Cornwall is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with amazing experiences for every season. There are numerous trails available for hiking, running, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and mountain biking. You can experience 3 conservation areas within a 20 minute drive, all specializing in different species’. The gorgeous views and amenities along the way make Cornwall the perfect destination for your next outdoor getaway. Whether it’s adventure you seek or a more relaxed scenic experience, you will find just what you are looking for here in Cornwall.
Lamoureux Park and The Riverside Trail
Lamoureux Park is a perfect trail head that offers free parking and public restrooms. From the park you can head west along the Riverside Trail, offering scenic vistas along the St. Lawrence River and the Cornwall Canal as you head to Guindon Park or Upper Canada Village. Heading east will take you past Marina 200, the Cotton Mill District, St. Lawrence College and the NAV CENTRE towards Gray’s Creek. If you are looking for a shorter stroll, take the Lamoureux Park Loop which connects you to the waterfall in the EcoGardens to the RCAF Wing, Cornwall Community Museum and Civic Complex. All of the paths are paved multi-use paths which accommodate hikers, runners and cyclists. Lamoureux Park is also located in heart of Cornwall, which means excellent dining and shopping are only minutes away!
More on Lamoureux Park
A jewel on Cornwall’s waterfront, Lamoureux Park features the Rotary Eco-Gardens, an environmental oasis featuring a mini waterfall, native plants and a variety of wildlife. The Arboretum showcases 44 different types of tree species. The park includes the iconic Clock Tower, historical plaques and other sites of interest. Lamoureux Park is the gathering place for both active and passive activities such as outdoor concerts and festivals it also includes the Cornwall Community Museum and amenities such as an outdoor gym, splash pad, boat launch and picnic area.
More on the Waterfront Trail
The Waterfront Trail is a 2100 km series of trails that connects the Great Lakes to the Quebec Border. The section from Grays Creek to Upper Canada Village is referred to as the Riverside Trail; a dedicated off-road multi-use trail that spans the entire city’s waterfront, offering stunning views of the Cornwall Canal and the St. Lawrence River and connecting to a number of attractions. It is very popular with cycling and running enthusiasts.
The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail has been designated a Trail of Distinction as its unique wetlands, forests and beaches creates an incredible route of discovery through Ontario’s rich natural heritage.
The Trails at Guindon Park
Guindon Park is a 500 acre waterfront park in Cornwall’s west end with a number of trail options and amenities. Easily accessed by car or by bike via the Waterfront Trail. It has a play area, picnic spots, boat launch and a new BMX Track, the longest sanctioned BMX track in Ontario. The Trails at Guindon Park are used year round for hiking and mountain biking and are extremely popular in winter with snowshoe trails and cross country skiing. The park also offers geocaches on site.
There are three entrances to Guindon Park off Vincent Massey Drive West in Cornwall; The Eastern Entrance, Floral Drive, and Trillium Drive.
This is primarily used for trails and hiking. The paths are followed by lush forests and maps are located throughout the trails.
This is an open park area with picnic tables, restrooms and access to the bike path and trails. It serves to highlight as a rest stop for cyclists, snowmobiles, joggers, equestrian riders, etc. There are hidden ponds and spots to sit to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the area.
This is where the children’s large play structure is located as well as a large parking lot. There is a boat launch and dock for the St. Lawrence River. There are also several geocaches hidden in the area.
For permits, memberships and day passes visit the Benson Centre at 800 Seventh Street West, Cornwall, ON
Gray’s Creek Conservation Area
Free parking and a number of trail options that take you in and out of natural forested areas. Most of the trail is wide, easy to traverse and offers a mix of terrain with minimal hills. It does not offer scenic vistas, but does provide a wonderful forest environment. Also connected to Cornwall bike path network and the adjacent Waterfront Trail that runs along the St. Lawrence River.
The Conservation Area is located just minutes east of Cornwall, in the Township of South Glengarry. It offers over 43 hectares of natural landscape for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. This diverse area is protected, enhanced and restored by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority.
Gray’s Creek includes five kilometers (5 km) of meandering trails that are open year round, allowing users to enjoy nature in all its seasonal settings. Explore the trails and keep an eye out for the wide variety of animals, songbirds, amphibians and waterfowl that inhabit this significant Conservation Area. Geocaches are also hidden with the trail system.
Gray’s Creek also has Copeland Park, a picturesque family park with picnic area , shelter, kids’ play structure, and charcoal BBQ for your convenience. Outhouses and public washrooms are available for your convenience.
Cooper Marsh Conservation Area
20020 S.D.G. County Road 2, South Glengarry
Located a short drive outside the City is one of the most significant wetland conservation areas in all of Ontario. Follow the wetland boardwalk or climb the viewing platform to explore over 130 species of birds, a wide variety of amphibians, turtles and fish as well as some almost extinct mammals that call the Marsh home.
Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary
5591 Morrisons Road, Ingleside
The Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary was established in 1961 on lands acquired by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission after the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The sanctuary covers 9,000 hectares of a variety of wildlife habitats, including: a mature upland forest, early successional woods, old fields, wetlands and open water. With more than 8 kilometers of self-guided nature trails winding through these habitats, the seasoned birder and amateur naturalist, alike, have excellent opportunities to view up to 200 waterfowl, raptor, passerine and other bird species.
Long Sault Parkway
15005 Long Sault Parkway, Ingleside
The Long Sault Parkway is a series of 11 islands that were created from high points of land left after the flooding of the St. Lawrence River during the construction of the Seaway in the 1950’s. These islands include parks, campgrounds, beaches and more!
What to Bring
Proper footwear and comfortable clothing is a must on any hike. Be sure to bring water and stay hydrated regardless of the season or temperature. In summer months you will want protection from the sun and if your trail takes you into a forest, some type of insect repellant. Most trails are dog friendly, just remember to pick up after your pet!
Know before you go
There is free parking available at all the trail heads and conservation areas allowing you to enjoy a day on the trails followed by more activities of your choosing. Many visitors like to include stops to the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre to snap a photo of the impressive RH Saunders Power Dam or Rurabn Brewing to tour the micro brewery and sample some local flavours after a day in the woods.
You can search for these trails and others in the Cornwall and SDG area by visting AllTrails