Great Trails for Everyone to Enjoy in the Waterloo Region

There are lots of reasons to get out more in the Waterloo Region this year. One of them is to stay (or get) fitter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, among lots of other things, served to reemphasize the importance of overall good health as a preventative measure as well as the need to maintain a healthy weight. Thus far a number of respected studies and anecdotal reports have pointed to obesity being a notable risk factor for COVID-19—and often the primary risk factor for younger patients.

One way to get fitter outdoors is to hit the trail. And whether you chose to walk, run or bike the Waterloo Region has some great ones to offer.

Some of you may already be familiar with at least some of these, others, especially those new to the area or just in the process of planning a move here, this is hopefully useful information, as we are going to take a look at some of the best trails in the Waterloo Region.

Petersburg Bush

  • Distance: 3.3 km
  • Elevation Gain: 102 meters
  • Route Type: Loop

This is a ‘lighter traffic’ trail that is primarily used by walkers and runners of all skill levels. It’s one of the shorter trails in the area but with its gentle slopes is considered nice and kid friendly and it’s also rather wide, making it great for a socially distanced outing.

One word of warning. It can be rather buggy in places in the summer, due in large part to heavier tree cover, so make sure you wear insect repellent as well as sunscreen when you head out.

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Sudden Regional Forest Loop

  • Distance: 3.2 km
  • Elevation Gain: 88 meters
  • Route Type: Loop

This is a dog friendly trail (as long as they are on a leash) that’s resplendent with wildflowers in the spring and summer. It’s also a very varied trail, as it offers lots of different terrain. Big paths, small paths, boardwalks, steep hills, swamps, and ponds, it has them all, and is as good for birdwatching in places as it is for running or walking.

Drynan Tract

  • Distance:
  • Elevation Gain:
  • Route Type:

Love to linger by a lake? Then this is the trail for you. Known as an easy trail that’s both kid and dog friendly (as long as the latter are leashed) There are pretty ponds, lots of fauna and even remains accessible in the winter for hardier walkers and runners to enjoy.

The GeoTime Trail

  • Distance: 4.6 km
  • Elevation Gain: 131 meters
  • Route Type: Loop

Want some fascinating, educational opportunities to go along with your fitness efforts? then head out to the GeoTime Trail.

The GeoTime Trail traces the City of Waterloo’s expansive geological past through informative signs along the route. Each meter of this 4½-kilometer trail marks one-million years of geological history. Every millimeter represents 1,000 years.

The trail teaches us – and our kids – where geological periods start and end, when different biological organisms appeared on Earth and when major catastrophic events took place. It also features a sundial where you can learn how to tell the time the very old-fashioned way.

This trail is of particular pride to the Waterloo Region. It opened in 2007, coinciding with the region’s 150th anniversary, the University of Waterloo’s 50th anniversary and the 150th kilometer of trail in Waterloo.

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It was also the first of its kind in Canada, and was outlined in the Canadian contributions to the UNESCO-sponsored international Year of Planet Earth in 2008. It’s also a lot of fun to traverse, which is always the most important thing!

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