***Please click on this link Map Locations of ALL Trails on this Site to view a map with the location of every trail “2oldguyswalking” has written a review on.***
The TransCan between Rapids Rd. and Douglas Rd. past Drag Lake (Madoc/Tweed) Trail Review
Last Spring, we drove 4.5 kms West on River St. West (which soon became Crookston rd.) from Tweed. We turned left (South) onto Rapids rd. and drove about 900 meters to the TransCan trail. Click on this link to be taken to the location on Google maps :
Roadside parking is all that’s available at either end of this 7.7 km (one way) stretch of the TransCan. We noticed a Reavie Ln. from Crookston Rd. to Countryman Rd. which crosses the trail as well, but the road conditions were too severe, and it was too close to residences for our liking. So, we headed West on the TransCan trail from Rapids Rd. and walked the three kms to Drag Lake.
About halfway to the Lake, we passed the afore-mentioned Reavie Ln. as it wandered by some farm equipment, and past a cattle enclosure. This view convinced us that taking Reavie Ln. would not be advisable under any conditions.
Unfortunately, the private property at the end of Countryman rd. has access to Drag Lake, so there were some docks, boats, and an ice fishing hut on one small stretch of the lake trail. It didn’t last long, and was walked past in a few minutes. Even as the lake was mostly frozen over at this early date, it was still an impressive sight. I’m used to seeing wetlands from the TransCan, but this expanse of open water was a treat.
We returned and took this walk in early September to see the trail again, and the lake in it’s liquid state. On our way, we made our first sighting of Grus Canadensis (Sandhill cranes) in a wetland beside the trail.
We decided to continue on to another coupla, smaller ponds just past the lake. En route, we came across a lovely and heart warming “Memorial Picnic Area” dedicated to two lost child members of a Palmateer family. Complete with 3 picnic tables, a garden, and 2 benches over looking Drag Lake. A beautiful and peaceful place for a sit down and a trail snack, which we did before heading back to Rapids Rd.
While returning to Rapids Rd. we encountered four rare and endangered Bovine Escapeus Adolescensis (a quad of calves) who had managed to escape their enclosure at Reavie Ln. As we approached, I assumed they’d just stand there looking at us as cattle usually do whenever I’ve walked by them. But these skitterish little fellows must’ve recognized me for the vegan despising carnivore that I am, and suddenly bolted down the trail toward Rapids Rd. Not having the slightest idea what to do, we slowed our pace hoping they’d bank off into a field and return home before stampeding onto the road. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they did.
A few days later we walked from Douglas Rd. at the West of Drag Lake and back. This was an interesting jaunt as the railbed had been blasted through rock. The rock sides of the trail were about six feet high for about 1/3 the distance. We rarely see rail trails cut through rock this far South.
About two kms along, there were three pretty little ponds to the North side of the trail. We scared up a pair of very large Red Bellied snakes beside the ponds. We also spotted a Pine Marten crossing the trail. All were too fast for my shutter finger though. However these three deer held their ground long enough to be caught on camera.
As well, Drag Lake isn’t the only water to be seen on this stretch of the Trans Canada.
The Final Take
The Trans Canada Trail from Rapids Rd. to Douglas Rd. is a 7.7 km (one way) level, wide, mildly curving, rail trail. It passes alongside a fair sized lake, and five decent sized ponds. The wildlife spotting opportunities were everywhere. At the west end of Drag Lake there’s a lovely little picnic spot to break up the walk. Of course, there are no other facilities of any kind, and parking is just on the roadside.
If you wish, you can cross Douglas Rd. and walk another 360 meters to a trail “intersection” where you could head North or South on the Trail of Two Lakes from Crookston to Sills Rd. or you could continue going straight ahead for a further 1.4 kms to The Big Pond Trail.
Have a nice walk,