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General Trail Information


Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
Protect, Connect and Celebrate the world's largest group of freshwater lakes.

Cornwall Waterfront Trail

Stretching over 2,600 km along the Canadian shores of the earth's largest group of freshwater lakes, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects:

140 Communities and First Nations
3 Great Lakes, touching a fourth, Lake Superior in Prince Township
5 Bi-national Rivers
3 UNESCO Biospheres
23 Provincial Parks
3 National Parks including Canada's First National Urban Park
21 National Historical Sites
415 municipal parks
65 conservation areas
125 beaches, including 13 Blue Flag awarded beaches
3 major wine regions
44 historical main streets
15 Bicycle Friendly Communities
16 Ontario By Bike Regions; and hundreds of businesses designated as bike-friendly
12 international border crossings

Over 45 major connecting trails including the Greenbelt Route, Bruce Trail, Niagara River Recreation Trail.

Over the years, the Trail has served as a catalyst for the regeneration of Lake Ontario and has become a much-loved and well-used fitness, recreation and tourism attraction.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail consists of both on-road and off-road facilities. The Trail is about 30% off-road along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and about 14% off-road on the Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair section, and 4% off -road along the North Channel between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. It is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads.

Many downtown urban centres have fully off-road facilities that are open to pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers and others. The on-road sections consist of quiet residential streets, local roads, rural highways and in a few places Provincial Highways.

Both interactive maps and free downloadable PDF maps are available to help you enjoy the Trail. Tourism information for each community can be found on our website with links to relevant tourism organizations.

The Trail can be enjoyed for a quick stroll or as part of a multi-day long distance adventure. Be sure to check out the following resources for more ideas on how to enjoy the trail:

  • Interactive Map – Our mobile-friendly interactive map can help you navigate the trail
  • Download PDF Maps – Download and print free high-quality PDF maps that you can bring with on the trail
  • Family Friendly Ideas – Check out these family-friendly sections of the trail, complete with attractions and activities for people of all ages to enjoy
  • Suggested itineraries – Check out this section to find multi-day end-to-end trail itineraries complete with activities, mile markers, and maps
  • Great Waterfront Trail Adventure- Register for an unforgettable cycling holiday. This multi-day tour is fully supported and welcomes new cyclists, hardened veterans, and everybody in between

How long is the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail? 2,660 km by Summer 2018

1600 km Quebec to Grand Bend along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron.

380 km   Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie along the Lake Huron North Channel. Sections on Provincial HWY 17 are still under construction. Should be ready in Summer 2018.

680 km   Underway and should be ready by summer 2018. Grand Bend to Tobermory to Collingwood and Manitoulin Island.


Canada's Great Lakes--Some Helpful Links

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is both an enduring symbol for and an expression of a new commitment to our Great Lakes. Watch David Crombie, our founder, on the philosophical basis behind the Waterfront Trail.

Ontario's Great Lakes Protection Act was passed by the Ontario government in November 2015. Read the 2016 Progress Report on measures to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

Ontario Conservation Authorities--Ontario has 36 conservation authorities who are mandated to ensure the conservation, restoration of and responsible management of Ontario's water, land and natural habitats. They build and manage many of the beautiful waterfront parks and facilities along the Great Lakes. 

Great Lakes Cities Initiative--Canadian and US Mayors collaborate to identify priorities and respond to issues facing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin. 

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper--Canadian charity advocating for swimmable, drinkable, fishable watershed. They have developed the Swimmable Beaches App an excellent guide to our Great Lakes beaches and water quality testing results. Check it out here.

Steve Paikin of the Agenda ran an excellent series of episodes examining the challenges facing the Great Lakes in October 2016 as part of Great Lakes Week. Watch the episodes.


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Contact Information

(416) 943-8080
4195 Dundas St. West - Suite 227,
Toronto, Ontario M8X 1Y4

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