About the Trail

Where Is the Hickson Trail?

Find Woodstock, Ontario here.

This beautiful trail runs along an old railway bed from Woodstock, Ontario, Canada (the Dairy Capital of Canada) north through 9 km of Oxford County woodland to the village of Hickson in Township of East Zorra-Tavistock. The existing (south and centre) part of the trail is visible in the following map.

A small portion of the trail is within Woodstock’s city limits and is looked after by them. The majority of the trail runs through EZT Township and is maintained by the volunteers of the two-year old Hickson Trail Committee, supervised by the Township’s Council. It is free and open all year around for walking, cycling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and other outdoor and nature activities.

Extending the Trail Through to Hickson:

The last 3 km of trail is not even shown on Google’s map because it is not passable. This northern portion is very overgrown and in definite need of bridges to cross two creeks.  Here is a Google Earth map of the entire trail.  Below that are pictures of the north section of the trail early this Spring.

Ross Campbell, chair of the Hickson Trail Committee, stands at the bridge abutment on the Braemar Sideroad where one of two bridges needs to be installed to be able to open the section north to Hickson. A fundraising campaign is now underway. This image was published in the Tavistock Gazette 15 Feb 2017 and is used with permission.
End of north part of trail, near Hickson, Fall 2016.
Another view of the North Trail near Hickson, Fall 2016.

The estimated cost of the work needed to open the trail is $90,000. Two phases are planned.

PHASE ONE – October 2017

  • Install two bridges for two creek crossings on North Section of the trail.
  • Brush out trees and overgrowth.
  • Clear and level trail base.
  • Ditch and install drainage where necessary.
  • Estimated Cost $60,000.

PHASE TWO – by Fall 2018

  • Levelling/Repairing any trouble spots.
  • Install base, smoothing the trail which will be ideal for cycling.
  • Clear overgrown sections in South and Middle sections of existing trail.
  • Erect signage and general finishing touches.
  • Estimated Cost $30,000.
  • Goal is to complete work in Fall of 2018

What Are We Doing About It?

Currently, the Hickson Trail Committee has secured $55,000 in funding towards the project. That funding is made up of  $26,000 from donations and fundraising, a $1,000 grant from the Oxford Community Foundation, a $10,000 grant from the Oxford County Council and an $18,000 conditional grant from the Federal Canada 150 Fund.  Fundraising continues with the committee’s involvement in such enterprises as a BBQ on our behalf by the Bank of Nova Scotia in Tavistock, Lions’ Daze in Hickson by the Lion’s Club of Hickson and Upper Thames Brewing Company’s “Run to Beer” event every Wednesday evening this summer and their Race and BBQ event in September where the profits will be shared with the Hickson Trail.

One of the conditions of the Canada 150 Fund grant is that the $18,000 grant can only make up 30% of the total costs incurred before March 31, 2018.  In other words, to receive the full $18,000 the Committee must have additional funds of $5,000 (for a total of $60,000).  As you can see from the above, the Committee has been busy fundraising and collecting donations but requires further funds to ensure this project moves forward this Fall so that all of the grant funds are utilized.

Maintenance:

After the project is complete ongoing maintenance will be done by the volunteers of the Committee.  CAN YOU HELP US?