Just how long a distance does the Avon Trail cover? Well, it is a connecting trail linking the Thames Valley and Grand Valley Trails. Its terminus is in St. Marys, Perth County (where the Thames Valley Trail connects) and Conestogo, Waterloo County (terminus of Grand Valley Trail). The hiking length is approximately 121-km. But the path in between is ever-changing.
The club does not own any of the lands the trail is on. The generosity of landowners (more than 90) is the driving component of the trail’s overall route. With their permission, the trail passes along field lines, runs through scenic farmland and meanders along small rivers and streams and over laneways. Since it is a continuous long-distance trail, it also follows a few country back roads, and occasionally a busier route through the small towns in its path.
As a best practice, get into the habit of checking the AvonTrail.ca home page for trail changes and re-routes. On occasion, the club re-routes the path when landower consent changes. An example of this is a recent change between km 28.0 and km 30.5. As a result, we must follow the roadway along Line 33 north to Perth-Oxford Road and east to km 30.5. Such a re-route is a blow to the club since reducing road-walking and increasing cross-country walking are our goals. Still, we go on and, where possible, achieve other breakthroughs.
We all have our favorite sections of the trail. I recently hiked from km 4.9 east of St.Marys to km 8.5, pass a Lighthouse standing as a beacon at the end of a farmer’s field. Consider adding pictures from your favorite section of the Trail on the Avon Trail Facebook page.