New and Old Cross Trail run side by side between Gavan Hill Trail and Yaw Drive
Although I knew the Cross trail had been finished up to the Benchlands Road (which has one end at Kramer Avenue, I had never walked the newer sections of beyond Charteris Street, and I think perhaps summer 2007 was the last time I even walked the section between Charteris Street and the Kimsham Fields. With sunny relatively warm (for the season) weather, but wind blowing out of some of the passes (and out at Starrigavan), it seemed like a good day to see the full trail.
A friend and I started at the Benchlands Road, walked the mile to where the Cross trail starts as a trail. (I think in the long term trail plan, there the Benchlands Road/Kramer Avenue will have a separate trail that links Cross Trail segments, with the trail ultimately extending all the way to Starrigavan.) All of the new trail is wide (8-10ft? I’m not sure) gravel path. It winds up and down a bit above various residential neighborhoods as it traverses the 3+ miles between Kramer Avenue on one end and Yaw Drive on the other. Although I don’t really prefer walking gravel and/or road-like surfaces, it was a pleasant walk. The trail is intended be multi-use, and though we mostly passed other walkers, there were also a few bicyclists.
In addition to the new (to me) far sections of the trail, the section between the Gavan Hill Trail junction (actually, even back a little further toward the high school) and Yaw Drive has been completely remade. The new trail does not stick to the old route, though in places it crosses or runs parallel. While the original Cross Trail through this section was a narrow walking only trail, the newly done trail is the same wide gravel path as the other sections. On the Yaw Drive end, there is still a little work left to do to finish getting the gravel surface (the underlying rock is already in place).