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Beaver River Wetland CA Trail Review
This trail is linear, runs along an abandoned railway berm, and is reputed to be 17 kms long (though my measurements only show about 13 kms). Like most railway berm trails, it has some nice sections … and some not so nice sections.
The Blackwater to Concession #5 Length (about 2.3 kms)
It starts from the roadside of Hwy 7/12 South of the town of Blackwater, just past the bridge over Beaver Creek. Ample roadside parking is available on both sides.
Take the (initially) Trans Canada Trail to the East of the Hwy to a kiosk with info on the Beaver River Trail (going to the left of the kiosk). Until you hit Concession 4, you will be walking behind a few private residence’s backyards. They’re not blatantly visible, but you will be aware of their presence (lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc). However, this stretch isn’t even a kilometer long, and after you cross Concession 4, you’re on what the Wife and I considered the best length of the entire trail.
So, why not just park on Conc. 4 ? Well, Conc. 4 is barely wide enough for one car to drive on, much less trying to leave a car on it. Concession 5 isn’t much better than Conc. 4 either. So, to enjoy the best part of the trail between Blackwater and Sunderland, follow the instructions above, and walk from Hwy 7/12 to Conc.5 and back.
We walked it in early June. The columbines were in full bloom at near every step. The Wife has a severe weakness for reptiles and amphibians. This stretch of trail answered her requirements to love it. Even I was impressed with the number of turtles and frogs visible in the wetland from the trail.
Just as a side thought, you could take the Trans Canada Trail to Conc. 4 (by taking the trail to the right of the kiosk), turn left on Conc. 4, and walk it back to the Beaver River Trail and the kiosk to make a triangular “loop” trail.
The Conc. 5 to Sunderland Length
Runs right alongside the Highway near its entirety, it also requires some “side of the Hwy” walking too, so we didn’t even bother.
The Sunderland to Highway 7 Length (about 3.5 kms one way)
You can access the trail from Sunderland to Hwy 7 either from Conc. 6 (from behind the Co-op) or you can take advantage of the roadside parking on Conc. 7 then take the trail South to Sunderland, or North to Hwy 7. These two stretches are nice, but there’s very little river visibility. In the few puddles on the trail (just from a recent rain), we spotted numerous different wild animal tracks. Evidence that we aren’t the only ones using this trail.
The Hwy #7 to Cannington Length (about 6 kms one way)
We didn’t bother with the length of trail between Hwy 7 and Cannington, because the trail doesn’t see the river much at all.
The Final Take
Old railroad berms are pretty easy walking, level, clear, and wide. However, they need something to make them interesting. After the stretch between the roadside of Hwy 7/12 to Concession 5 (alongside the river), there’s not much of interest left on this trail. Not for me anyway. That’s not saying it isn’t a nice trail. I just like a bit more stimuli when I’m walking a trail.
You’d be well advised to bring some kind of sun protection too. This trail is mostly uncanopied and you’ll be exposed to a lot of sunshine. There no facilities of any kind (including parking), but berm trails are nice in that, they’re generally very straight. So, if you have anything “personal” to attend to, you can see if anyone’s approaching from a kilometer away.
This trail is great for dog walking and cycling, which we saw plenty of (it was a gorgeous Saturday). An added bonus was the friendly, chatty nature of the people we met on this trail.
Have a nice walk,