Walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes — Trek Report

Sometimes, when we go blueberry picking for an entire weekend, we find ourselves with spare time to kill in the evenings. You’d think that since we’re in the heart of the city, we’d take advantage of having access to restaurants, theatres, pubs, or events. But instead, we use the opportunity to visit the city’s green spaces by walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes. Some people just like it better in the bush!

Sunset from Blueberry Hill while walking Sudbury's Rainbow Routes

Granted, we pick berries until close to sunset, so we don’t actually see green, but we’ve still managed to “discover” some cool spots. Marc has lived in Sudbury, so he often just shows me trails he randomly knows about. This summer, we also consciously started to explore walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes, the city’s trail network. It turns out that some of the trails Marc knew about are part of the Rainbow Routes, too.

We’d been on some of the trails walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes before, having either formerly or recently enjoyed the paths and boardwalk at Bell Park and multiple sections of the Junction Creek Waterway Park. Namely, Tom Davies Square – Flour Mill and the Rotary Park Trail, making it nearly to Adanac Ski Hill before turning back, not knowing what lay ahead. Sadly, those were spontaneous walks and we didn’t have a camera… But the fact is that’s the best part of keeping a Rainbow Routes map in the glove compartment: unplanned adventure!

We really don’t have to try hard to keep ourselves entertained in the evenings. We spend such long days picking blueberries that we don’t return home for a night or two, sleeping in our car parked at the trail head. But we know those trails really well, and by the end of the day, we’re ready for fresh scenery.

Walking Sudbury's Rainbow Routes can lead to this gazebo on Blueberry Hill

That’s why, on our last berry-picking excursion, we decided to check out Blueberry Hill off Bancroft Drive, and to continue walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes. Obviously, we were attracted by its name, but also by the trail description. Titled for its numerous and popular blueberry patches — which were bare when we were there — the hill provides a lovely view of Minnow and Ramsey Lakes from a gazebo.

Continuing on to finish the loop, Marc and I realized we’d climbed part of the hill only a few short weeks earlier, when we’d clambered up to a lookout point to enjoy a slice of pizza late one evening. Perhaps because it was dusk, we didn’t notice any trail markers, though we had to have crossed the trail to reach the top. So it seems we’ve unconsciously been walking Sudbury’s Rainbow Routes, too.

The Blueberry Hill Walking Loop is only one kilometre long, which was perfect for walking at twilight. Once blueberry season is over, we plan on testing out a few of the city’s longer, more challenging trails. Topping our list are the Laurentian University-Moonlight Beach Trail, the Kelly Lake Trail, and the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area.

We really appreciate having such a wide variety of trails available all over the city. Even though we’re constantly in the bush — or maybe particularly because we’re constantly in the bush — when something brings us to the city, we’re grateful for these natural spaces made especially to get away from it all the way we enjoy best!

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