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.
Martin Tamlyn, Old-Growth Forest Coordinator
519.824.1250 Ext. 224
The Ignatius Jesuit Centre features trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. A number of trails traverse the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest lands and are available year-round for hiking and snowshoeing. Click here to view the Old-Growth Forest trail map.
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
The Holzer Trail is named after Fr. John Holzer, S.J., 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, S.J. Trail
“There is an amazing ability of humans to receive spiritual healing from the earth…” James Profit, S.J.
James (Jim) Profit was born in Summerside, P.E.I. on August 12, 1956. He entered the Jesuits on August 23, 1980 and was ordained May 25, 1991. Jim’s commitment to healthy sustainable agriculture and his connection to the land would mark his entire life. After a long struggle with cancer, Jim died in his native P.E.I. on January 11, 2014. His faith-filled struggle against his cancer, which he believed was related to the illness of the earth itself, has been a source of inspiration to many.
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, many of which are impressively old and gnarly. Lined with conifers, it follows the banks of the Speed River for a short distance to the Old Villa and then opens up into a meadow that has been planted with over a thousand native trees and shrubs as part of the restoration work of the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest project.
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.
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Our trails are meant to provide a safe and peaceful environment that can be enjoyed by all. Off-leash dogs can disrupt wildlife or disturb trail users that may have a fear of dogs or who may be engaging in contemplative, silent retreat.
- Leave gates in the same position you find them.
- Report any damage or suspicious activity to our Land Assistant at 519.824.1250 ext 238.
- 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.