The River Rd and Lang/Hastings Figure 8 Loop Trail Review

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The River Rd and Lang/Hastings Figure 8 Loop Trail Review

We were re-visiting The Lang Hastings Trail (a linear or one-way section of the TransCanada) looking for anything new, different, or additional. As we crossed over River Rd. the wife says “Even that road looks like a nice walk”. It was signed as an unmaintained Summer road. Once back Home, I looked it over from Google Maps satellite view and determined a horizontal “figure 8” loop route about 11 kms in length.

To access from Peterborough, take Hwy #7 East to Cty Rd # 38. Turn Right (South) and drive to Cty Rd # 2. Just across Cty Rd # 2 you’ll see a parking lot on the left. This link will open Google Maps at the location :

The white line on the map below is the Lang Hastings Trail, and the yellow are backroads.

I could review the entire figure 8 of about 11 kilometers, but half of that would just be a re-hash of the Lang Hastings Trail (linked above). Therefore, I decided to present this one as two, connected loop trails. The East loop of 4 kms and the West loop of 7 kms.

The West Loop (4 kms)

From the parking lot, take the trail alongside County Rd #2 for not even 300 meters to the main trail. On your left will be the trail tunnel under Cty Rd #2, which is quite large. I’m a severe claustrophobe and didn’t feel much while in it. It’s surprisingly cool in there too. So, put the tunnel to your back, and start walking to the South-East on the trail. At just under a kilometer, you’ll come to an old railway bridge. I really love these old bridges with the grossly over-engineered steel girders and huge rivets holding it all, very sturdily, together.

About 620 meters beyond the bridge you’ll come to River Rd. Turn right and continue along a lovely dirt and gravel backroad (for about 760 meters) to the second bridge on this loop. A few years ago, my neighbour and I took his grandson fishing from this bridge. When we spotted a huge water snake in the river about 15 feet below, the boy excitedly asked “Where?”, I said “Right at your feet” (with 15 feet of open air between his feet and the water, I meant). Like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, his fishing pole spun suspended in the air for a few seconds, while a cloud of dust with fluorescent green, size 4 running shoes, made a beeline for County Road 2. Apparently, proximity to a snake was directly proportional to his reaction.

Just past the bridge, you’ll come to the Asphodel 2nd Line. Take it to the right, and in 1.3 kms you’ll return to your car.

The East Loop (7kms)

You can park at either of the two Asphodel 3rd Line / River Rd intersections, and walk the East loop. The North half of this loop is River Road (3.3 kms), which is a bit hilly (as opposed to the trail on the South). The first half of River Road is well canopied, and cool walking. It’s driveable, but you can easily walk it without ever seeing a vehicle. The second half is picturesque pasturelands.

Just a reminder at this point. When River Rd takes a sharp right toward the river, it makes another sharp turn to the left. However, you’ll need to walk past it to Maquire Rd where the trail crosses, and take the trail to the right. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in cottage suburbia.

The trail will take you along the river with appropriately lovely views. There’s a rest bench right near what we call “the blue roofed” buildings. From there, the trail enters forest and a little further on, the Asphodel 3rd Line and your ride (3.3 kms).

The Final Take

There’s open water, river crossings with bridges, and a pond or two along the way. There’s also the sixty meter long tunnel under Cty Rd #2 to see. There are some lovely views of pasture land at the East end, with the Trent River to the South. The trail (being a former railbed) is relatively flat, and well wide enough for two to walk at the shoulder, while the backroads are a bit hilly. There are, of course, no facilities anywhere on the route.

Have a nice walk,



  1. Michael Fox · · Reply

    The Lang-Hastings Trail itself is a nice walk. But your addition of the rural roadways to make loop trails makes it even nicer!


    1. Adding the backroads certainly added to the experience for us. I’m now going to look for more linear trails that I can see loops from.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment Michael.


  2. Michael Fox · · Reply

    We actually went to do the western loop today. Unfortunately, River Road was a mess, so we just hiked back on the trail. Too bad; it will be better later in the spring. At least I learned about the parking lot south of Highway 2.


    1. Yes, we’ve been seeing alot of early Spring thaw effects. It’ll all even out and calm down soon, once the weather realizes it’s Spring too.


  3. As always I enjoy your reviews. Will head out to this River Rd/Hastings one asap. Well done spotting it Mrs Old Guy.


    1. Always good to hear from you Kevin. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one. It’s surprisingly quiet and picturesque.
      Have a nice walk,


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