Distance: 8.9 km. Difficulty: Level 2 Contact: Jim, firstname.lastname@example.org
Download Hike Description and Map PDF. Trailhead Map Link.
Limited parking, (4 cars), available on Wellington 29(Google lists trailhead as Fist Line) just south of bridge over Eramosa River, (See map below - right click on map to save and print.) N.B. Don't park on River Glen Path. It's private property and you might be ticketed.
This route is shown in the GHTC Handbook on pages 27 & 31, including the Stonefields ST and the Arkell Springs ST/loop. It is somewhat a ‘figure 8’ loop hike, see route details below. The numbers on the map show KM
Since Starkey is so popular, I recommend parking on Wellington 29, just south of the bridge going over the Eramosa River. There are probably 3 or 4 spots to pull off the road.
A short walk south along 29 you will come upon the trailhead and green gate. This portion of trail is on the old rail-bed, so nice and flat. You will come to the junction of the main orange blazed trail and the blue blazed Stonefields side trail. I recommend staying on the main trail (keep right). This will stay on the old rail-bed and eventually come to a junction for the Abutment side trail, straight for another 200m, or turn left and continue on main orange blazed trail. The Abutment ST is an ‘out and back’ but nice to see the river.
Continuing along the main trail for a short distance to another junction. To the left is the other end of the Stonefields side trail (you will use it on the way back), but turn right to continue on the main trail. You will come to the ‘upper green gate’ and trail will curve slightly left.
Beyond that upper green gate you will find additional trails that are setup by the biking club (GORBA). It’s important you follow the orange blazes. After passing through the upper green gate you go along the road allowance (straight portion for some distance), pass the City’s Waterworks pump house and then eventually turn right and go through the hardwoods. Again, be careful to stay on orange blazed trail. You turn left to go across a ridge and then make your way down into a valley.
Eventually you will see the orange blazed trail meet up with the junction of the Arkell Springs sidetrail (loop) that is blue blazed. I recommend turning left onto that blue blazed trail that will take you south/east in the valley. Continue to follow the blue blazes as it eventually turns right and up a hill. This trail is now running parallel to Arkell Rd and will be in pine trees.
Stay on blue blazed trail as it crosses an access road and loops a bit left towards Starkey Hill parking lot. BEFORE you cross the road, you will come to a ‘T’ junction that going left will take you across the road to parking lot, but the right turn will continue around the loop on the blue blazed trail heading north/west.
This blue trail will eventually intersect with the main orange blazed trail and you will turn right. This portion of trail will now be blazed blue AND orange. Keep on it and you will come to a steep downhill on the left to get you back into the valley. This maybe very slippery this time of year! Continue through the valley and you will come to the ‘Y’ in the trail that has blue trail to right and orange trail to left. You are going left on orange trail and will be the trail you came from. Follow the orange blazes (other GORBA trails in that are too) and will get you to upper green gate.
As you work your way down that portion of trail, it will meet up with Stonefields side trail (main trail will be turning left). This time you stay straight and use the side trail. This side trail will eventually join up with the main orange blazed trail and that main trail gets you back to Wellington 29 ‘lower green gate’