Where the Speed Meets the Grand River

13 km cycling on Cambridge Trails

Click here for a map of trails along the Speed River

Our mission:  to explore trails along the Speed River, a major tributary of the Grand River.  Using the City of Cambridge’s Trail Map, we were able to find a series of multi-use trails that lead through Cambridge from the end of the Speed River Trail to the confluence of the Speed River with the Grand, with only a few short on-road gaps.

After a sweltering heat wave, the sky was blue, the air was a little cooler and there was a slight breeze–the perfect day for a bike ride.  We started at the end of the Speed River Trail (which starts in Guelph) on Blackbridge Rd where it passes over a historical bridge over the Speed.  A group of kayakers were paddling on the placid river and a fisherman was trying his luck under the bridge.

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We cycled up Blackbridge Rd to a small subdivision in Hespeler.  Using GPS and the trails map we were able to find the start of a community trail that leads to the Hespeler Millpond and a view of the spires of the historical village of Hespeler.  Here, a large sign with a map marks the start of the Mill Run Trail, which is a well-maintained multi-use trail that runs along the banks of the river.  Many people were out enjoying Sunday morning,  walking their dogs, jogging or biking along the trail.

The trail continues through some woods with numerous viewpoints of the river and the industrial heritage of Hespeler.  We saw two herons intently fishing.

At Beaverdale Rd, someone had kindly put up a handmade sign, showing the way across the river to the next section of trail.  The trail passes under Highway 401, with the traffic thundering overhead, oblivious of the river and the trail beneath.

Finally we reached Riverside Park, which was busy with family barbecues and children running excitedly around the splash pad.

After a short ride along King St, which is very busy, we connected with the Bob McMullen Linear Trail.  This trail runs beside the river, which here seems in no hurry to meet its larger sibling.  There is a plan to eventually build a pedestrian bridge over the Speed River, which would connect these trails to the Great Trail, which runs through rare Charitable Research Reserve on the opposite side of the Grand River.  Finally we reached a great viewpoint overlooking a broad flood plain at the meeting point of the Speed River and the Grand River.

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