The Trail Starts In Waldemar

Waledmar

Why am I here in Waldemar you ask?  I guess I needed something to do after showing houses in the area.LOL

While I was parked on the side of the road, I thought the Grand river was at the highest level I’ve ever seen it at so I started taking photos.   I also noticed that the Upper Grand Trailway was right behind me,  so if your looking for a trail to check out then come out to Waldemar and you can start at the beginning of the 10.5k Trail.

Waldemar – was Incorporated as a police village on June 20th, 1901.  It’s located on the 10th line and the 2 sideroad. The post office was established on January 1, 1870. The first postmaster was David Jenkins. The office closed on May 31, 1969.

Just beyond the railway tracks, the Gamble Road led to a swimming hole fed by a spring and dammed to form a pool before the excess water trickled off to join the Grand River. Although it was maintained and used by everyone back in the 1940’s it’s long gone now and never to be used again 😦

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Below is a old Map of Waldemar I found.

 

 

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So what do we know about the upper grand trailway?

IMG_9854Well for starters we know know that the railroad corridor actually pre-dates both “East Luther” and “Grand Valley”, although the places themselves were of course settled first.  East Luther was surveyed as part of Luther Township, while Grand Valley went through a variety of names (including simply “Luther”, as it is shown on this map from the 1880s) before settling on Grand Valley in the 1890s.

We also know that the Upper Grand Trailway is built on a foundation of 138 years of transportation history. The former Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway line was built in 1870, leased by the CPR in 1883 and served East Luther Grand Valley until August 13, 1984 when the last freight train passed through our community.

For people that did not live here during that this time, the only thing to know is that for over a decade there was no official use for the rail coridor.  The rails were ripped up and the bridges were allowed to fall into disrepair.

Then on February 9, 1998 ownership of the right of way was transferred to the Township of East Luther Grand Valley and remained greatly untouched until 2001 when the Trailway Committee was formed.  Over the years they have undertaken many improvements of the old railbed, including construction of a new bridge over the Boyne Creek

IMG_9850So what does The Trailway Committee’s vision mean to you?  Well it’s here to provide residents and visitors with recreational and outdoor educational opportunities while preserving a linear green belt.  The trailway was officially opened September 17, 2005 and 9 years later it’s still going strong 🙂

The Upper Grand Trailway is a 4 season nature trail that is 10.5 km in length. The old abandoned CPR line has been lovingly resurfaced to provide hikers, cyclists, cross country skiers and horseback riders access to the wonders of the countryside. It also accommodates snowmobilers with a valid permit in the winter season, but motorized vehicles are otherwise forbidden.

The Trail begins here in Waldemar and runs westward, crossing over a unique brick-lined culvert that was built in the early 1900s. The Boyne Creek runs through this culvert to join up with the Grand River. As the trail winds westward, you reach County Rd. 125 then travels through Grand Valley then North.

The old railroad bridge tracks managed to vanish around 1985

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Categories: Hiking, Recreation

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