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Hike Info

N43.97265  W80.05613

23 km

6-7 h

Challenging

A high 848 m

Hockley Heights is very hilly with many steep climbs and descents.

Free parking in the Hockley lot

None

At lookout points

25 Apr 2008

Not wheelchair accessible

See trail change map in the Trail Guide

NA

The Three Sisters; lookout points

Unknown

 

The Site

The Hockley Heights Loop

The trail winds through a pine forest

Hockley Valley is part of the Niagara Escarpment which was created by a long process of erosion. The escarpment cuts dramatically across the southern heartland of the province. The Nottawasaga River cuts a picturesque gorge across the escarpment. Forested moraines and open meadows lie upstream, and swamp and bottomland forest spread across the valley floor, stretching for several kilometres. Hockley Valley is part of the Niagara Parks System, and the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. There are no visitor facilities, but Hockley Valley is a favourite site for hiking and nature appreciation. The Bruce Trail, as well as several side trails, wind through the reserve.

The Hockley Heights hike is one of the most challenging hikes on our website. The trail is a bit isolated and you are not likely to meet many other hikers on the trail. The section between waypoints (010) and (011) is particularly difficult with very long and steep climbs. This is the area of three big hills known as “The Three Sisters”. Do not attempt to climb The Three Sisters in wet weather. The trail is poorly routed over the last “Sister” and we recommend angling off to the right when 10-15 m from the top. This gives a safer, more gradual route after which you can circle back to the trail at the top. This is a great hike if you are looking for a good workout over its 23 km length and a total ascent of almost 900 m.

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Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great hike. Just make sure to read the trail guide carefully! There are Bruce Trail blazes that send you down 2nd Line EHS but I'm not sure it's possible to cut across to 3rd Line EHS so it's better to walk along Hockley Road (as unpleasant as it...

Great hike. Just make sure to read the trail guide carefully! There are Bruce Trail blazes that send you down 2nd Line EHS but I'm not sure it's possible to cut across to 3rd Line EHS so it's better to walk along Hockley Road (as unpleasant as it is).

The "Three Sisters" are pretty slippery this time of year with all the wet leaves on the ground.

One more tip: this hike takes a while. I started at 2:30pm and didn't get back to my car until 8pm---well past sundown this time of year (thank goodness I always carry a flashlight!) Start early!

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I've done a fair number of hikes from this website and, from what I've tried, this is definitely the toughest! I used to dislike the fact that there wasn't one defining landmark - ie a waterfall, a lake, or a great lookout point - but the beauty...

I've done a fair number of hikes from this website and, from what I've tried, this is definitely the toughest! I used to dislike the fact that there wasn't one defining landmark - ie a waterfall, a lake, or a great lookout point - but the beauty of this route is getting immersed in some very steep, challenging, and quiet trails.

At point 006, the guide says you arrive at the Peter Beechum Side Trail. The trails were renamed in 2013 - straight takes you along the Griffith Ravine Side Trail, and right takes you along the main trail. This route, as contemplated, requires you to go straight (but both take you to the same place - going right is a bit longer and steeper).

I always struggle finding the trail after the imposing Three Sisters (between 010 and 0110). On my most recent try, I turned right at the fork immediately after descending the hills. That took me along a quiet, muddy path to 15th Sideroad - but I missed the ridge. I was able to get there once, but that was many years ago and I can't figure out the route anymore. (Be careful in this section - I once got horribly lost in the poorly-marked trails here).

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