Doubes Trestle Bridge

This trail near Toronto follows a historic railway bed over a towering trestle bridge

Passing through the beautiful Kawartha Lakes along an old railway line, Kawartha Trans Canada Trail should be on your list of hikes to hit up this summer.

The 54-kilometre trail starts just south of the hamlet of Manilla on Simcoe Street and stretches to Peterborough, with Doube's Trestle Bridge as the main highlight. 

Also known as Orange Corners Trestle, the bridge is just west of Peterborough and less than a few hours from Toronto. The short drive and incredible views make it the perfect photo-op just outside of the city.

The former railway crossing rises 30 metres (100 feet) and spans 200 metres (650 feet) over the lush fields and woodlands that make up Buttermilk Valley.

The historic landmark, constructed in 1883, was just one of several bridges built to connect the townships of Lindsay and Peterborough. It was the biggest one of them all crossing the expansive Buttermilk Creek.

Trains stopped using the line over Doube's Trestle in 1978, with the rest of the railway corridor formerly owned by CN also abandoned in 1988.

The area now draws visitors after breathtaking views and a bit of peace and quiet. The landscape is spectacular all year round but gets much more colourful come autumn, of course.

Although the towering bridge is certainly the most popular destination on the trail, the rest of the recreational corridor is worth the additional exploration. 

The rail tracks have been replaced by a flat limestone surface that hikers and bikers, even those on horseback or snowmobiles, can enjoy. Picnic areas and bike racks are also spaced out along the way.

You'll also find plenty of parking options and access points with seven parking lots and five areas for roadway parking throughout the 50-kilometres. 

If you plan on visiting and exploring Kawartha Trans Canada Trail this summer, make sure to practice safe physical distancing and pick up after yourself to leave the area as beautiful as you found it. 

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