Length: 25 TO 30 km with loops
Surface: Varies, suitable for walking and bicycles.
Uses: Walking/hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. E-bikes are permitted (must have pedals), but other motorized transport is not.
Access: The trailhead is at River Street in Port Elgin, a few blocks north of the town centre and east of Hwy 21. There are several access points – some with parking some without. See the access points page for details.
The Saugeen Rail Trail is a year round, multi-use trail that connects Southampton and Port Elgin. Built on the old Wellington Grey Bruce Railway line that ran in the late 1860s and early 1870s, the trail is an excellent means of transportation between these two shoreline communities.
The Saugeen Rail Trail begins in the south end of Port Elgin at the 6th Concession, east of Highway 21, and runs to Wellington Street in Southampton. It can be picked up at several points along the route, including at the main trailhead on River Street in Port Elgin.
Using The Trail
For many local residents, this easy access means it is the perfect spot to walk the dog, take the kids for a bike ride, or go for an early morning jog.
Despite its easy residential access, the trail runs through several wooded areas and is quite quiet.
ATV’s, motorbikes or other types of vehicles are not permitted on the Saugeen Rail Trail. (E-bikes with pedals are exempted from this ban.)
The Saugeen Rail Trail Association has worked with other community organizations in the building of a motorized parallel trail at the south end of Port Elgin for snowmobile and ATV clubs. It is located in the South end of Port Elgin, east side of Highway 21 at the 6th concession/CAW road.
The trail itself is hard packed and broad. Because of its previous use as a rail line, it is very flat. This makes it ideal for beginning skiers as well as those interested in ski-ing for exercise.
In the summer, a popular route is to bike the trail and loop back along the North Shore Trail. This route provides beautiful views of the Lake Huron shoreline.
The trail is not groomed for cross country skiing during the winter but is used frequently. Evergreens provide shelter from west winds and help to keep the trail from drifting. While not track set in winter, frequent users often leave behind a perfect set of tracks.
After a fresh snowfall, watch for a wide variety of animal tracks and the odd field mouse eying you up.