When you walk this trail you are walking a little bit of Ontario's history. This stretch of abandoned rail line is fairly typical of hundreds of similar abandoned rail lines throughout the province. Built to assist in the commerce of the area, they moved lumber, mining materials, people, and goods into areas where few, if any, roads existed. Today they are no longer economical. While that may be bad news for some, for recreationists it represents opportunity. When the tracks have been removed, these wide paths that cut across country can provide access trails for hikers and equestrians. In winter, a number of these old lines become snowmobile and cross-country ski trails.
This particular stretch of line on the edge of the lovely Madawaska Valley was part of the Central Ontario Railway. It ran from Belleville to Wallace, about 20 km south of Whitney, and was an important transportation route for freight and passengers. The line was a vital support service for the 19th century lumber industry that flourished around Lake St. Peter.
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Directions: Drive highway 62 to Graphite Road and turn east about 4 km to the old village of Graphite. There is parking by the lake on the south side of Graphite Road.
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