The Ignatius Jesuit Centre is located at 5420 Hwy 6 North, one kilometre north of the city of Guelph, Ontario. The Ignatius Old-Growth Forest is located east of the highway and of the Centre’s main complex. See a Google map of our location. There are two main access points, see map below.
519.824.1250 Ext. 287
There are over 5 km’s of Old-Growth Forest Project hiking trails that meander through a diverse range of natural areas. Our stream crossings and boardwalks allow the trails to be open all year. Further trails are available at the IJC main site that also provides opportunity for cross-country skiing.
Ignatius Old-Growth Forest Trails
Old Villa by the Speed Trail
Named after the ruins of the former Villa located on the east side of Highway 6, this trail follows the old laneway to the Villa ruins on the banks of the Speed River. The Old Villa was a summer home for the Jesuits who were studying and living on the west side of Highway 6 at the St. Stanislaus Novitiate.
The Holzer Trail
Named after Fr. John Holzer, SJ, one of the first Jesuits to arrive in Guelph. In 1852 along with a small group of Jesuits, he came to Guelph to serve as pastor of the Church of Our Lady. Fr. Holzer and this group of Jesuits played an important role in establishing area churches, schools, convents, and Guelph’s St. Joseph’s Hospital.
James (Jim) Profit, SJ Trail
“There is an amazing ability of humans to receive spiritual healing from the earth…” James Profit, SJ
The late James (Jim) Profit, SJ was well known in the community for his commitment to healing and being connected to the land. This trail was one of Jim’s favourite places to walk and is a representation of his connection to water. The trail follows Marden Creek to the Speed River and continues along the Speed, under mature pines and cedars and through hemlocks and hardwoods, to the eastern boundary of the Old-Growth Forest lands.
The Creation Trail
In gratitude to the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Ontario; for their calling and work in ecology, education and care of the natural world. May all who walk these trails experience and connect with the intricate and abundant beauty of creation.
The trail journeys through a mixed hardwood forest of cherry, ash and beech, continuing on to follow the banks of the Speed River before opening to an old-field-meadow that has been planted with over a thousand native trees and shrubs as part of our forest restoration.
In consideration of the varied activities and operations of the Centre, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please stay on established trails and roadways.
- Cycling and motorized vehicles are prohibited.
- To respect other trail users, wildlife (ground-nesting birds, water-fowl and small mammals) and to protect young establishing plants, dogs must remain on a leash at all times.
- Leave gates in the same position you find them.
- Report any damage or suspicious activity to our Lands Manager at 519.824.1250 ext 287.
- If you see an injured animal or one acting in a strange manner, please contact us.
- Refrain from feeding wildlife and from uprooting or taking cuttings from plants. Please do not pick fruits or berries from natural or cultivated plants.
- Please bring garbage home and clean up after pets.