Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail

Rail trails take old abandoned rail lines and convert them to mixed use trails where people can walk, run or bike along the paths that have limited and maximum grade changes. Because trains could only handle a certain grade to be able to run they are perfect for relatively flat, human powered transportation needs.

We have been on the Cambridge to Paris rail trail twice and once on the Hamilton to Brantford rail trail. It was easier than I thought it would be to go up the mountain in Hamilton but the ride back down into Hamilton was the best.

A spring brings cold, clean water into a pond that feeds into the Grand River

On the ride to Paris you pass an abandoned shell of a mill, hidden beside the Grand River, bridge abutments from Grand Trunk Railway river crossings removed long ago or enter the amazing river town of Paris where you can see the buildings built up along the edge of the river. Several restaurants and patios along this section are pleasant places to enjoy the afternoon and get sustenance for the ride back.

Paris waterfront establishments 

The Penman's Paris dam

The Hamilton rail trail starts near a street that has a number of breweries, so it is a good place to start or stop. As you head up near the top of the escarpment you pass by the restored railway station at Sulphur Springs that comes with bathrooms and other services. If you continue on the trail you can travel from Brantford to Paris and onto Cambridge.
Historic Sulphur Springs

Hamilton to Brantford rail trail map
The first abandoned railway tunnel discovered in our biking adventures

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