The Iron Horse Trail forms the spine of Kitchener’s multi use trail corridor and runs for approximately 5km between Kitchener and Waterloo.

On this page:

  1. COVID-19 updates
  2. Location
  3. Washrooms
  4. Amenities
  5. History
  6. Improvements
  7. Trail etiquette

COVID-19 updates

City of Kitchener parks and trails remain open

If you plan to enter a city-owned park, trail or open space in Kitchener, please follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain a physical distance from other people of at least two metres or six feet, except for members of the same household
  • Masks are strongly recommended
  • Share the space on a trail – keep your visit short and try to avoid busier times
  • Keep moving – try to keep moving to let others also use the trail
  • Walk in your own neighbourhood
  • Leave if the park is crowded
  • Keep your dog on a leash when not using off-leash dog parks.
  • Wash or use hand sanitizer before eating or drinking and upon returning home.
  • Please only park in designated parking areas.
  • Be mindful of what you put in garbage bins. Only throw out what is required in the designated garbage bins.

NOTE: public washrooms are only available at limited facilities. It is recommended that you use the washroom before leaving home.

Under provincial guidelines, bylaw enforcement will enforce gatherings of those not living in the same household. If you notice gatherings larger than 100 people outdoors or groups not physical distancing, please call 519 741-2345.

To help ease parking congestion at McLennan Park, a temporary one way system has been implemented. Traffic should enter the park from Block Line and exit onto Ottawa Street. Please park in designated parking bays and, if parking is full, park in the Lions Arena parking lot.


Location

The Iron Horse Trail connects from Ottawa Street in the south, starting near the intersections of Ottawa Street South and Nyberg Street, through to Park Street in the City of Waterloo.

Along its route, it connects to:

  • Kaufman Park and Cameron Heights Collegiate on Stirling Avenue
  • Woodside Park, Highland Courts Park, Harry Class Pool and Mike Wagner Green at Mill Street
  • Victoria Park, and through Victoria Park to Downtown Kitchener
  • Raddatz Park at Gage Avenue, and the Transit Hub Trail through Cherry Park
  • Catalyst 137 at Glasgow Street

Get direction on Google Maps


Washrooms

Publicly accessible washrooms are available at Victoria Park during spring – fall. During winter, washroom facilities are located at Jubilee Avenue in Victoria Park.


Amenities

There are lots of benches and resting points along the trails. These provide space for strollers and wheelchairs to get off the trail as well and many have bike racks.

Find play areas at:

  • Kaufman Park
  • Highland Courts Park
  • Victoria Park
  • Raddatz Park
  • Gildner Green (Glasgow Street)

Find outdoor gym equipment at:

  • Victoria Park
  • Raddatz Park (opening late 2021)

Find tennis and pickleball courts at:

  • Kaufman Park
  • Highland Courts Park

There are lots of places to eat and drink along the trail.


History

The Iron Horse Trail is used by more than 250,000 people every year connecting key networks within the City of Kitchener such as the iON Light Rail Transit systems, on and off road cycling routes, parks and open spaces, downtown Kitchener and several neighbourhoods, as well as linking the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener.

The name ‘Iron Horse Trail’ reflects the industrial heritage of the trail, built along the former rail corridor, there are several artifacts of historical interest along the trail that are a call back to the former rail tracks.

The trail also forms part of the Trans Canada Trail, or Great Trail, as it crosses through Kitchener.

The trail is a Multi Use Trail. It is asphalt along its full length and receives year round maintenance, meaning it is kept free of snow and ice in the winter. Multi Use Trails in Kitchener can be used by cyclists and pedestrians, but the trail should not be used by motorized vehicles such as motor bikes or cars.

The trail links residents, communities and businesses and provides an Active Transportation corridor for many people undertake daily trips for work, school or business along the trail. It is also an important recreational trail linking parks and open spaces and helping add to the quality of life of residents of Kitchener.


Improvements

Between 2018 and 2021 the Iron Horse Trail has seen significant improvements. The surface has been replaced along the length of the trail and been widened in many areas to provide a consistent, 3m wide paved surface. Lighting has been improved and extended to light the length of the trail with energy efficient LED lights and many resting places and seating has been added. Several of the road crossings have been upgraded to provide a more comfortable experience.

Work continues in 2021 with further work on road crossings, signage and seating to be completed.

Upcoming closure

The Iron Horse Trail between Victoria Street South and Gage Avenue will be closed for one day on Thursday, June 17 for maintenance. Please use Strange Street and the Transit Hub Trail as a detour.


Trail etiquette

The Iron Horse Trail is one of Kitchener’s busiest trails and so to help everyone enjoy the trail, please always be aware of users around you.

  • keep the right side of the trail as you move along it
  • keep dogs on leash and remember to pick up after them
  • if you are moving up behind people in front (for example, runners and cyclists) please make people aware of your approach – use a bell, or provide a verbal indication (‘on your left’)
  • if walking in a group, be aware of others using the trail and give them space to pass
  • do not use motorized vehicles (cars, mopeds, ATVs, snowmobiles) on the trail, and respect residents that live along the trail by proceeding quietly – particularly in the early morning or evening.