001 - 002 | 0.23 kmThis hike is a continuation of hike L01 in the Silver Creek area. Leaving the Education Centre parking lot (001) (usable when school is not in session), a pass-through in the fence leads out to Fallbrook Trail where a walk to the right leads to the Bruce Trail markers. Cross Fallbrook onto the main Bruce Trail which almost immediately meets the Roberts Side Trail on your left. (002)
002 - 003 | 1.8 kmFollowing the blue blazes, the Roberts Side Trail goes though a cedar and maple woods, passes a small stream and duck pond with a boardwalk viewing area, and slowly climbs the escarpment over limestone erratics and large broken rocks and passes several lookouts. An old lime kiln can be seen on the left. Heading north through mature woods, the trail crosses a small drainage creek with a wooden plank bridge, meets the steep wall of the Silver Creek Valley and then follows the top of the slope for about one kilometre. The underbrush begins to thin out and this loop side trail rejoins the main trail at the edge of the Silver Creek Valley (003) where we turn left to rejoin the main Bruce Trail.
003 - 004 | 3.3 kmThe trail begins a gradual descent as it heads towards the edge of the ravine where numerous black squirrels and chipmunks were seen scurrying in the woods. The trail passes over a number of hillside drainage ditches as it travels along the edge of the ravine. Emerging into an overgrown meadow of small trees and shrubs, the trail skirts along the edge of this open area and beech forest on the ravine edge. The trail now descends more gradually through a very rocky area and soon 10th Line becomes visible ahead. Descending via a series of steep rock steps to the bottom of the hill, the trail parallels the road as it passes through a weedy overgrown meadow and heads towards the Walking Fern Side Trail (004). A well maintained picturesque fenced-in estate can be seen across the road. Turn right onto the Walking Fern S.T.
004 - 005 | 4.0 kmCrossing a few logs across the path we enter this side trail which can be a bit muddy and wet with many protruding rocks and roots. The ground is covered with an array of ferns in this moist environment. The trail skirts on the edge of a swampy wetlands thick with bulrushes and other aquatic life. Silver Creek at this point is a far cry from the raging stream seen in hike L01. The water surface is covered in thick green algae. Soon we come upon a T-symbol marking the end of the side trail (005). This trail is one of the few places in the Toronto area where the walking fern (the Bruce Trail club’s emblem) can be seen. Look for it on large rocks. Beyond an old fence, a beaver pond was visible at the dead end of this trail but it is difficult to locate now.
005 - 003 | 6.3 kmRetrace your steps back to 10th Line. After a gradual but persistent climb and a good cardio workout, you arrive back at waypoint (003) where the Bruce Trail meets the Roberts Side Trail. Keep left on the main Bruce Trail marked in magenta colour on the trail map and white on the actual trail.
003 - 006 | 7.0 kmThe trail becomes quite rocky with many limestone erratics about 10 m from the ravine edge passing though a mostly deciduous forest. The red roof of a house can be seen off to the left. Just before a rocky set of steps going up beside a leaning cedar tree, head to the left towards a channel between two rocks that you can slide down (optional) (006). With care you can lower yourself down step by step. It can be a bit of a stretch if you have short legs and can be very slippery if wet so use your own discretion. Once down, walk around to the right through the rock tunnel and then, in a few hundred metres, there is a ladder to climb back up to the trail. [Note: This ladder was missing on 5 May 2012 but you could climb the rock face with care on rock steps.] Continue to the left along this main trail.
006 - 007 | 7.4 kmContinuing along the Bruce Trail, the Irwin Quarry Side Trail (007) is soon met. Turn left onto this trail.
007 - 008 | 7.8 kmThe trail descends via a set of natural stone steps, curves around and follows a path part way down the edge of the ravine. At a large rock at an open clearing, continue straight across the open field where a pole with some trail markers directs you to turn left down the slope. At the bottom of the hill, another trail marker on a metal pole indicates the trail turns left to follow a grassy path along the edge of the ravine. Watch carefully for the faded markers on an old tree (008) where the trail heads to the right as it descends a hill passing a large rock.
008 - 002 | 8.5 kmThe trail follows a series of switchbacks as it descends the slopes and then begins to climb back up on some limestone slabs and a series wooden log berm steps. The trail continues along a rock strewn path part way down the ravine. Watch for a blue marker indicating a right turn back into the woods. The trail soon arrives back at (002 ).
002 - 001 | 8.8 kmHead out to Fallbrook Trail and back to (001).
Enjoy the hike and the day!
[Updated: 14 Aug 08]