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shorthills-provincial-park-127-trail-guide

A deer crosses the trail
 



TRAIL GUIDE

001 - 002 | 0.72 kmThe trail leaves the parking lot (001) and the nearby basic washroom and follows the remains of an old farmer’s road known as the Hog’s Back. Shortly, you arrive at a signpost where you turn left to join and follow the Black Walnut Trail, here marked as Trail #2. This trail crosses a road to the Boy Scouts camp and continues on a wide gravel path into the woods to the right. The trail crosses a rapidly flowing creek over a metal and wood bridge where the sound of numerous birds can be heard from the surrounding trees. Arriving at a signpost (002), the Black Walnut Trail meets the former Very Berry Trail (now the rerouted main BT) to the left heading uphill (if you wish to do the former Very Berry Trail.)

002 - 003 | 2.0 kmAt the top of the hill, turn left and head downhill. The trail descends to the base of a hog back incline where a bunch of starlings dart down on us. Crossing a small creek on a wooden bridge, many distinctive old trees can be seen. A porcupine is spotted high in the branches of a nearby tree. Passing through a mixed hardwood pine and spruce area, the trail follows along the bank of Twelve Mile Creek where a flock of robins and blue jays swoop overhead. Passing through an underbrush area of mixed vegetation, a raccoon is spotted and the screams of a hawk and catbird pierce the silence. Entering a flat grassy area with small shrubs, black walnuts litter the ground as nuthatches, cardinals and chickadees dash from one branch to another. This is a pleasant walk along the banks of Twelve Mile Creek with wild flowers along the pathway in this quiet idyllic setting. When your reach 1 St (003), you must turn around and head back the same way to (002). At one time this was part of a loop trail but that has since been closed for regeneration.

003 - 002 - 004 | 4.0 kmBack on the Bruce Trail section, continue along as the trail wanders through fairly open woods alongside the creek and through some wetland areas where the calls of chickadees are heard in abundance before you cross a small elevated wooden bridge over the creek. The main Bruce Trail continues to follow Trail #2 trough the woods along the edge of some short hills to the right. The trail now climbs a steep incline that provides good views of the surrounding areas. At the top of the hill, a wooden structure made of old tree branches can be seen before the trail enters a meadow like area and passes under the hydro transmission lines before entering the woods once again. You arrive at T-intersection (004) where you meet the former main Bruce Trail (now closed) which goes off to the left and heads towards Decew Rd and DeCew Falls. At this T, turn right and follow the Bruce Trail marked “2” with blue blazes.

004 - 005 | 5.3 kmThe trail enters an open meadow before climbing a long curved hill along the edge of the ravine and enters the woods once again. Descending to cross a small creek over some stones, the trail climbs back up and into the woods. The trail comes out to a road and continues to the right along the road and into the Wiley Road parking lot. Head towards the metal gate ahead (005).

005 - 006 | 6.1 kmContinuing straight ahead after passing by the gate, the Bruce Trail follows an old farm road passing Trail 6 four times (twice on the right and twice on the left) before arriving at the Trail #2 turn (006). Here you have a choice. Turn right and follow the main BT to Terrace Creek Falls (007) and continue on to (008) or take alternate trail #2. This turn to the right is almost immediately after the fourth trail # 6 crossing. The pathway descends downhill over some stones on the creek bed to the other side. In the Spring when the creek is full of water it is more challenging to cross here. but you should be able to manage. On one occasion, the trail here was completely washed out by the large volume of water in the creek requiring us to cross the nearby bridge a bit further down and carefully make our way along the far bank back to dry land. If worst comes to worst, you could also take Trail 6 (BT) which hooks up with Trail #2 a bit further along. Note: A new bridge has made this crossing easy now.

006 - 007 | 6.5 km After crossing the creek, Trail #2 climbs uphill providing some great views over the edge of the ravine. A picnic table is located in this quiet location (007B) providing an ideal shaded spot for lunch overlooking the ravine and creek below. If you stayed on the BT, you will be rewarded by seeing the Terrace Creek Falls (007).

007 - 008 | 7.6 kmContinue on towards a number of intersections with trails #2 , #4, and #6. Be careful at all these intersection to stay on Trail #2 which basically heads straight ahead. Continue ahead on #2 at (008).

008 - 009 | 7.7 kmWhen you arrive at an information display board (009), keep right and pass over a concrete bridge. You are now back on Hog’s Back Road. If for some reason you need to return to the start point quickly, you can continue straight ahead on the road back to the hike starting point.

009 - 010 | 8.1 kmThe path begins to climb gradually. Once you get to this wooded area watch very closely for a narrow path on the left going uphill (010). There are no trail markings here.

010 - 011 | 8.3 kmThe path slants back a bit and twists around before reaching the top of this climb and Trail #1. It is easy to miss this path so pay attention here. Once at the top turn left. You will soon arrive at a nice spot for lunch with two shaded picnic tables (011). It seems one has since gone missing.

011 - 012 | 10.6 kmContinue along trail #1, the trail curves around the edge of the ravine and then curves all the way around a farmer’s field before coming to the hydro transmission lines and passing underneath them. The trail approaches a farm house and then makes an abrupt turn to the right and heads steeply downhill. This 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 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. (012)

012 - 013 | 10.7 kmInstead take Trail #3 straight ahead which brings you to Swayze Falls in a few metres with its’ observation platform (013).

013 - 014 | 11.8 kmContinue ahead after viewing the Falls on Trail #3 which very quickly connects back up with Trail #1. Continue on Trail #1 until you come to an intersection with the Old Trail 1 (014).

014 - 001 | This section of the trail may be closed due to land- owner withdrawing permission.

Retrace route back | 14.0 kmKeep to the right on Old Trail 1 and continue along this trail as it enters an evergreen forest with an impressive collection of trees before descending a steep muddy slope. The trail continues along the top of the ridge which can be very muddy when wet before leaving the woods and skirting an area of low shrubbery. Along this grassy area there is a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside making up Shorthills PP. Deer can be seen in this region. You will be afforded many great views looking out over the entire park. Later on you will pass grape vineyards on the left before arriving back at Hog’s Back road. Turn left here and head back to the start (001).
Enjoy the hike and the day.
[hike updated 06 Aug 08, 07 Jan 2012 and 08 Aug 2018]

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