The No Exit Road and Road Allowance Trails of Northumberland County – Eastern Region

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The No Exit Road and Road Allowance Trails of Northumberland County – Eastern Region

Back in 2013, I had an idea of starting a weblog to list all the trails at the ends of No Exit roads, and road allowances in our immediate area of Northumberland County. Before I could do that, I found a wide audience, and demand for reviews of publicly funded and handled trails. So now, eight years later, I’m finally getting to my initial objective. There are a mess of “go nowhere” trails and unmaintained roads all over Northumberland County and this posting will show every one that I’m aware of (or, are at least worth walking). Any that can be combined to make loops out of, I’ve already issued reviews on. These are simply “out and back” trails at the ends of No Exit roads or simply road allowances that connect paved, driveable roads.

These walks vary from (rarely used by vehicles) gravel roads, to totally unkept road allowances overgrown with trees and plants. They’re generally only good for a short walk with or without a dog. We often use them to forage berries, nuts, and mushrooms. I’ve seen some horse riding on them, but rarely, if ever, ATVs or dirt bikes. They just aren’t long enough or challenging enough for that kind of activity. That’s what makes their locations worthwhile knowing, to walkers.

North Bethesda Rd (1.8 kms one – way)

This road is unpaved, though perfectly driveable. However, with the exception of access to the driveways of a few residences at it’s ends, there’s no particular reason to use it. Therefore, it makes a rather pleasant walk. I would advise you to start from the North (Rice Lake Scenic Drive #18) end, since that will have you walking downhill on the return back to your ride. It’s not a terribly steep walk, but I just find it more enjoyable that way. This link will open Google Maps at the location :

The road is partially tree lined and where it isn’t, the views are of pastures, as opposed to cultivated lands. That’s rather different from most of the roads in this area. When we walked it on a balmy November morning, the tamaracks seemed to glow a golden yellow. The Wife particularly liked those gnarly, spooky looking oaks near the South end. Once you do get to the South termination (Oak Ridges Drive) you can just see Rice Lake off in the distance to the North.

Just across Rice Lake Scenic Drive, N. Bethesda continues just far enough to take you to a pretty little church and cemetery. I found this place amusing as, the original ID stone built right into the church says “Presbyterian Church A.D. 1882” while the cemetery sign says “Bethesda North United Church Cemetery” and the most recent signage in front of the building says “Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church”. That poor church must be suffering a serious identity crisis. Other than Sundays, there’s ample parking behind that church.

Alnwick Hills Rd (2.0 kms one – way)

This one runs fairly straight between Beavermeadow Rd at the North, and Turk Rd to the South. It’s a sand based road that could be driven on (sort of, maybe, kinda, just don’t blame me if you lose a muffler or oilpan trying). It’s well wide enough for two to walk side by side and is fairly quiet (save the occassional din from Harwood rd two kilometers to the West).

I would suggest you start from the Turk Rd access as that will place you at the same access point to The Turk Rd & Alnwick Hills Rd Loop. This link will open Google Maps at the Turk Rd location :

The road heading North (left) from here is the one that will take you up to Beavermeadow Rd. Straight ahead will start you on the loop reviewed in the link above. There’s just one up and down again hill on this road though it’s a rather steep one (with a stoney base which would be the only problem spot for mountain cyclists). Otherwise, the road is very smooth and sandy, with a gentle incline to Beavermeadow.

There aren’t any vistas nor water to be seen on it, but it’s a pleasant walk through a mostly conifer forest on both sides. When we walked it in early November, the contrast between green foliage, and the blue sky was quite eye pleasing. There’s a snowmobile road off to the East which just runs alongside a plantation forest and cultivated fields over to Beavermeadow road. It’s not very interesting or particularly attractive.

Savory Road (WHO CARES HOW LONG IT IS ? It Isn’t Worth a Damn Now)

I spotted this unmaintained road from Google’s satellite view. So, the Wife and I headed over from North Bethesda to walk it. We hadn’t gone half a kilometer before we approached what I thought might be a lovely ravine off to the side of the road. This is what we saw …

Now, I’m not exactly liberal with the “F” word, but I made quite a number of exceptions at this point before turning around, and walking back to the car in disgust. I’m used to tolerating some litter on these backroad trails, but this was unbelieveable. It wasn’t enough to just dump at least 80 bags of garbage, furniture etc., on the roadside … this A-HOLE had to fling it into a steep ravine so no one could even get at it to clean it up ! And yes … Northumberland County has vehicles and personnel, who do exactly that. I know because I met one, and lent her a hand cleaning up a mess someone dumped on another one of my favourite places.

