was often difficult to see through the meadow flowers. Cross over the bridge at the end of the meadow, and you’ll plunge back into a cedar treed ridge. Watch your footing along this stretch as it has some very well disguised natural mud holes. Nothing hazardous, but you don’t want a “mud soaker” this far from the trailhead. The cedars give way to mixed forest and open meadows again. You’ll notice a trail off to your right. That’s the far end of the cross trail from the pond mentioned earlier. From there, you’ll start a gentle incline until you’ve returned to the trailhead.
The Final Take
The parking lot is huge for a little 3.5 km loop trail, but its free of charge anyway. There are no washroom, nor picnic facilities. This trail is mostly single file walking. There were a few “2 people side by side” stretches, but not many. It is quite diverse, with a number of different ecosystems and varied open air/canopied forest stretches on it’s length. The hills are gradual and easy. There are a few river crossings over sturdy bridges, and there’s a pond. We walked the Goodwood CA trail on the same day, and this trail wasn’t the least bit buggy in comparison. The trail was spotlessly clean (though the parking lot left a bit to be desired).
Have a nice walk.
The Goodwood CA Trail Review
This CA is literally a few moments walk East on Webb Rd. from The Glasgow Loop. It’s a return trail just about 612 meters from the intersection of Concession #2 and Webb Rd (on the North side of Webb). You’ll have to look hard to see the sign. The trail will lead you to the 3rd Concession. I’m not going into a lot of detail on the trail because … it’s just not worth it. This trail is nothing more than a link on the huge Trans Canada Trail, which is a wonderful thing. But this section of it, has few redeeming features. It’s not often I’ll describe a trail as “ugly”, but this one is. There was one pretty hollow full of red and white baneberries. But it was a long walk through dog strangling vine infested fake forests, hordes of bugs, seas of shoulder high meadows, and seemingly never ending hills, to get to it. We started from the 3rd Concession end and walked to Webb Rd. where we chose to walk back by road in the blazing sun rather than walk the mostly shaded trail back. That should say it all. I don’t like to slam a trail, but with so many other, beautiful trails within the Uxbridge complex, this one doesn’t stand a chance. But, as the wife and I often say, “You don’t know ‘til you try”. So we tried, and now we know.
I’m tacking this onto the end of the Glasgow Loop review because, 1) it’s close by, and 2) I don’t wanna waste a whole write-up on a trail I wouldn’t recommend anyway.