001 - 002 | 0.24 km This hike does a large loop through the Silver Creek area and the Bennett Heritage Trail. From the parking lot at Scotsdale farm, to begin the Bennett Heritage Trail hike, walk southwest towards Trafalgar Road along a farm lane bordered by Norway spruce. Near the top of the rise turn left onto a wide lane leading into a mature woodlot of maple, beech and white pines (002). This is the actual start of The Bennett Heritage Trail hike.
002 - 003 | 1.0 kmThe trail is marked with blue blazes indicating this is a Bruce Trail Side Trail. Just before reaching Trafalgar Road, the hiking trail swings left over a cedar rail fence. On your right you will see a hiking trail map. Just beyond this, there is a Y-intersection (003). Keep left and follow the white blazes on the main Bruce Trail into the woods. (The main B.T. is coloured magenta on the trail map.)
003 - 009 | 3.2 kmThe trail wanders through the woods and several cow pastures (with the 5 stiles now removed) before emerging near 8th line. Watch out for cows using these pastures and cow patties :). Just before 8th line turn right and walk on the wooden walkway over the small wetland. The path then turns left and enters the woods again. Here the trail runs over limestone erratics (chunks of limestone left behind by glaciers), so watch your step. This is a very picturesque section of the trail and the woods are full of interesting ferns. The trail reaches and crosses 27 Sideroad (009).
009 - 010 | 4.1 kmThe trail continues through more limestone erratics until it reaches the Great Esker Side Trail blue marker (010).
010 - 011 | 5.6 kmAt this point you can continue hiking ahead along the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail or turn right onto the Great Esker Side Trail loop and follow the blue blazes of this trail. The Great Esker Side Trail can be muddy as some sections are low-lying. There is a steep hill to climb but the reward is a beautiful balcony walk along the ravine edge. Follow the blue blazes carefully until you come to the bottom of the loop where you will emerge from an evergreen tunnel to see a large hickory tree (011). In season, the tree can provide good shade for a lunch spot.
011 - 012 | 7.7 kmContinue to follow the blue blazes through a meadow before entering a forest of mature hemlock, maple and white birch. You will follow a wooded ridge before rejoining the main Bruce Trail again (012). Keep right onto the main Bruce Trail.
012 - 013 | 8.2 kmAfter turning right, follow the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail. The trail crosses 8th Line (013) and continues straight ahead.
013 - 014 | 8.5 kmHeading back into the woods, Snows Creek runs along on your right and soon you will reach a pretty spot where the trail crosses the creek on a wooden bridge (014) which has just been rebuilt (2008). This is a nice spot to have lunch and to wade in the fast flowing waters in the summer months.
014 - 015 | 9.3 kmPast the bridge, the trail crosses a short boardwalk and climbs a set of log steps before turning to the right and heading through some mature hemlocks. Shortly you will hear and see Silver Creek rushing by on your right. The main trail goes right down to Silver Creek but keep left onto the Bennett Heritage Trail again (015).
015 - 016 | 9.6 kmShortly, the trail arrives at Sideroad 27 (016). (Here a jog to the right will show some of the Silver Creek rapids.) Cross the road and continue straight ahead.
016 - 017 | 10.5 kmBack up the hill, cross a ditch on the right where another map (now missing -2012) shows the Bennett Heritage Trail again. Follow the blue blazes of the Bennett Heritage Trail along a fence line and through the woods looking down on Silver Creek and cross over a series of farm bridges (017).
017 - 018 | 11.3 kmThe trail meets and crosses 8th Line and continues on a long farm lane (018).
018-001 | 12.9 kmThis farm lane leads back to the farm buildings where the hike began (001). These farm buildings were built with care and are well worth a careful look. Please respect the privacy of the occupants. Behind the house there is a large pond created by a dam across Snows Creek and a wishing well. Swans can be seen in the pond on occasion.
Enjoy the hike and the day!