Chrysler Canada Greenway

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Coordinates: 42°14′52″N 82°57′03″W / 42.247835°N 82.950897°W / 42.247835; -82.950897

Newbikeroute.gif
Chrysler Canada Greenway
Length 42 km (26 mi)
Trailheads Highway 3 (Northern Terminus, but continues 2 km to N. Talbot Road)
Colasanti's Tropical Gardens

The Chrysler Canada Greenway is a 42 km-long rail trail in Essex County, Ontario, Canada, stretching from Oldcastle (near Windsor) to Leamington.

History[edit]

The trail dates back to the late 1980s, when CSX Transportation operated a line, formerly the Canadian branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Hiram Walkers distillery in Windsor, Ontario south and east to Leamington, Ontario. This branch line was built by Hiram Walker in 1848, and extended all the way to Kingsville, and later Leamington.

A portion of the rail line from Windsor to Blenheim was abandoned in 1989, and the rail line was donated to the Essex Region Conservation Authority in 1993, and Chrysler Canada gave a considerable donation to ERCA to convert the rail line to a bike trail. Work was finished on the trail by 1997, and it opened that year to use. The remainder of the rail line would also be abandoned, and its tracks removed to where they branch from the mainline between Highgate and Muirkirk.

By the year 2001, CN Rail took note of the popularity of the Chrysler Canada Greenway that they donated an additional 26-km spur line from Amherstburg, Ontario to Essex, Ontario, a portion of the rail line operated by the Canada Southern Railway, which was abolished in 1977. (The rails for this spur, and the spur leading from Comber to Leamington were removed in 1995, eliminating three at-grade railroad crossings on Highway 3). ERCA has stated they intend on converting the new trail from Amhurstburg to Essex as soon as funds become available, and stated this is part of their goal of improving the environment of Essex County, and for linking the communities in Essex County together via trails. There has been no word on if the Leamington-Comber rail corridor will be converted to a trail. ERCA, Ontario Parks and Parks Canada have stated interest on turning the entire abandoned rail corridor from Ruthven to St. Thomas into an extended Chrysler Canada Greenway, linking up with trails in Delhi and Simcoe, providing a single long trail corridor from Windsor to London and Kitchener, and even to Hamilton and Toronto (via the Waterfront Trail). It is currently unknown if Leamington intends on converting its abandoned rail corridors to trails.

LaSalle, Ontario has also expressed its interest and intentions to link the Windsor Trail and its own LaSalle Trail network to the Chrysler Canada Greenway.

How to travel[edit]

The Greenway allows several different modes of transportation: cycling, walking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

Alignment[edit]

The trail starts at the junction with Kings Highway 3, but has signs to cross at the nearby Walker Road due to the dangerously high levels of traffic. The trail also has an unofficial "extension" which continues 2 km straight to its terminus with North Talbot Road. The Greenway also has five "Community Entrances", three of which (Harrow, Kingsville, and Ruthven) are of "service center" standards.

The Greenway is currently all gravel, and it is unknown if there are any plans to pave it in the near future.

Note: Not all exits are initially listed. more will be added as information is received.

Municipality Road/Intersection kilometer post Destinations Notes
Windsor, Ontario North Talbot Road 2 km Ciociaro Club, AKO Camp Windsor, Ontario
Tecumseh, Ontario Kings Highway 3 0 km Oldcastle, Ontario Official Starting Point. Cross at Walker Road, 0.5 km west. Path continues for 2.0 km to North Talbot Road. Community Entrance.
Tecumseh, Ontario South Talbot Road 2 km Essex, Ontario
Essex, Ontario Townline Road (Essex County Road 8) 4.9 km River Canard, Ontario, Essex
Essex, Ontario 14th Concession Road 6 km
Essex, Ontario 13th Concession Road 7 km
Essex, Ontario 12th Concession Road 8 km
Essex, Ontario 11th Concession Road 9 km McGregor, Ontario
Essex, Ontario North Malden Road 9.5 km
Essex, Ontario Essex County Road 12 12 km
Essex, Ontario South Malden Road 13.5 km
Essex, Ontario Essex County Road 18 15 km
Essex, Ontario Walker Road (Essex County Road 15) 18.5 km
Harrow, Ontario Essex County Road 20 21 km
Arner, Ontario Arner Townline (Essex County Road 23) 28 km Pleasant Valley Campground, Kingsville Golf and Country Club Schwabb Farms Community Entrance. Restored and rehabilitated Grain elevator, service center, park and ride.
Kingsville, Ontario Chrysler Canada Greenway 30 km Pleasant Valley Campground, Kingsville Golf and Country Club 1.5-km bypass around Kingsville Golf and Country Club. Somewhat narrower than the rest of the Greenway.
Kingsville, Ontario Chrysler Canada Greenway 31.5 km 1.5-km bypass around Kingsville Golf and Country Club. Somewhat narrower than the rest of the Greenway.
Kingsville, Ontario Kingsville Train Station and Museum 36 km Kingsville, Ontario, Pelee Island (via ferry) Kingsville Train Station, a former train station and museum, has been leased to a restaurant operator since 2008 and provides a rest stop along the Greenway in the town of Kingsville. Situated in downtown Kingsville.
Ruthven, Ontario Graham Sideroad 40 km Intersection with Ruthven Spur of trail Ruthven, Ontario, Colasanti's Tropical Gardens. Trail splits into two paths: Ruthven-bound, and Colasanti-bound. Both are less than 2 km in length.
Ruthven, Ontario Colasanti's Tropical Gardens 42 km End of Trail.
Ruthven, Ontario Talbot Road (Essex County Road 34) 42 km Talbot Road (Essex County Road 34), Leamington, Ontario End of Trail.

Extensions[edit]

Extensions of the trail are planned.

The Municipality of Leamington, Ontario has expressed great interest in converting their abandoned rail lines east of Talbot Road (CR 34) into an extension of the Chrysler Canada Greenway. Currently, bikes and farm tractors have to use dedicated bike lanes along the very-busy Talbot Road, and this is dangerous, due to the high speed limit, trucks, hills, and curves. Currently, the parts east of CR 34 are navigable by bike or foot, but it is not recommended, as the brush is quite thick and it may still be private property.

The nearly all of the right-of-way along the former CN Rail CASO Subdivision from Leamington to a point just east of Ridgetown (via Wheatley, Merlin, and Blenheim) is intact, and able to be converted into a rail trail, and is either in the process of becoming one, or is in the planning stages.

ERCA has expressed its intentions on linking Amherstburg, McGregor, and Essex to the trail network via a 26-km long trail, with an intersection somewhere near McGregor, Ontario. This is already easily done, as ERCA owns the right of way, and a 1-km spur route leads into McGregor from the Greenway.

Aside from money, the insane traffic amounts on Highway 3 (which is scheduled to be twinned starting 2007) would pose a significant obstacle, unless the trail was routed along either an overpass/underpass, or through an intersection/Interchange, such as with Townline Road (County Road 8).

The City of Windsor has also expressed its intentions on linking its bike trail network to the Chrysler Canada Greenway. The most-likely candidate for this would be the Devonwood Bike Trail, which is the farthest-south reaching trail (the closest, with just 3.5 km separating the two), and already connects to an ERCA conservation area (Devonwood Conservation Area).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]