4h including the loop
Undulating mix of forest and meadow
Free parking lot
At post 39
18 Aug 2012
Not wheelchair accessible
See updated map with new post numbers (2020)
You can shorten the hike by omitting the loop at post 28.
reclaimed quarry; various lookouts; bench
X-country ski trails
East Duffins Creek Headwaters
Duffins Creek watershed
The Duffins Creek Watershed stretches from the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Lake Ontario waterfront and covers an area of 28,300 hectares. This watershed is one of the healthiest river systems in the Toronto region. Over 50 per cent of the entire watershed is under the ownership or care of Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), federal and provincial governments and regional and local municipalities.
Oak Ridges Moraine
The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of the most distinct physiographic landforms of southern Ontario. It stretches as a ridge of hilly terrain for 160 kilometres from the Niagara Escarpment in the west to the headwaters of the Trent River in the east. The moraine was created as glaciers receded and deposited layers of sand and gravel that are separated by clay and till soils. Rain that is collected and stored in the moraine’s vast underground layers of sand and gravel, which are known as aquifers, eventually resurfaces as healthy, clean water that feeds the majority of river systems in the Greater Toronto Area.
As a unique and valuable environmental asset, the moraine is a key water resource, an area rich in biodiversity and a beautiful landform. However, other land uses such as urban development and the extraction of sand and gravel compete for space on the moraine. Toronto and Region Conservation, other environmental organizations and citizens’ groups have and will continue to work to preserve the moraine in its natural state.
East Duffins Creek
The multi-use trail network includes the Oak Ridges and Trans Canada trails and consists of a series of linked routes. The system provides users with a great variety of loop alternatives to explore over 1,500 hectares of forested area and experience significant natural heritage features and breathtaking vistas. This means that it is easy to get lost hiking on this site.
One thing that could help is the knowledge that the numbered posts are oriented to the north, and have directional signage including maps to help you navigate through the forest. So as you face the number on the post, you are facing north.
As you travel through the forest you will notice that some apparent trails are not shown on our trail map. You can use any trails but again be careful. We suggest you follow the route recommended here. We do show some other trails for reference purposes but not all of them or else the map would become overly cluttered. Please respect any “closed trail” signs that you see along the way. The Trans Canada trail running through the site has its own marking system, but this trail is sparcely marked. You will see the Trans Canada Trail markers just past the two flat rocks between posts 39 and 38. From posts 38 to 33, you are on the Trans Canada trail and also from 33 to 29 earlier in the hike.
We recommend the use of a compass or gps when traveling on these trails if you are not familiar with the area.
This mixed deciduous and coniferous forest provides many important environmental functions including: 1) Habitat and food supply for a variety of birds and wildlife. 2) Improved air quality by producing oxygen. 3) Clean water entering Duffins Creek and replenishing groundwater storage. 4) Better water infiltration. 5) Slope stabilization.