• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


View from Murphy's Pinnacle



001 - 002 | 0.8 kmThis is a big loop hike that takes you through much of the Boyne River area. From the back of the parking lot you can descend down the river bank to investigate the Boyne River up close. There are some paths along the shore but they don't lead any great distance. Still it's an interesting area to explore before beginning the hike.The trail begins further north along County Rd 19 just past the almost overgrown ruins of an old house on the east side. Across the road you will notice a "Provincial Park" sign that marks the beginning of the trail. This is the Primrose Loop Trail with its blue blaze markers.The path leads upwards through a cedar forest affording lovely views of the wooded hills and the Boyne River below. The trail then follows the ridge top along the edge of a pine forest before finally entering it. Moving ahead along a straight line path for 50 m, the trail jogs a bit to the left and then makes a right. Watch for the double blue blaze indicating a right turn. At the blue Primrose Loop trail sign, go straight ahead (002).

002 - 003 | 2.1 kmContinue on straight ahead. The trail is well marked and easy to follow from this point on. The trail follows a straight line path for 0.5 km before making a right turn into a remarkably dark wooded area. Look for a turn to the left when the trail leaves the forest and enters a meadow. The trail swings around a hill, crosses a pile of stones and in time reaches a grassy path that winds uphill among the cedars. The trail continues to climb crossing a series of small ridges. When the trail branches, take the branch that veers to the left and heads downhill crossing a small gully. Here old apple trees can be seen among the cedars and small pines. The area suggests pioneer farming country that has been abandoned and is regenerating to the original forest. Still climbing, the trail comes to a T-intersectiom at a cart/snowmobile track (003).

003 - 004 | 2.9 kmTurn right onto the track and continue southward through a stand of mature pines. There are a large number of blackberry bushes in the area. Look for an interesting man-made structure in a tree on your right. Just before the trail emerges into a grassy meadow, look to your left for evidence of an old farmhouse that likely stood here at one time. The grounds are overgrown with very fragrant old-fashioned roses. Continuing along you will see a clump of old willows on your left. The path branches here with the snowmobile trail going off downhill to the left and crossing a sturdy wooden bridge that leads to County Road 19 (formerly 1st Line WHS). Avoid taking this snowmobile trail as it will place you on the road far north of the connecting path on the east side of the road (004).

004 - 005 | 3.6 kmInstead turn right at the branch and head downhill through the meadow and towards the tree line. Look for a blue blaze and continue along the trail as it passes through an area fringed with ferns. Shortly you will see 1st Line WHS running along the bottom of the ridge to your left. As you continue through this area of mixed bush, watch carefully for the double blue blaze which signals a turn to the left across a small wet area. A sign here also indicates that County Road 19 is to the left (005).

005 - 006 | The trail enters a wooded area high above the road and begins to steeply descend down to the road. Watch carefully for the markers for this descent as it is easy to turn right along the cliff edge and miss the downward trail. The trail now crosses County Road 19  (Prince of Wales Road) (006).

006 - 007 | 5.1 kmLook across the road to your right and you will see an "arrow" road sign with a double blue blaze marked on the post. The trail passes through a fence and begins a long but slow uphill climb through a mature maple forest. At the top look for a double blaze on a tree to your left and follow the path downhill. At the bottom is a large bed of ostrich fern. The path now meanders and climbs a hill to a former fence line. Looking ahead, you will see Murphy's Pinnacle in front of you and a steep earth and stone path up the side. This is a former route to the top and has been retired for an easier access later on and to control erosion of the pinnacle.  The trail climbs and then gradually deflects to the right where it meets the main Bruce Trail (007).

007 - 008 | 5.4 kmTurn left onto the main Bruce Trail which begins to circle Murphy’s Pinnacle as it climbs steeply. Around the back, there is a short side trail that climbs a much easier slope to the top of Murphy’s Pinnacle. The view of the surrounding countryside is nothing short of spectacular (008). Rolling hills, farms, and forests can be seen to the east and south while the view west takes you across the fields to a view of the town of Shelburne in the distance.

008 - 009 | 6.1 kmReturn back to the main Bruce Trail which heads off to the right (northeast). White blazes on stones mark the trail as it heads towards a fence. Turn right and follow the fence line down the hill and into an overgrown meadow. At the bottom of the field, cross a stile and you will emerge onto a farm lane which is actually Hurontario Street - originally an old pioneer highway. Note that the side roads in the area are named EHS or WHS because they are east or west of Hurontario Street. To your left is a row of boulders blocking a gate. Looking past the boulders you can see Centre Road which terminates just north of the boulders. These make suitable seats for a lunch break or rest (009).

009 - 010 | 7.6 kmLeaving the boulders, the trail heads left along the fence line. A “Provincial Park” sign indicates that you are now leaving public land and entering private land (and that you are on the right trail). Be sure to keep to the trail in this area as you move through the farm area with planted areas and hayfields. The path eventually turns right and follows a farm track through a regenerating meadow. You will pass old farm buildings as the trail follows the edge of some fields. The path then enters a wooded area rich with ostrich ferns, wildflowers, and wild rhubarb. As you descend into a ravine look for a double blue blaze and turn left to descend some wooden steps into a marshy area with a boardwalk. Just past the boardwalk, the path enters another wooded area with huge old maples and a stream running to your right. You are now entering a lovely deep ravine dappled in sunlight and covered in ferns and wildflowers. The main Bruce trail  meets the Boyne Valley Side Trail (010).

010 - 011 | 7.9 kmWhile the main trail climbs steeply uphill to the left, keep right along the Boyne Valley Side Trail along the valley bottom where it eventually emerges onto 1st Line E (011).

011 - 012 | 8.9 kmTurn right onto the road and over several bridges over the Boyne River following the road around an "S" curve for about 1 km. Just before you are faced with climbing a long hill watch for the double blaze and Bruce trail signs on the right (012).

012 - 013 | 10 km(This is the most challenging segment of the hike as the trail climbs for much of the time.) This leads to a dark tunnel-like archway of dense cedars. When you reach the light at the end of this tunnel, you will enter into an open area. The trail now winds through the woods and up some fairly steep hills. At the top, you can rest and enjoy the view and reward yourself with a small snack or even lunch. From here you can see Murphy's Pinnacle to the north. Below lays the Boyne River Valley hidden from view by the forest. Follow the blue trail blazes across the rolling meadowland and climb a long gradual slope. At the top, you will see a gap in the rail fence to your right and a picnic table where we meet the main Bruce Trail once more (013).

013_ 007 | 12 kmTo your left, the trail heads to HWY 89 and then on to Mono Cliffs PP. We want the trail going right (north) down the hill along the road allowance. The main trail heads downhill on a long long but gradual slope through a swampy area and then reaches the Boyne River (see panorama photo on previous page). This is a very picturesque area and it requires four bridges and 60 m of boardwalk to  keep the trail dry and passable. The trail turns left leaving the road allowance and begins to climb out of the valley through a maple forest and an old deserted shack. The trail begins to climb towards Murphy’s Pinnacle and soon meets the Primrose Loop Trail (007).

007 - 006 | 13.2 kmTurn left onto the Primrose Loop Trail and follow the trail back to County Road 19 (006).

006 -001 | 14.5 kmCross the road and climb the hill back to (005). Turn left on the connecting link trail of 200 m to (002). Turn left again and return to (001). A shorter alternative is to walk back along the road.

Enjoy the hike and the day!

<<<Back to L08 hike page







Share a comment, photo or experience about the above article in the comment box below.
For other posts, please use our Members Blog. Login at top of each page.

Comments (0)
There are no comments posted here yet
tohi summer footer 1200x100b