Regional Trail Tour: Walter Bean Trail at Pioneer Tower

Our Regional Trail Tour continues, exploring the region’s favourite trails. The Sunday following each feature, Health and Performance will lead a run on the trail for anyone to join. Read more about the Regional Trail Tour.

This week, H+P member Jordan Schmidt leads a run of the Walter Bean Grand River Trail at Pioneer Tower, which follows the eastern bank of the Grand River in south Kitchener. There is also a special event; more below.

Group run at The Walter Bean Grand River Trail at Pioneer Tower

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Time: 9:20 AM*
Meet: Roundabout at Morningside Drive and Fountain Street (parking lot in the northwest corner)
Length: 7.5km out and 7.5km back
More details: All paces are welcome. The main group moves approximately 6:00-6:30/km. Runners have the option of turning around at any point to cut the run to their preferred distance or time.

One of the more remote parts of the Walter Bean Trail

The Grand River is an incredibly important part of the history and geography of Waterloo Region, and the Walter Bean Trail make so many incredible views of the river possible. This weekend we hit one of the more off-the-beaten-path sections, in terms of access, population, and terrain.

There is so much to see along this section! We will:

  • Cross the first pedestrian bridge over the 401
  • Run right by the Pioneer Memorial Tower, built in 1926 to commemorate the arrival of the Pennsylvania-German pioneers to the Waterloo region between 1800 and 1803.
  • Get a wide variety of trail surfaces, including gnarly rocky sections
  • Take in a great view of the heights of the Homer Watson Park across the river
  • Cross the Grand River on a pedestrian bridge
  • Witness one of the hundreds of small dams along the Grand River
  • Circle the Deer Ridge Golf Club

As you can see, there is a lot to experience on the trail – but that’s not all! We will also be joining Kristy Goss for the 365th day of her run streak. I’m super excited to be a small part of this accomplishment, and the public is welcome to join. This great trail run is also a great opportunity to wish Kristy the best.

Note that the start time (*) is somewhat approximate; as this is part of Kristy’s 36.5km run that day, the plan is to be at the meeting spot at 9:20am, which could be off by a few minutes.


This map shows most of the second-half of the run.


Access: The full Walter Bean Trail can be accessed from the 19 Access Points outlined above. To run this section, the group will meet at the the parking lot at the northwest corner of the roundabout at Fountain St and Blair Rd.

Surface: Dirt, crushed gravel, rocks. Be careful with footing at some spots.
Full length of the trail: Up to 78 kilometres
More information: can be found here. This is the third time the Regional Trail Tour will explored the Walter Bean Trail, as we previously looked at the Grand Trunk and Grey Silo sections. Stay tuned for more sections of this great trail system.