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The Cataraqui Trail (Kingston / Westport) Part 3 of 3 – from Indian Lake Rd to Hwy # 15 Review
This is the 3rd stretch of the Cataraqui that we walked. Our review of the 1st section can be found here : The Cataraqui Trail (Kingston / Westport) Part 1 of 3 – From Hogan Rd to MacGillivray Rd and the 2nd can be found here : The Cataraqui Trail (Kingston / Westport) Part 2 of 3 – from MacGillivray Rd to Indian Lake Rd Review
OK so, this is the final stretch that we covered, and it’s also the shortest at 8.2 kms (one way). Continuing to Smith’s Falls from here either follows too close along Hwy #15, or through cultivated lands, to be of interest to us. There are five roadside or parking lot accesses, and I’ll review each section between them, individually.
Indian Lake Rd to Marina Rd (2.5 kms one way)
The highlight of this stretch of trail is the Iron Bridge almost exactly in the middle of it. It’s well treed, has rock outcroppings from the Indian Lake road end, and there are some cottages South of the bridge. I’ll warn you now, there are a coupla signs about the locks. Don’t bother with them. If you wanna see the locks, just drive to them. We lost alot of time trying to get back onto the trail when we walked to the locks. If it’s near lunchtime, I suppose it would make a pleasant spot to take a seat on a picnic table. Just be sure to return to the trail by the same route you left it. Despite appearances, there’s no short-cut from the locks back to the trail, so you’ll be taking a long walk on a noisy road. Indian Lake road has one of the few dedicated parking lots for this trail, with room for about 3 cars. This link will open Google Maps at the Indian Lake Rd parking lot : https://goo.gl/maps/okmWRvTH7EBfN7R1A
Marina Rd to Clear Lake Rd (1.7 kms one way)
This stretch is wooded for about one quarter its length at the Indian Lake road end, but turns to wide open sky for the length to Clear Lake Rd. It almost completely traverses through three connected wetlands, and I’m shocked to report … nary a rock in sight. This one is entirely about the wetlands. This link will open Google Maps at the Marina Lake Rd. roadside parking : https://goo.gl/maps/qXjQuqYQq6YuGjNT8
Clear Lake Rd to Chaffey’s Lock Rd (1.3 kms one way)
This short stretch features a heavily cat-tailed wetland and an open water beaver pond. This link will open Google Maps at the Clear Lake Rd roadside parking : https://goo.gl/maps/CsF5SPMYcdy5Q5pw9
Chaffey’s Locks Rd to Highway # 15 (3.3 kms one way)
There’s parking for at least a dozen cars in the dedicated parking lot on Hwy 15, and not much parking at all on Chaffey’s Locks road. There’s some wooded patches on both ends of this one with a lovely lake in the middle of it. It’s named “Little Lake” but I thought it was a reasonable size. There’s a well placed bench (where we broke for lunch) over-looking the lake.
The rock outcroppings on the opposite side of the trail from the lake, were different from what we were accustomed to on this trail. They were rather yellow in color and appeared to be sedimentary in origin. In early November, the Winterberries put on a gorgeous display. There’s a pretty wooden bridge at the North end near the highway. We startled a muskrat (OK, so it startled me) at this bridge and watched it swim under the bridge. The water was so clear we could easily see him about a foot below the surface. This link will open Google Maps at Chaffey’s Locks Rd roadside parking : https://goo.gl/maps/W6uFTx2mWEyzrBaG6
This link will open Google Maps at the Hwy #15 parking lot : https://goo.gl/maps/GsoDM6Vxzk1ajDRy9
The Final Take
This stretch was the most “urban” in our exploration of the Cataraqui. There was visible housing and some traffic noise that faded in and out depending on proximity to roadways. Nothing serious, but during the six days we invested in the Cataraqui, we’d become accustomed to silence. Of course, this section of trail (like the other two) is suitable for cycling. Otherwise (snowmobiles excepted) there are no motorized vehicles allowed.
This stretch, just like the rest of the Cataraqui, was picturesque as could be. Magnificent rock formations, wetlands, and open water … your choice … at every step.
Have a nice walk,