The RailTrail is beautiful in spring. Photos in our slideshow are courtesy of Bev White.
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 trail head is at River Street in Port Elgin, a few blocks north of the town center and east of Hwy 21. There are several access points – some with parking some without. See the Map for details.
The Saugeen RailTrail 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 RailTrail 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 trail head 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 RailTrail. (E-bikes with pedals are exempted from this ban.)
The Saugeen RailTrail 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 skiing 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.
Trail User’s Code
- Leave nothing but thanks.
- Take nothing but photographs.
- Current recreational uses include walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- No motorized vehicles.
- No hunting is allowed.
- Keep dogs on a leash and obey the poop and scoop bylaw.
- Cyclists should be aware of others on the trail and should alert others and pass with care.
- Respect private property along the trail.
- Please leave the trail cleaner than when you came.