Shorthills Provincial Park contains numerous undulating hills with some steep climbs and descents. Many great lookout spots and varied s cenery. Some creeks may be washed out in wet weather and require careful stream crossing. One of the main features is Swayze Falls.
Free parking in all lots
Basic concrete block washroom at parking lot. Some picnic tables and benches through the park (see Trail Map for locations.)
See trail map locations 007, 011 and 012 (Swayze Falls)
First hiked 03 Aug 2008
Not wheelchair accessible
Bruce trail rerouted from landowner property.
UPDATE 2012: New Trail Map Update Aug 2018: New trail map and Bruce Trail relocation
Hog’s Back Rd (from 001 to 010) divides this hike in half so you can use that to do either half of the hike. You can also leave out the Very Berry Trail which is now the main Bruce Trail to shorten the distance.
Swayze falls; rolling landscape; viewpoints over the valley
Shorthills Provincial Park -Trails 1, 2, 7
Short Hills Provincial Park contains an extensive trail system for visitors to enjoy at any time of the year. The trails are classified by the use that is permitted on them. Three of the trails (Terrace Creek, Scarlet Tanager, and Hemlock Valley) are classified as Hikers Only, and are indicated by blue markings. Three other trails (Swayze Falls, Very Berry, and Black Walnut) are classified as shared use and are marked in yellow. The activities that are permitted on these trails include biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The remaining trail is the Palaeozoic Path which has been developed with the beginner hiker in mind. The Palaeozoic Path has a hard surface which is covered in gravel to give people with disabilities the opportunity to experience the park.
These three Shorthills trails are shared use trails for hikers, bicylists and horseback riders. Be alert to the dangers of meeting horses or bikers along the trail.The vegetation on the Swayze Falls Trail (#1) includes Sugar Maple, Black Maple on the lower slopes and Black Walnut in the bottom lands. The Black Walnut Trail (#2) winds around Twelve Mile Creek. Wildflowers such as Birdsfoot Trefoil, Common Milkweed, Tiger Lily and Spotted Knapweed can be found. The Very Berry Trail (#7) features an abundance of wildflowers, birds and small mammals. Natural vegetation here includes a mix of Basswood, Beech, Maple, Oak and Ironwood in the uplands areas and large Bitternut Hickory and Black Walnut trees in the valley. The main feature of the trail is Twelve Mile Creek, Niagara’s only cold-water creek, historically noted for its quality trout fishing. This is a fascinating hike but some creek crossing may be necessary in wet weather.
My hiking buddy, John, who accompanies me on many hikes helping to record data taken along the trail, has often declared that the Shorthills Hikes are his favourites, bar none. He likes the great mix of experiences from meeting horseriders on the trail to the beauty of the rolling hills and the colourful open meadows between woodland areas along with the restful scenic location of Swayze Falls where we shared some of his homemade apple crumble. Just as delicious as the surroundings.