Trent University Canal Nature Area (Peterborough) Trails Review

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Trent University Canal Nature Area (Peterborough) Trails Review

These trails are directly across University rd. from the Trent U. Nature Sanctuary Trails. There are three color coded trails on the map, but only two are marked on the trails themselves. There are no Yellow trail arrows on the trees where it runs along with the Blue Trail. Where the Yellow trail leaves the Blue on the map, it’s referred to as “the short loop” on the trail sign, as it provides a shortcut for the Blue, but there are no Yellow arrows on it.

The Red John de Pencier Loop (2 kms)

This trail starts with a lovely long boardwalk and a bridge (with what appears to be a devastated vehicle just before the bridge).  Traffic noise intensity varies on this trail, but it is a constant. The trail that intersects the loop through the center, is not marked at the start, but is marked at the far end near the canal. The trail is a blend of lowland cedar and deciduous forest. There are numerous accesses to the canal which provide pleasing views, some with rest benches.

The Blue Morton Family Loop (2.3 kms)

We started this trail from the second access from the Red trail (which heads toward the water). This trail combines with the unmarked Yellow trail (which appears to function as a shortcut and steep hill avoidance provider). The Blue Trail starts out through a cedar lowland forest, but becomes a bit higher and dryer as it progresses along the riverbank. As mentioned above, the Yellow trail (the “short loop”), will knock off the sharp pointed South-West stretch of the Blue. However, if you do that, you’ll miss some lovely views of the water, complete with rest benches. We spotted a patch of rarely seen bottle gentians at one of the rest benches. At the point where the Yellow and Blue trails split again (at the bridge on the map), the Blue will take you up a very steep, long hill. Your reward will be a stroll through a bright and cheery deciduous forest. The down side is the traffic noise from University Rd. Taking the Yellow trail (short loop) from the bridge will get you back to your ride without having to climb the hill.

The (unmarked) Yellow Loop (1.3 kms)

Taking this “Short Loop” trail will knock a kilometer off the Blue Trail, and will allow you to avoid a nasty hill. It is mostly brightly lit, and open to the sky.

The Final Take

Free parking for these trails is at the trailhead of the Trent University Nature Sanctuary lot, across University Rd from the trailhead. The trails are all wide enough for two to walk side by side, and are compacted soil based. Otherwise, with the exception of the rest benches overlooking the water, there are no facilities available. The direction you take these loop trails, makes no difference to the experience. While the intensity of traffic noise (both road and water) varies across these trails, it is fairly constant on the Red and parts of the Blue trails. These trails are somewhat lower and darker than across the road in the Nature Sanctuary. However, they do offer numerous lovely accesses to the water. Leashed dog walking is permitted.

Have a nice walk,


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