The Cataraqui Trail is located on the former Canadian National Railway line running from Smith Falls to Strathcona. It can be used by hikers, bikers, horseback riders, cross country skiers and snowmobilers.
The Cataraqui TrailThe Cataraqui Trail is located on the former Canadian National Railway line running from Smith Falls to Strathcona. It can be used by hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
The route of the trail is shown on the 1:50,000 scale topographical maps prepared by Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. You will need the following maps: 31C/16 Perth, 31C/9 Westport, 31C/8 Gananoque and 31C/7 Sydenham.
In total there are about 50 public road crossings. The main ones are described below and shown on the above map.
- Smith Falls - Km. 0. The trail starts behind Harveys and Tim Horton's on Highway 15 at the south end of town. Accommodations, restaurants and stores nearby.
- Lombardy – Km. 9.1. Access is from Leeds-Grenville Road 1, 1.3 km south of Highway 15. No nearby restaurants or stores.
- Otter Lake – Km. 17.8. Access is from Leeds-Grenville Road 5, 0.1 km south of Highway 15. No nearby restaurants or stores.
- Portland – Km. 24.8. Travelling along Highway 15 take Portland Station Road (next to Rideau Realty office). Trail is 0.7 km from Highway 15. Accommodations, stores and restaurants in Portland.
- Forfar – Km. 29.6. Access is 0.4 km southeast of Forfar along Leeds-Grenville Road 42. Store and cheese factory in village.
- Highway 15 - Km. 34.5. Access is off Highway 15, 2.5 km north of Elgin and 3.5 km south of Crosby. No nearby restaurants or stores. Parking available beside trail on east of highway.
- Chaffeys Lock Road – Km. 37.6. Access is off Leeds-Grenville Road 9 (Chaffeys Lock Road) - 3.6 km from Highway 15 & 4.7 km from Chaffeys Lock. No nearby restaurants or stores.
- Chaffeys Lock - Km. 43.1. Access is at junction of Indian Lake and Opinicon Roads - 1 km west of lock. Seasonal restaurant and accommodations beside canal.
- Maple Leaf Road – Km. 58.8. Access is 0.1 km from junction of Opinicon and Maple Leaf Roads. No nearby restaurants or stores.
- Perth Road Village – Km. 60.7. Access is on Frontenac Road 10 and 0.6 km north of Perth Road Village. Corner store at south end of village.
- Sydenham – Km. 71.7. Access is on Frontenac Road 19 - Bedford Road. Trail runs between the beer store and IGA. Accommodations, stores and restaurants in village.
- Harrowsmith – Km. 78.2. Access is on Highway 38, 0.1 km north of OLCO gas station. Parking available beside trail on east of highway. Accommodations, stores and restaurants in village.
- Yarker – Km. 87.5. Going along Lennox & Addington Road 6, turn uphill on Cutler Road opposite the Old Bank Cafe. Trail is on Sidings Street. Stores and restaurants in village.
- Camden East – Km. 95.0. Trail crosses Lennox & Addington Road 4 0.4 km north of village. Store and restaurant in village.
- Newburgh – Km 98.7. Trail is on Main Street at north end of village. Food and stores in village.
- Strathcona – Km. 102.2. A recent addition of the Strathcona Paper factory has made the trail more difficult to find. Go to the south end of Finlay Street and trail is to northeast of factory buildings. No nearby restaurants or stores.
Adobe PDF File (180K)
Places to Visit
- lakes, rivers and wetlands
- locks and historic lift bridge across the Rideau Canal at Smiths Falls
- Smiths Falls Rideau Canal Museum
- Portland antique shops
- Forfar Cheese Factory
- Chaffey's Lock and the Lockmaster's House Museum
- Queen's University Biological Field Station
- heron rookery
- the Village of Sydenham's general store and tea room
- Kingston - home of Fort Henry
- Harrowsmith's cheese factory and antique shops
- Yarker's tea room and falls on the Napanee River
- Strathcona's paper factory
- Napanee's historic homes
- the Bay Of Quinte
A Few Highlights
The right-of-way (ROW) of the Bay of Quinte Railway (BofQ), from Deseronto to Yarker and Tamworth, crossed the Grand Trunk Railway to the west of the still standing 1856 Grand Trunk Station on John Street. The BofQ then continued north in the Napanee River valley to Strathcona where the present Cataraqui Trail begins. Strathcona is still an operating paper mill owned by Roman Corporation. Rails from Napanee end about 3 km west of Strathcona.
The original ROW of the BofQ lay closer to the river than the present Cataraqui Trail. The trail now passes north of the Newburgh Academy on Academy Street, L&A # 11. The old line can be seen to the south of Academy Street where an old stone culvert exists. One of the few existing stations of the B&Q can be seen on the old ROW at 74 and 76 Grove Street, now a private residence. The old station platform as well as a railway hotel across the street at 77 Grove Street are still evident. The ROW can be traced to the east for some distance.
Yarker was an important railway junction point. Here the Napanee, Tamworth and Quebec Railway swung north-west. The abandoned right-of-way of the line to Tamworth, Tweed and Bannockburn can be seen on the west side of Yarker as the continuation of Sidings Street. The extension to Harrowsmith and Sydenham in 1889 required a crossing of the Napanee River. The old bridge abutments and road crossing can be seen north of the new railway bridge built for the Canadian Northern main line to Ottawa that was completed in 1913.
Connected to Harrowsmith by the re-named Kingston, Napanee and Western Railway in 1890, Sydenham was an important shipment point for phosphate, feldspar and mica, as well as hogs and cattle. There were saw mills, a shingle mill, and a grist mill. The large handsome station stood on the north side of the right-of-way at Bedford Street where the beer store is at present and was demolished after closing in 1966. A small steamboat towed barges of mica along Lake Sydenham from the Lacey Mine on Eel Bay just north of Hogan Road.
Lake Opinicon Area
Three sawmills, a shingle mill, a cheese factory, and a phosphate mine were located in 1870 in the now ghost village of Lake Opinicon at the head of Opinicon Lake. Later a sawmill operated between Rock and Opinicon Lake and a flour mill at the outlet of Rock Lake Creek. The connection from this settlement and Bedford Mills was the Old Bedford Road, now only a trail that crosses the railway right of way. A feldspar mine on Upper Rock Lake shipped ore via the railway. A canal was dug between Upper Rock Lake and Stonehouse Lake in 1910 when the Canadian Northern Railway was being pushed through from Sydenham to Ottawa. Feldspar ore was barged through the canal to a siding on Stonehouse Lake.
ActivityLogin or Register to post your update!
Sorry, there was no activity found. Please try a different filter.