• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


The trail along the Lake Moodie channel



001 - 002 | 2.2 kmBefore beginning the DeCew Falls to Rockway Falls hike, it's worthwhile to take a short walk from the DeCew House parking lot to see the remains of DeCew House. Then head toward the Lake Moodie channel and follow the Bruce Trail along the bank of the channel. The trail veers left away from the river before coming to a more open mowed pathway through the bush. The trail continues past a bog area on the left, where a large bullfrog was making its’ presence known, and heads westward around Lake Moodie on a raised gravel roadway. You will pass the water treatment plant and a large reservoir that supplies water for the DeCew Hydroelectric Power Station which is one of the oldest in Canada. When you reach the fence closing off the dam area, head downhill to the left on a stone path. You are afforded a great view of the Generating Station below from a lookout vantage point (002).

002 - 003 | 3.2 kmJust into the woods, take a small detour to the right to the lookout point. The main trail now follows the edge of the escarpment for some distance affording great views of the surrounding countryside and urban areas. Continue along the trail as it goes in and out of the bush through the quiet countryside and soon you will hear the roar of the Lower Falls. At the T-intersection at the ravine edge, turn left and continue to follow the main Bruce Trail to Lower DeCew Falls (003). It is not uncommon to see people who, further along the Bruce Trail towards the east, have scrambled down into the gorge for a great view of both falls. However the slope is both steep and deep and great caution must be exercised. I don’t recommend this descent.  If you do descend, you can follow the creek bed downstream for a great view of the Lower Falls and then return upstream to view the Upper Falls.

003 - 004 | 3.5 kmContinue along the trail which makes a right turn and continues beside a chain fence and passes a large stately white house on the left. The trail arrives at Upper DeCew Falls and Morningstar Mill (004). Decew Falls cascades 22 metres into a bowl-shaped amphitheatre just behind the mill. If you descend and are daring, you can go behind the falls and feel the cool spray. On weekends and holiday Mondays, be sure to tour the museums at the crest of the Upper Falls.

004 - 005 | 3.7 kmLeaving Morningstar Mill, the trail crosses the parking lot to reach DeCew Road (005).

005 - 006 | 4.1 kmTurn right and follow the road for 400 m to where the trail turns left leaving the road (005).

006 - 007 | 4.8 kmThe trail follows the edge of a grassy field, heads down a hill and crosses a wooden bridge over a creek and climbs up the ravine on the far side. The trail wanders through the woods on a narrow path, circles a ravine and descends to cross a small creek before climbing the ravine on the other side. At a T-intersection, you meet the Terrace Creek Side Trail (007).

007 - 008 | 5.5 kmKeep left on the main Bruce Trail. The trail climbs a slope curving left and then descends to cross a creek before climbing again on the other side into the woods. The trail arrives at Wiley Road and turns right heading uphill on the right to the Wiley Road parking lot and a large trail map and gate (008).

008 - 009 | 6.3 kmAfter a long undulating straightway, pass the first marked trail #6 and arrive at the second marking for Trail #6 (009).

009 - 010 | 6.9 kmThe trail turns right along Trail #6 (main Bruce) and follows the edge of the creek on the left on a wide grassy path approaching the transmission lines ahead. The trail follows an interesting trail through the woods high above Terrace Creek below. You will pass a lower falls before arriving at Terrace Creek Falls (010).

010 - 011 | 7.7 kmAfter descending towards the base of the falls, the trail arrives at an open meadow and detours over a new wooden bridge over the creek.  The trail meets trail #4 at an inverted “Y” and continues straight ahead across a wooden plank bridge and then passes through a meadow-like area to arrive at a map display board (011).

011 - 01 | 8.1 kmTurn right here and cross a large concrete bridge with side rails and continue straight ahead on this trail heading gradually uphill where it once again meets the Terrace Creek Side Trail (012).

012-013 | 10.0 kmTurn left and head uphill where the trail heads to the left and skirts a farm field along the ravine edge passing a picnic table and horse  rails and  passes underneath the hydro transmission lines. The trail  approaches a farm house and then makes an abrupt turn to the right and  heads steeply downhill (013).

013 - 014 | 10.8 kmThis hill can be treacherous if the ground is wet and muddy and slippery in bad weather. At the bottom, the trail crosses a small wooden plank bridge (with a few missing planks) over a creek and then makes a climb up the dirt path on the other side. Soon you will arrive at an intersection with Trail #1 going to  the left. There are some nice views from this high location. Instead, take Trail #3 straight ahead which brings you to Swayze Falls in a few metres with its’ observation platform and built-in bench (014). This is a nice, quiet, peaceful area for a rest and a snack.

014 - 015 | 12.0 kmLeaving the falls, continue ahead on the Bruce Trail. The trail  descends to cross a creek and then follows the edge of a farm field and arrives at Effingham Road (015).

015 -016 | 14.8 kmThe trail turns right on the road and follows the road for about 200 m before heading back into the woods just past the Mitchell house. The trail enters the woods but soon arrives at a large mowed lawn-like field, keeping to the edge and passing a pond on the right. The trail crosses over a stile, passes a white fenced racetrack on the left and continues along the ravine edge and over a second stile. The trail passes a llama stable and pool and climbs a slope to the top of the ridge. The trail continues partway up the ravine but just below a long stone cliff to the left. The trail begins a long winding uphill path to the top of the ridge and keeps to the right of a farmers field. The trail arrives at Rockway Road (016) and turns right and heads a short distance downhill.

016 - 017 | 15.1 kmTurn right and head a short distance downhill where the trail leaves the road to enter the woods on the left. The trail crosses a rocky gully and meets the Rockway Side Trail (017). [The Rockway ST leads to Lower Rockway Falls.]

017 - 018 | 15.5 kmKeep left on the main Bruce Trail as the trail climbs through the woods to a large flat plateau. From here the trail climbs a rock face and wanders along the steep cliff side of the Rockway gorge affording views of Middle Rockway Falls and then Rockway Falls itself (018). The trail enters the parking lot of the Rockway Community Centre off Pelham Road. If you walk right on Pelham road to the bridge you can see the crest of Rockway Falls. Crossing the road to the other side of the bridge, you can see lovely Martin Falls upstream.
Enjoy the hike and the day!

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