Georgian Bay Sea Kayak Route
Wiarton to Owen Sound
Getting to Wiarton
Drive north on Highway #6 through Hepworth to Wiarton. Turn right at the stoplights in Wiarton and turn right. Drive one and a half blocks and turn left into Bluewater Park. Parking is available at this location.
Leaving Bluewater Park, the trail takes you past an arena and onto George Street. Follow George Street to Taylor Street, then to Mary’s Street before heading back into the bush. You will ascend some stone steps and a ladder back to the top of the escarpment’s edge. After coming to a stile the trail continues alongside of the airport and crosses the airport access road. Cross the road and the field heading towards large plane hangers. Follow the field’s edge to another access road. The trail follows this road for awhile before it turns left onto another airport access road. Follow the trail to a stile then turn right, soon passing through the town of Oxenden. The trail follows Grey County Road 1 for a short distance before turning right, and then goes straight in for 400 meters before turning left and slowly taking you back to the top of the escarpment. As the trail continues around the escarpment’s edge it passes many side trails. One of special interest is the Bruce Cave side trail, which is only 400 meters long and leads you to some spectacular cave viewing. Continuing east, the trail passes through several hardwood and cedar forests which are interspersed with open fields. Follow the trail as it descends for about one kilometer before emerging onto Colpoy’s Range Road, a gravel road.
Follow Colpoy’s Range Road for a short distance then turn left and cross over a stile on the fence line. Heading south, cross the fields and some open bush to another stile which you will cross before heading eastward for two kilometers. The trail continues eastward through a birch forest, along the escarpment’s edge then coming to a stile. The trail then travels past an old homestead where you can observe the old barn foundation and the remains of the silo. Cross the next stile before merging right onto a road allowance which you will follow for 500 meters. The trail eventually comes to Burgess Side Road which you will follow briefly before turning left onto Lake Charles Road. Hike along this road for two kilometers, and then turn left at Big Bay Side Road. Turn right again onto Graham’s Hill Road before heading into the bush. The trail skirts a woodlot heading east, passing by some impressive limestone outcroppings.
Cross the next stile and hike around the bluff, passing a parking area and eventually emerging onto a road allowance. The trail follows the road allowance for two kilometers before turning left onto Coles Side Road. The trail follows this road for three kilometers before turning right onto paved County Road 1. After passing a farm, the trail turns left onto Lundy Lane and cross the next stile. Continue through the field to the bush periphery where you will encounter an old logging road. After hiking south for about 800 meters, you’ll continue through a forested area in which there are numerous crevices in the ground. Please be cautious when hiking through here! Heading alongside of the escarpment’s edge for a short distance, the trail descends and emerges at the old Lindenwood School. After a short walk down Lindenwood Road, the trail turns right and crosses over another stile. The trail continues south along the fence around the edge of a series of fields and crosses a small stream.
The trail continues south along the escarpment through cedar bush and passes by the Glen camping area. This area is designated as wilderness camping so no open fires are permitted. Drinking water must be treated before use.
Continuing on the trail you will pass through mixed forest where you can see the remains of pine stumps and witness how large these trees used to be. The trail follows the escarpment’s edge to offer many observation points before coming to Gordon Sutherland Parkway. The trail follows this road and turns left onto Indian Acres Road, then leads you past a field, into a meadow, and then into a hardwood forest. The trail emerges onto Gordon Sutherland Parkway again and heads towards the town of Bennallen. Just inside the town the trail turns left and takes you towards Georgian Bay. The trail slowly turns right and crosses County Road 17, then continues along the escarpment’s edge to offer great views of the Owen Sound Harbor. The trail descends slowly down the escarpment and takes you onto Range Road.
Follow Range Road and then turn right onto 30th Street, left onto Somers Street, then left onto 19th Street West. Walk along it until you turn left onto Sergeant’s Parkway, then onto 1st Avenue West towards the information parking lot.
Be very cautious when embarking on the trip from Bluewater Park in Wiarton to the Owen Sound Harbor. This trip is 45.4 kilometers of mostly open water travel, leaving you exposed to sometimes sporadic weather conditions. Most land in this section is privately owned, so camping in this section is not an option. Only advanced paddlers should attempt this trip, and are advised to plan extremely carefully for it.
As you paddle into Owen Sound Harbor, continue past Kelso Beach, around the little peninsula and into the opening of Sydneyham River. Continue up the river a short distance to the boat launch at the Owen Sound Tourist information office. Dock your boats and head back to your car in the nearby parking lot.
In Owen Sound
From Highway 21
Drive into Owen Sound on 10th Street West, down the hill to the fourth set of traffic lights. Turn left onto First Avenue West and drive for a block and a half to the Owen Sound Information office. Parking is available at this location.
From Highway 26
Coming into Owen Sound on 16th Street East, go to the fourth set of traffic lights and turn left onto 9th Avenue East. Go to the first set of traffic lights and turn left onto 10th Street East. Cross through five sets of traffic lights, turn right onto First Avenue West, and drive for a block and a half to the Owen Sound Information office. Parking is available at this location.