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queenston-heights-to-firemans-park-trail-guide

One of the Queenston Heights limestone caverns

 



TRAIL GUIDE

001 - 002 | 4.2 kmThe trail begins at the southern terminus cairn located near the parking lot in the eastern end of Queenston Heights Park. The trail heads west beside a row of trees before entering deep woods. The wide trail reduces to a narrow dirt trail which follows along the brow of the escarpment past a sea of white trilliums in early May. From here there is a great panorama view of St. Davids in the plain below the escarpment with its vineyards and orchards. You pass by an abandoned tower erected in the early 50s to intercept American radio signals. You can also see the foundations of early houses built here just before the turn of the last century to house workers at the Queenston Quarries. Abandoned limestone blocks, now covered in moss, can be seen in the area along with old rusted quarry machines.  A cement plant in this area closed in 1905.

At one point the trail curves as it descends on earth steps supported by wooden planks. Soon after this there is a triple fork in the trail. The main trail goes downhill to the right. But the far left trail is worth taking to view the Limestone Caverns. Follow this far left trail as it curves and goes downhill to meet another trail. Turn left at the bottom of this hill and soon you will see a row of huge boulders all lined up. To the right is an old quarry but to the left in the cliff face near the rock encircled fire pit you will see two cavern openings in the rock. The floor is covered with water and you can feel the cold air from the cavern and see your breath.

Retrace your steps back up to the main trail and this time take the main trail downhill. Soon St David’s Golf course can be seen below.
After about 3 km along the escarpment edge, the trail now makes a very steep descent to the bottom of the escarpment. Fortunately there are a few branches to grab to aid the descent.
Here the main trail meets the Upper Canada Heritage Trail -an 11.7 km long trail following the old New York Central Railroad bed to Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is waypoint (002).

002 - 003 | 5.2 kmAt the bottom of the escarpment, continue on the main trail past a trailer park. The trail comes out to a small road - Stanford Townline Road. Turn right on this road which takes you to the busy Four Mile Creek Road (003).

003 - 004 | 6.9 kmTurn left onto Four Mile Creek Road, cross the road and go under the Hwy 405 overpass and continue for about 450 m until you arrive at a sandy dirt trail that angles off to the right climbing a slight slope underneath a power line parallel to the road. Use caution in crossing this very busy road. Blue Jays can be heard in the trees above. The trail comes to a T-intersection where our trail turns right -watch carefully for the signs. At a Y-intersection a bit further on take the branch that goes off to the right. The trail arrives at Dorchester Road (004).

004 - 005 | 7.2 kmTurn right on Dorchester Road. The trail turns left into Fireman’s Park. Here the main Bruce Trail is not well marked. Head to the left past the BBQ to find a staircase that heads down to a large pond with a centre platform where turtles love to sun. Turn right to walk along the pond edge before the trail heads uphill. This is a good place to view the pond, find some old logs to sit on and have lunch (005).

005 - 001 | 14.3 kmThis is the end of the hike and you return to the southern cairn following the same main Bruce Trail.
Enjoy the hike and the day!


If you wish to continue further before returning, the trail passes by a vineyard nearby before arriving in about 1.8 km at a large stone with 10 plaques attached to honour contributions to the Bruce Trail from various companies and organizations. Continuing a further 300 m brings you to Concession Road 6. If you have two cars you could do a linear hike from the start to this point on Concession Road 6 (Mewburn Road) which would be about a 9.5 km hike.

As of 2008, you can now continue along the Bruce Trail to Woodend CA. The entire hike from Brock’s Monument to Woodend CA is about 20 km (one way). We will add a separate hike to our hike collection for the hike from Fireman’s Park to Woodend CA -a linear hike of 10 km or 18 km return. This is now possible due to the 2008 opening of a new hikers’ bridge over the QEW.

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