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GeoTime Trail


The purpose of the Waterloo GeoTime Trail is to show the immensity of geological time through interpretive signs along the route.

Canada is fortunate in having the oldest rocks found on Earth and the trail illustrates some of the major geological events that have taken place over the last four billion years, especially as they pertain to Canadian geological history.

Each metre of this 4 kilometre (2.5-mile) long trail marks one-million years of geological time. Every millimetre represents 1,000 years, and one centimetre represents 10,000 years.

The trail teaches us where different parts of geological time start and end, when different biological organisms appeared on Earth and when some major catastrophic events took place. It also features a sundial where you can learn how to tell the time.

When the Geotime Trail first opened in 2007 the trail was only 1.3 kilometres in length, the opening coincided with Waterloo's 150th anniversary, the University of Waterloo's 50th anniversary and became the 150th kilometre of trail in this city.

In 2017 the trail was expanded to show over 4 billion years, representing the age of the oldest rocks in Canada through to the present day.

This trail is the first of its kind in Canada, and has been  outlined in the Canadian contributions to the UNESCO-sponsored international Year of Planet Earth in 2008. 


The GeoTime Trail begins at the small parking lot on Sundew Drive. A small roofed booth marks the beginning of the trail and illustrates events that took place at the formation of our planet and its associated body, Earth's Moon. Follow the four km loop enjoy reading the geological history of Waterloo. 


Geotime trail map


Here are the signs found along the trail, in geological order. Please be advised the following 18 pdfs are not accessible in their current format. Should you require them accessible please contact Louise Finlay, Project Manager at 519-747-8744 or TTY 1-866-786-3941.

GeoTime Trial Logo