After parking, you’ll see a sign directing you to walk 100 m up the road to the trailhead on the right.
Pass through a narrow gate and immediately drop into the V-shaped canal, emerging after a few minutes to parallel the canal on your left. Suddenly the view opens up.
As you look to the west, Swan Lake and the Bella Vista Hills dominate the landscape. Views of Pleasant Valley can be observed to the north and they become even more sprawling as you travel farther south.
As the path travels beside the canal, it dodges in and out of small pockets of forest that probably have sprouted directly from the effects of the canal’s payload over the years.
With over a kilometre gained, the first signs of the canal’s remains become evident. Wooden trestles, cement foundations, concrete transfer stations and galvanized troughs litter the landscape. It is beautiful to see what is left of this wondrous man-made creation. Interpretive signs are appropriately placed along the pathway.
Forty minutes into the trek, the path navigates another narrow gate and crosses McLennan Rd. to emerge onto Grey Canal Rd. Stay on this paved road for about 10 minutes to the end of the road.
The route gets back onto the trail after it passes through another narrow gate. You will notice there is progressively more development as you cover more ground walking south.
Some 3.5 km from the trailhead, you come to the Rugg Rd. access. This large gravel parking lot has two trails leaving it, one on either side. The trail on the left goes steeply upward, higher into the hills, while the lower one, to the right, sticks to the canal. Good news: take the low trail on the right.
Roughly 1.5 km of drifting on this scenic trail brings you to a prominent junction. Taking the right fork would bring you to the intersection of Silver Star Rd. and Blackcomb Way. Take the left route instead and briefly climb uphill to a parking lot.
The trail leaves the parking lot from the far side. This trail loops back to the Rugg Rd. parking lot, closing a loop as it rejoins the parking lot. This is the same trail that exits the left side of the Rugg Rd. parking lot going steeply uphill.
After a little over a kilometre, this flat upper trail briefly drops, bringing you back to the Rugg Rd. parking lot.
From here, return to the Glenhayes Rd. parking lot on the same route that brought you here.