001 - 002 | 4.1 km The trail between 001 and 002 is now open. You can begin the hike at waypoint (001) or at waypoint (002) where there is a large new parking lot. See admin blog for more + map. The detour around Emil Kolb adds 1.3 km to the hike which has now been added to all of the distances given.
In some summers (like 2013, 2017), grass and weeds can be shoulder high in many areas making the trail often a challenge to find. Some summer maintenance on the trail is definitely needed.
Leaving the Caledon Centre parking lot walk in front of the Centre on the sidewalk parallel to the highway to the stoplights at Columbia Way. Cross HWY 50 and walk to the left along the southern perimeter of the Caledon Yards. A sign marks the Humber Valley Heritage Trail along with a welcome message sign and map. The trail passes to the right of a stand of pine trees beside the southern border of the Caledon Yards and heads west. At the edge of the ravine a large Trail Improvement Project sign with a map and liability warning are evident and there is a good lookout of the surrounding hills and the valley below. Follow the trail to the left as it meanders and then slowly heads downhill. The narrow grassy path passes an open meadow looking at the valley to the right below past a sea of Queen Anne’s Lace.
The trail comes close to the ravine edge and begins a descent down a dirt path. On the way down I frightened a white-tail deer that took off down the trail. Partway down there is a T-intersection but continue straight ahead on the main trail which then curves right past an area of dense cedar where it comes to a junction [A]. Continue straight ahead downhill through an area of dense undergrowth and cross the single-sided wooden bridge over the stream [B]. The trail becomes challenging now as it climbs a series of log planks turning to the right at the top past a post marked 13.28 HVHTA. Turn left here and go up the ravine on another set of log steps. The trail continues to climb through a series of trail backs coming to a Bruce Trail marker indicating the trail goes right [C]. Here there is a good view of the valley below.
The narrow dirt path passes through a relatively young deciduous forest and then follows the edge of the ravine past an open meadow area laced with more Queen Anne’s Lace and passes another HVHTA trail marker. Passing an area of mixed growth on the grassy path, a rusty fence is visible on the left and the path becomes more of a dirt path and opens up into another meadow area with great views of the valley below on the left. A train whistle could be heard in the distance but the train remained hidden in the folds of the trees as we continue on the winding trail down a slope past a stand of large trees on the left-hand side as we head towards Duffy’s Lane.
The trail winds through an area of mixed growth as it descends past a large tree on the left and crossing over a dry creek bed before continuing uphill into an open farm field area on the right. The trail passes an orange plastic fence barrier [D] that closes off the old trail before the Emil Kolb was built.The trail loops south along a wide grassy tractor trail (boring! except for encountering another white-tailed deer drinking from a tractor rut containing some water) to meet Duffys Ln and to cross under the new Emil Kolb Pkwy [E] and then heads north uphill on a paved lane to arrive at a paved free parking lot (in 4.1 km or 1.3 km more than listed) - Duffy’s Lane (002).
002 - 003 | 7.7 kmAcross the road there is another HVHTA marker and a trail map. (This area from (002) - (004) is an environmentally sensitive area and hikers are urged to stay on the trails.) The trail now winds through a pine forest with very tall tree trunks almost devoid of vegetation below. Through the pine trees to the left can be seen the valley below full of deciduous trees beginning to change colour in early October. Reaching an open area, the trail begins a long descent along an eroding dirt trail, with the path curving right crossing a single sided wooden bridge over a metal culvert and a dry stream. Crossing a few more wooden plank areas the trail continues through an open meadow following the Bruce Trail like white markers where a Scarlet Tanager is seen darting overhead. The hoof marks of white-tail deer can be seen in the area.
