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The K&P Trail from Murton Rd to Junction with Cataraqui Trail (Harrowsmith) Review
This review covers what I consider to be the most interesting part of the K&P rail trail. It just happens to be the end stretch in its journey from Kingston to it’s termination with the Cataraqui Trail near Harrowsmith. It’s 5.2 kms in length (one-way) and can be accessed by taking Cty Rd. # 38 North from Kingston to Murton Rd. Turn right and at 1.9 kms you’ll reach the trailhead. It’s hard to miss it because of the massive Hydro station right across Murton Rd from it. This link will open Google Maps at the location : https://goo.gl/maps/BUvW3ApgkBee6AJt5
You can, of course, access it at the North end from the Cataraqui Trail at Cty Rd #38 in Harrowsmith or from further East on Harrowsmith Rd. You’ll have to walk to where it crosses the K&P from these locations. As well, you can access it from the end of Scanlon Rd. off Midvale Rd. which will place you almost half-way between the junction and Murton Rd.
This is an unusual rail trail as it squirms all over the landscape. One of the wiggliest rail trails I’ve seen. As well, it has a noticeable downhill grade (for a railway trail) from both the Northern and Southern trailheads hitting their lowest point at the bridge over the Millhaven River. I’m guessing the trains built up inertia on the way down to the river crossing so they could make it up the other side.
We started from Murton Rd on the Southern end though the roadside parking situation is less than optimum there. We opted to park on the grassy “lawn” of the huge Hydro station right near the road. We walked it in late June and it was almost a perfect blend of canopied shade and open sky. I could see a massive wetland from the satellite view which was, unfortunately, not visible from the trail. There were a few small ponds which were obviously drier than normal when we saw them. There were alot of culverts to allow water under the berm (trail) with dates on them from 1926 to 1947. We also passed the Scanlon Rd access trail.
Next we came upon the bridge over the Millhaven River.
Once past the bridge we entered an odd topography. Seems one moment, we were wandering on a berm over a deep gorge. The next, we were walking through the deepest limestone rock cut rail trail, I’ve ever seen.
After the rock cut, we were nearing the termination of the K&P, at the Cataraqui trail. We decided to end this review at that point. There was still another kilometer or so in either direction to a roadway access, but the proximity made the traffic noise unappealing to us. Besides, we were treating this as a return trail review, so we had a trail lunch of the base of the map sign, and turned back Southward.
The Final Take
This 5.2 km (one way) trail segment is typically flat and wide, as with all rail trails. However, unlike most rail trails, it winds about the countryside, keeping it interesting. It has a near perfect blend of shaded canopy with patches of open sky making for very pleasant and comfortable walking. There’s a bridge over a picturesque waterway, and an equally impressive layered limestone rock cut. There are views down a deep gorge from the berm’s heights too. There are no facilities of any kind including parking.
We didn’t see any trace of motorized vehicles ever having been on this trail. However, it was extremely popular with a horse rider, walkers, and about a dozen cyclists passing us on a Thursday.
Have a nice walk,