The Knoxville Rd / 6th Line (Port Hope) Trail Review

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The Knoxville Rd / 6th Line (Port Hope) Trail Review  

This is a very local (to Port Hope) trail. Too short to recommend travelling any distance to walk, but a lovely way to while away an hour or two if you’re in the area. The Wife and I will often use it in the Winter in combination with a few other local “winter walkables” just to get outside. It has a lovely little deep woods stream, forested stretches, open air spaces, a small bridge over a pretty, brightly lit creek and a large, picturesque pond.

I just re-read that last sentence and realized why we like this little trail so much. We’ve been walking it for so long, I’ve come to take it for granted (shame on me). It’s actually a combination of parts of the Ganaraska Trail system, and a No Exit roadway.

From Port Hope, take Hwy #28 North, and take a left (West) on the 5th Line. Take the 5th Line to Knoxville Rd. Turn right (North) on Knoxville and at the intersection of Knoxville and 6th Line you’ll see the cemetery. Turn left and pull over on the cemetery boulevard. The No Exit trailhead is just West, or directly in front of you. Click on the link below for a Google Maps location :

The “trailhead” (roadside parking at Knoxville Cemetery) is 15 minutes from Port Hope’s Downtown. We always choose to park on the roadside boulevard of the Knoxville Cemetery on the 6th Line. From there, it’s only about 150 meters walk to the Western terminus of the 6th Line where road maintenance ceases. As the paved road ends, you’ll enter the deep canopied forest which you will immediately feel the cooling effect of. There’s a surprisingly voluminous, and noisy, little creek flowing under your feet just before the road starts a gradual uphill climb.

The canopy will open up as you round a curve in the road and you’ll see a very wide trail off to your left. It will take you South along an old raised railway berm with impressive vistas from it’s heights in the early Spring and Late Fall through Winter. We’ve seen many deer tracks, and “other creature’s” tracks in the snow on this trail. The surrounding topography slowly rises until you’re even to it, as you enter a stretch of clear understoried forest. This forest was where we spotted the tree from my write-up Woodpecker Carnage. The trail will end at a Hydro corridor with plenty of ATV tracks going mostly nowhere but into backyards of homes along its path.

If you look closely, and continue following the trail straight across the Hydro corridor, you’ll see a white rectangular blaze on a tree on the far side.

A single person width trail, will take you down to the North Western corner of THE HEASLIP TRIANGLE TRAIL. This trail from the Hydro corridor to Heaslip is … OK … but I really don’t care for it. It tends to be damp at the driest of times, and it seems to run between two ridges or berms. I always feel like I’m tramping through a low, wet ditch for its entirety so I won’t bother reviewing it here. If you decide to return to the 6th Line and your ride, you’ll have walked about 2 kms.

OR, upon your return to the 6th Line, you could take the trail (also marked with white rectangles) directly across the unmaintained road. This one will wander through some scrub brush in bright open sunshine, over a fence stile (kinda like a step ladder straddling the fence, with rungs on both sides). You’ll notice a trail off to the left on this stretch. That goes out to Campbell rd. which is another access, but there’s not much parking opportunity on Campbell, and the trail from it is almost always very wet.

There’ll be a short stretch through a narrow canopied trail which will burst out into open sky again and you’ll be walking the same RR berm you were on earlier. On this stretch, you can see numerous 19th century railroad ties left in the ground after the rails were removed. A rather large and lovely pond will appear on your left.

There’s a very steep walk down to the little bridge over the pond’s outlet flow. You can then climb the hill back up to the berm, and carry on alongside the pond a bit more and even walk out to Campbell Rd. if you wish. However, we always turn back at this point, as the official trail literally cuts through the landowners backyard vegetable patch, past the side entrance to their Home, and down their personal driveway to get you to Campbell Rd. And all with the home owners permission. Now that’s 10 shades of generosity right there. On that note, with the exception of the unmaintained 6th Line, everywhere you’ll be walking, is on private property with permission from kindly land owners. Please conduct yourselves accordingly.

Rarely seen Fringed Gentians around the pond

You’ll notice a coupla side trails which are the landowners personal property trails. Please just stay on the trail with the white rectangular paint marks on the trees and you’ll be fine (sometimes the white rectangle will have a black border around it just to make it more visible). If you decide to walk just this trail you’ll cover about 2.5 kms (including return).

The Final Take

If you decide to cover the entire distance these trails have to offer, you’ll have put in about 3.5 kms (including returns). There are no facilities of any kind, anywhere. Hence, no charge for anything. If you really want to, you can continue past the hydro tower corridor and walk 5 kms (one way) down to the 4th Line on the GHTA trail.

I’ve taken what I consider the prettiest parts of that 5 km walk and written trail reviews on them separately. However, just because I don’t care for a stretch of trail, doesn’t mean you won’t. So, if you’d really like to see it all for yourself, just leave me a request in the comments section (no need to identify yourself, nor leave your e-mail addy), and I’ll post exact access locations with pictures and close-up satellite maps.

You can also access from the other end of the 6th Line just off Campbell rd. but there are a coupla large, yappy, aggressive dogs at the last house on the 6th Line that makes an annoying start to an otherwise pleasant time.

Have a nice walk,



  1. PamelaPerraultPhotography · · Reply

    Thank you so much!

    This morning I had time for only the shortest of walks so I decided to try the Knoxville Road trail for the first time. Before reading this post I’d no idea it was there. It was picturesque, quiet (but for the babbling brook and birdsong) the walking was very easy-going and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. A perfect gem, close to home! I’ll definitely return.

    Pamela Perrault, Cobourg


    1. Glad we could help Pamela. There are a number of rather nice local trails already listed on our site, and we’re working on a whole bunch more between Rice Lake and Lake Ontario.

      Liked by 1 person

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