There’s the obligatory sign at the start of this road stating a $5,000 fine (per offense) for dumping garbage. It might be worthwhile for the County to invest in one of those motion detection camouflaged cameras, and set it up here. It’d be the easiest five Grand the County ever made. Come to think of it, 80 + bags of garbage ? That’s gotta be quite a few repeat offenses. Someone could get very wealthy off this idea. Hmmmmmmm, I’ve got two of those cameras, and one has night vision … maybe I should have a chat with the County …

Russ Creek Road (1.2 kms one – way)

This trail curves through a mixed forest from Covert Hill rd to Dunbar rd. This link will open Google Maps at the Covert Hill end :

This is a pleasant, beautifully silent, walk on a sand based road wide enough for two to walk side by side. It passes “The Barr Property” a part of the Rice Lake Plains, managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

At Dunbar Rd, right across from where the trail comes out, you’ll see another trail heading uphill South/Southeast. I’d heard tell of a loop trail from here, but all we found was a pleasant enough walk, that didn’t return to Dunbar rd. There was signage blocking the only way back, so we turned around. If you look closely at Google’s satellite view, you’ll see the trail from Dunbar rd. heading straight for Centreton Rd. 3.5 kilometers distant. We didn’t bother with this stretch as it didn’t look too interesting from the satellite. At least not enough to justify a seven kilometer (return) walk. I just mention it ‘cause it’s there if you’re so inclined.

Barnum House Creek Conservation Area (approx. 2.0 kms return)

I know this is officially a Conservation Area, but it’s very small and not kept up by the Authority, so I’m including it here. We’ve come here through most all the seasons for many years. The trail isn’t marked at all, but is fairly obvious on the ground. Depending on the season, it can become quite wet, as it mostly follows the creek toward the 401. Despite that, it’s a pretty little walk with pleasant views of the creek. The parking lot is on Barnum House Rd. off Hwy #2 just West of Grafton (right beside the Barnum House Museum). This link will open Google Maps at the location :

Gummow Rd (1.7 kms one-way)

This one is a mildly undulating, well canopied stroll through a ribbon of trees between Cty rd #25 and Conc rd #2 West. The canopy provided us dappled lighting, and welcome shade from the heat of early August. There’s the occasional view of cultivated fields, but it’s bordered well enough that you won’t notice it much. We approached it from Cty rd #25, where we chose to park on Johnston Rd (directly across from Gummow) just to stay out of the way. This link will open Google Maps at the Cty Rd #25 end :

It doesn’t matter which end you start from as it’s not particularly hilly from either end. The base is compacted soil with a change to rubbly stones right as you approach the Conc. #2 West end.

Allen Dr (1.3 kms one-way)

Running between Cty Rd #25 and the termination of Allen Rd we found parking on Cty Rd #25 to be better for access to this one. From the end of Allen Rd, it’s a bit too close to a coupla residences and you might be a bother to them. There’s actually an address sign (5073) at the Cty Rd #25 end since there’s a residence to the North side before you get to the unmaintained section of this one. This link will open Google Maps at the location :

There’s almost no views of cultivated land on this walk as it wanders through mostly forest with a rather clear understory. There’s a pretty little stream running under it, at about the halfway point which was flowing in early August. There were some hills up and down on this one but the going wouldn’t make starting from one end any better than the other.

Newman Dr (1.2 kms one-way)

OK now, this one is between Cty Rd # 25 and Cty Rd #29 and you’ll DEFINITELY wanna start it from Cty Rd #25. If you try to access it from Cty Rd #29, you’ll feel like you’re parking in some guys backyard. I know I wouldn’t appreciate having someone park their car that close to my home. The other reason you’ll wanna start from Cty Rd #25 will become quite apparent as you read on.

I call this trail Newman Dr just because it’s directly across Cty Rd # 25 from the drivable Newman Dr. The first 650 meters is quite wide, flat and drivable, but it also makes a pretty walk so you might as well do it. This link will open Google Maps at the location :

Once you pass what appears to be an ATV idiot’s paradise (looks like a sand pit from the trail) off to the right, you’ll enter into a pretty forested section that continues right across to Cty Rd #29. HOWEVER, the ATV damage to the road becomes very apparent at the point where you’ll pass through a wetland (damn John Gower and Honda). The rutting is considerable, but you can get around it with some fancy stepping.

You’ll then start a considerably long, steep uphill climb. On the way, you’ll see a wide, clear trail off to the left (South) with all kinds of signage. This is a snowmobile trail which is part of the “Round Rice Lake Tour”. I don’t believe it’s use is permitted by anyone but registered snowmobilers in the Winter. Eventually, you’ll crest the hill and it’ll level out for about 350 meters … and then the real uphill climb starts. This one crests right at the residence on Cty Rd #29 so, if you wanna skip it and turn back at this point, you won’t be missing much. I took a quick jaunt up that hill just to confirm that it was the end of the road, and it was darn-near the end of me.

The Final Take

These are 7 trails we know of, and use, in this block. There are a few others, but these are our favourites. They’re not all spectacular, but when we don’t feel like driving for hours to take a walk, or if we’ve only got an hour or two to spare, they fit the bill quite nicely thank you.

Have a nice walk,


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