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The Northumberland County Forest Beagle Club Trails Review
UPDATE JAN 1 2022 – Terribly sorry, I neglected to mention that these trails are closed for walking from December to March when they’re open to cross country skiing only.
These trails, West of Beagle Club Road, are heavily used and common knowledge to locals. However, the NCF doesn’t appear as a green spot on Google maps which many people (myself included) use to find walking trails. I’ve reviewed a lot of the other, less well known and used NCF trails, but left these out due to their popularity. Click on this link for a Google Map location of the parking lot/trailhead :
Truth be known, we hadn’t walked these trails in decades because they weren’t very attractive when we first saw them. While reviewing The Elderberry, Dragonfly, Stonewall, and Luna Trails, we had cause to briefly walk part of the Beagle Club’s new Heritage trail. What we saw was quite a change from what we remembered from years before. So, we returned to assess further, and were pleasantly surprised by what we found.
There are six color coded loop trails, a “Kiddie” loop trail, one “universal” loop trail (designed like The Carstairs Trail), numerous cross-country ski trails, a linear ORTA trail, and forest roads. The NCF is on the Easternmost stretch of the Oak Ridges Moraine so it’s kinda hilly. Admittedly, all the trails are very similar in appearance and topography, with no water to speak of. So, you won’t experience much uniqueness between them. But there are a lot of options available to you.
The NCF is very generous with the trail markers which I was glad to see. With so many criss-crossing trails in there, you’ll need a map (also rather generous with those too) from the trailhead kiosk if you wanna wander around linking numerous trails. Otherwise, the coloured loops are very well marked and easy to follow without a map. There are also plenty of quaint little mini-kiosks along the trails with trail maps and “you are here” arrows. Of course, the Heritage trail is easy to follow by the unique trailbed material (similar to the Carstairs Tract of the NCF).
The trails are pretty-much all wide enough for two people to walk side by side. These are multi-use trails which includes, walking, cycling, and horseback riding. Motorized vehicles will only be encountered on the forest roads. Leashed dog walking is permitted anywhere.
Other than ample free parking and a few port-a-potties at the main parking lot, there are no facilities of any kind. There are of course, ample rest benches on the “Universal Trail”, but they’re few and far between on any of the other trails.
As stated above, these trails don’t differ much in appearance or challenge, so I won’t bother to review each, individually. The following gifs will provide you a general overview of all the colour coded loop trails.
The Final Take
There are well over forty kms of nicely laid out trails in there which are clean, well maintained, and well marked. These trails are not accessible to walkers in ski season as they’re specifically reserved for skiers in the Winter.
Have a nice walk,