There is a long descent down a steep dirt trail which could be treacherous under wet conditions and swings left through an area of tall weed growth including more Queen Anne’s Lace. The trail swing right and then descends via a series of log berms to part way down the slope and then continues along the mid level of the slope where a large pond can be seen below to the left. The trail descends more and then climbs back up the other side of the ravine. Climbing another set of log steps, the trail continues along the crest of a ravine. This is another challenging area. Descending by a series of log and earth steps, the trail descends into a ravine and then climbs another set of log steps into the forest. The trail skirts the corner of a farmer’s field and continues for some distance along the edge of the field past a snaking cedar rail fence. After crossing a stile, the trail now arrives at Castlederg Road (003). Just south of the intersection of the Humber River and Castlederg Road, you are standing on floodplain.
003 - 004 | 10.5 kmThe trail continues across the road 150 m to the left just past the concrete bridge ( Humber Glen Bridge ) and over another stile. Entering the woods again we cross a single sided wooden plank bridge over a creek and continue alongside the Humber River on the right. After skirting along the edge of another farmer’s field, the trail swings back into the woods passing a small birdhouse through an area of shrubby brush that appears to be an old abandoned orchard. Crossing a number of small bridges the trail climbs a slope and passes through a picturesque tunnel of young overhanging pine branches.
The trail passes by another farmer’s field before entering the woods and travelling parallel to the long field. A huge Spruce tree overlooking the remains of a house with only the chimney left standing comes into view before the path crosses a single-sided wooden plank bridge across the dry riverbed. The trail emerges to a dirt and gravel and grass roadway with the white blazes indicating a right turn here. Past a wooden stile over a fence, a wet area with wooden planks is encountered before crossing a single-sided wooden plank bridge. A whole series of wooden plank boardwalks and bridges are located here along the banks of the Humber River. Ostrich fern can be seen in the area. The trail comes to the northern part of Duffy’s Lane and goes left along the roadway (004). Note: for a shorter hike, you can head right on Duffys Lane which will take you back to .
004 - 005 | 12.2 kmContinue along Duffy’s Lane to Old Church Road (005).
005 - 006 | 15.4 kmCross Old Church Road and continue straight ahead through a wet section with a wooden boardwalk. The trail passes a wetlands bog area on the right before climbing a slope back into the woods. Descending from this hill we pass another swampy boggy area on the left filled with reeds and bulrushes and other aquatic plants. Many beaver make their home here and all along the Humber River. Ahead is a sign post indicating user fees apply. Continue straight ahead. Another sign soon appears indicating no motorized vehicles while the Bruce Trail heads off to the left but the Humber Valley Heritage Trail continues straight ahead following the black arrow into the Albion Hills CA. Here much replanting of conifer species such as Sugar Maple, White Ash, Yellow Birch and American Beech has been undertaken. Turn left at intersection 2SE28WJ (also marked by post 9 with blue and yellow arrows pointing left). Follow the yellow blue red markers on the white-blazed main Bruce Trail.
At the T-intersection, you will see what is left of an HVHTA post and continue to follow the Bruce Trail by turning right. At the next intersection there is grassy path off to the right and a gravel path down to the left. Take the trail to the left as indicated by the red arrow. We arrive at a wooden plank bridge over Centreville Creek which is a spring-fed tributary of the Humber River. Over the bridge, the HVHTA and Bruce Trail continues straight ahead. (Do not follow the trail which heads to the right.). You may not see a path straight ahead as the area can be overgrown so walk straight ahead through the tall grass toward the trees where you will once again see the path. At the top of the hill, the trail skirts to the right along a grassy tractor trail to pass by a cornfield before coming out to a farm road (006). Turn left along this farm road that soon arrives at Humber Station Road.
006 - 007 17.1 kmTurn left on Humber Station Road which passes Old Church Road at (007).
007 - 008 | 20.3 kmContinue straight ahead along Humber Station Road. This road crosses the railway tracks and on the right you will see the grounds of Humberview Farms. At Castlederg Road (008) turn left.
008 - 003 | 21.2 kmFollow Castelderg Road back to waypoint (003).
003 - 002 | 24.9 kmRetrace your steps back from waypoint (003) to waypoint (002).
002 - 001 | 29.0 kmFrom waypoint (002) return back to the starting point (001).
Enjoy the hike and the day.