Running for more than 25 km through Kitchener linking Kiwanis Park in the north to Doon Valley Golf course in the south the Walter Bean Trail is an epic trail adventure both in Kitchener and beyond!

On this page:

  1. COVID-19 updates
  2. Location
  3. Parking and access
  4. Washrooms
  5. Canoe launches
  6. About the trail
  7. Improvements
  8. Trail etiquette

COVID-19 updates

City of Kitchener parks and trails remain open for walkthrough access, outdoor amenities are closed

Ontario is in a state of emergency and under a stay-at-home order. This is in addition to the current provincewide shutdown.

Effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m., the Province of Ontario has added further restrictions to the stay-at-home order, including the closure of outdoor amenities such as: 

  • Courts (tennis, basketball and pickleball)
  • Golf courses and driving ranges
  • Soccer fields and multi-use fields (includes frisbee golf)
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Skate parks and BMX parks (e.g. McLennan Park)
  • Outdoor fitness equipment
  • Picnic tables and shelters

Residents are encouraged to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

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

  • Parks remain open for walkthrough access. Please do not gather in parks. 
  • 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.
  • Only visit with people in your household.
  • 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.

Under provincial guidelines, bylaw enforcement will enforce gatherings of those not living in the same household. If you notice gatherings larger than five 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 trail connects Doon Valley Golf Course in the south of the City to Kiwanis Park in the north. The trail crosses the river, with the southernmost section being on the east side, the northern sections being located on the west side of the river.

Get direction on Google Maps


Parking and access

There are multiple parking lots that can be used to access the trail:

  • Kuntz Park/Pioneer Tower
  • Schneider Park Parking Lot
  • Otterbein Road Parking Lot
  • Kolb Park Parking Lot
  • Stanley Park Natural Area
  • Riverbend Parking Lot
  • Kiwanis Park

Alongside parking lots many trails connect to the Walter Bean trail along its length and many residential streets link to the trail.


Washrooms

Washrooms are generally not provided along the trail. However, there are several businesses located along the trail that serve food and snacks that may provide washrooms available for public use. Seasonal washrooms are available at Kiwanis Park.


Canoe launches

There are four public canoe launches along the trail:

  • Stanley Park Natural Area
  • Otterbein Road
  • Woolner Trail
  • Schneider Park

Access to the river is also available at Kolb Park and Riverbend.

There are a number of private companies that offer canoe, kayak and rafting opportunities along the Grand River.


About the trail

The Walter Bean Trail runs through Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and Kitchener is proud that more than 25km links the City from north to south along the Grand River. Most of the trail is constructed trail; gravel trail surfaces of between 2m and 3m wide located within a short distance of the banks of the River. In some sections, the trail moves away from the riverbanks, bypassing private property using residential streets and roads.

The trail is named in honour of Walter Bean, a local business and community leader, who inspired the vision of creating a continuous pathway along the Grand River and through Waterloo Region - one that can be easily accessed and enjoyed by everyone, from hikers and bikers in the summer to cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts in the winter.

Doon Valley Golf Course houses a piece of the trail, featuring a 75-metre, award-winning pedestrian bridge that links communities on both sides of the Grand River.

The trail is a Significant Trail for the City of Kitchener and is multi-use in nature. This means that pedestrians and cyclists can use the trail, and in winter, cross country skiing and snowshoeing can happen on the trail.

It is noted that as a result of flood damage, sections of the trail may be closed to cyclists at times. Please follow signage posted on the trail.


Improvements

Between 2021 and 2023 work will begin on the section of trail between the Deer Ridge Golf Course and Pioneer Tower to help reconstruct the trail after significant flooding and ice damage impacted this section over the course of several winters.


Trail etiquette

The Walter Bean Trail is a popular destination for recreation throughout the year; please help everyone enjoy the trail, please always be aware of users around you.

  • the trail does not continuously keep to the riverbank and does come close, and at times, cross private property. Please respect all the landowners that help make the trail a reality by following signs and keeping to the trail at all times.
  • 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 on the trail, and respect residents that live along the trail by proceeding quietly – particularly in the early morning or evening.