Photos and Story by Alex Kinesella

Explore Waterloo Region invites you to explore our wide-open spaces. Whether you’re looking for leisurely paths that meander into city parks and past historic sites, or trails that wind through scenic countrysides and forests, these trails are sure to inspire.

SNYDER’S FLATS, WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP

Located in the town of Bloomingdale in Woolwich Township, you’ll find this 100-hectare conservation area open to the public year-round. The reformed gravel pit is now a natural area featuring a large pond and a 4.5-kilometre trail. Snyder’s Flats is home to fantastic wildlife, including large brown and white raptors and beavers.

FWR DICKSON WILDERNESS AREA, CAMBRIDGE

Birders will find a fantastic selection of feathered friends at FWR Dickson Wilderness Area. This natural area includes great hills, two ponds, and a 4.8-kilometre walking trail. There’s also a wetlands area with a boardwalk to get you even closer to nature.

HEALTH VALLEY TRAIL, ST. JACOBS

The Health Valley Trail runs along the Conestoga River and winds its way into Waterloo. It’s an unpaved trail great for cross country skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.

URBAN EXPLORING ON KITCHENER WATERLOO’S IRON HORSE TRAIL

This mixed-use trail connects Kitchener and Waterloo. The Iron Horse Trail runs from Erb Street West in Uptown Waterloo to Ottawa Street South in Kitchener. Along the trail, you’ll find opportunities to take a break and enjoy a bite to eat or pop into a craft brewery to sample a local beverage. The trail also runs through Kitchener’s beautiful Victoria Park and is a quick walk to downtown Kitchener.

HURON NATURAL AREA, KITCHENER

The Huron Natural Area is Kitchener’s largest nature space, with six trails that wind through woodlands and wetlands. Open year-round, the space is used for exploration and education. With the City of Kitchener’s support, Huron Natural Area is home to an Indigenous-led project to present the art and culture of past and present Indigenous communities that call the space home.

WALTER BEAN TRAIL, WATERLOO REGION

Waterloo Region’s longest trail is the Walter Bean Trail that runs through Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Woolwich Township. The 76 kilometre-long trail is open year-round and is enjoyed by hikers, cyclists, snowshoers, and more. The trail connects to the rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge.

RARE CHARITABLE RESEARCH RESERVE, CAMBRIDGE

Located in Cambridge, the rare Charitable Research Reserve covers over 1,000 acres of protected natural area. The lands are used by researchers from across Canada as well as for hiking and exploring. rare is comprised of 24 different habitat types. It has an exceptional array of flora and fauna, with species that are ranked “significant” or “at risk” regionally, provincially, nationally and even globally. Although rare exists to protect these important landscapes, they also make them open to the public for appropriate recreation and independent learning.

Discover more Waterloo Region trails at explorewaterloo.ca

Global Heroes News Cover Donovan Bailey
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Located in the heart of Southwest Ontario, Waterloo Region provides the perfect balance between new and old, rural and urban, nature and technology, classical and contemporary, tranquility and adventure.

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