Ontario has many great places to hike. This section will feature some of the best trails.
You can see pictures of spots along trails in any section of the Image Gallery
Go to: The_Bruce_Trail
The Bruce Trail
The first Bruce Trail Committee meeting was in September of 1960. The four members were Ray Lowes, Philip Gosling, Norman Pearson and Dr. Robert McLaren. These men were instrumental in the building of the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail is now 885km long and has over 400km of side trails. It is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada and Ontario residents are lucky enough to have access to it anytime they please.
The Bruce Trail goes along the Niagara Escarpment and it will take you from Tobermory, ON to Queenston, ON near Niagara Falls. It will provide you the opportunity to explore the Niagara Escarpment and see its beautiful scenery. Watch the wildlife and take photographs for memories worth remembering.
Along the Bruce, you can see rare flora and fauna that are unique to the Niagara Escarpment. Some species cannot be seen anywhere else in the province. The topography and calcareous soils of the Niagara Escarpment produce ideal habitats for 50 species of fern, 40 species of orchids, 36 species of reptiles and amphibians, 53 species of mammals, 90 species of fish, over 300 species of birds and tons of insects. On some parts of the trail, you will be able to see Tulip Trees and Sassafras. These can be found growing naturally nowhere else in Ontario.
In Spring and Fall you can see thousands of migrating hawks parade past lookout scattered across the trail. Spring sees the migration of vireos, tanagers and bright coloured warblers going back to their nesting grounds to the North. Cliffs of the escarpment are also a perfect breeding habitat for turkey vultures. Wait until you see one of the gigantic birds up close. There is so much to see on the Bruce Trail, go for a hike and see for yourself.
Like any other hiking trail, the Bruce Trail has a user’s code. This is simply to protect the nature surrounding the trail and also the wildlife.
Here is the Bruce Trail User’s Code. This code should be used on all hiking trails.
- Hike only on marked routes. Do not take shortcuts.
- Do not climb fences, use the stiles.
- Leave the trail cleaner than you found it. If you see garbage, take it out.
- No open fires allowed on the trail.
- Camp only at designated camp sites.
- Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy.
- Do not damage trees.
- Keeps pets on a leash.
- Do not disturb wildlife.
- Obey all signs.
- Leave only your thanks and take nothing but photographs.
For more information about the Bruce Trail and to get your hands on some maps, you can buy the Bruce Trail Reference Guide made by the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
Visit brucetrail.org/ for more information.
The Niagara Glen
If ever you are in Niagara Falls, be sure to take a hike at the Niagara Glen. There is about 4km of trails for you to enjoy. You will descend about 200ft into the Great Niagara Gorge and you will be able to walk along the rapids of the Niagara River. You will see boulders that were formed by erosion thousands of years ago. The paths wind through a Carolinian forest at the base of the gorge. Along these trails you will be able to see the Niagara River Whirlpool that was also formed by erosion. You will also see unique geology and biology; make sure to bring a camera. Another interesting point is that about 6500 years ago, the Niagara Falls were around where the Niagara Glen is today. It'll give you an idea of the power that erosion has. The Niagara Glen is now one of the largest developed bouldering areas of Southern Ontario.
Take a hike in the Niagara Glen and see the beauty of the Niagara Gorge. Bring your family for a picnic before or after your hike. There is a picnic area at the Glen visitor center. From there you can begin your journey into beauty. Remember to leave only footprints behind and always stay on the trail. We want this unique area to keep on thriving for many years. It will be a hike you will remember for a lifetime!
For more information and a map of the Niagara Glen trails you can visit: www.niagaraparks.com/nature-trails/niagara-glen-whirlpool.html
Campus Trails: Duchesnay Falls
Canadore College and Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario are home to beautiful trails known as the Duchesnay Falls Trails. You can access these trails by parking at Canadore College (Paid Parking) and crossing the bridge over the pond behind the school. The trails are well marked and most are easy to moderate difficulty. There are a few loops to choose from and most will be on a decline if you start at the college. The trails will eventually lead you to beautiful Duchesnay Falls. The trail will take you down along the side of the falls. Swimming here is not recommended, the rapids can be very unpredictable. This is a long cascade that consists of many drops, twists and turns.
You can also start your hike at the bottom, near the base of the falls. Simply head west of North Bay on Hwy. 17. Near the fork where Hwy.17 and Hwy.17B meet, there will be a parking area on the north side of the road. There you can park for free and start your hike and see the waterfall right away. Your hike will be on an incline from this point, and going downhill on the way back. Be warned, the Rigormortis Trail is rather difficult if you take it uphill. Bring your energy if you decide to climb up this steep trail. The Duchesnay Falls Trails are worth doing anytime of the year, although I would not recommend going in the winter.
For a map of these trails you can visit: www.campustrails.com/campustrailsmap.pdf