I can’t say that Snyder’s Flats is the most ecologically-beautiful trail I’ve ever hiked. In fact, between the floodplain area that is just a little over-watered this year and the grey, barren vistas of the restored gravel pit, it’s a decidedly craggy spot to visit. For families and dog owners, however, it’s a paradise.
In the 1980s, Snyder’s Flats was restored as part of a pond and wetland rehabilitation project (Trails Take Flight, 2010). Today, it is enjoyed most frequently by dog walkers and anyone looking for a good, solid hike along the Grand River. The area offers 4.5 km of multi-purpose looped trails that are a branch of the main Grand Valley Trail (GRCA, 2014).
Access to the area is via Snyder’s Flats Road, off of Sawmill Road in Woolwich Township (GRCA, 2014). There are lots of large, open parking lots in which to unload the family vehicle – and if you’re watching for it, there’s a ‘shoe tree‘ along Snyder’s Flats Road. This mysterious cultural phenomenon involves the hanging of multiple pairs of shoes into a single tree; a kind of three-dimensional graffiti which allows the wearer to ‘leave their mark’ in a visible location (Taylor, 2010).
Pictures from my most recent hike at Snyder’s Flats are below.