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forks-of-the-credit-provincial-park-trail-guide

The forks of the Credit Rivers

 
TRAIL GUIDE

001 - 002 | 2.2 kmFrom the parking lot, walk to the intersection and take the Alton Side Trail to the left which wanders around the edge of the incline, passes a number of park benches and skirts around the kettle lake. Turn right at the Kettle Trail intersection to view the old ruins of a house and return to continue straight ahead on the Trans Canada Trail. The trail runs into the main Bruce Trail where we turn right and follow the Bruce Trail to intersection (010). Here we ran into one of the captains of the Bruce Trail maintenance team who gave us some current information concerning the surroundings. Turn left at this point and follow the main trail downhill past the washroom and straight ahead further downhill past the trail intersection (002) to the creek and a large willow tree. If you have time you may wish to explore the informal trail along the creek before returning and continuing on from (002). From the creek walk back up to the trail intersection and take the grassy trail to your right. (Note: it’s to your left coming downhill towards the creek).

002 - 003 | 4.1 kmFollow along the main Bruce Trail which is a wide dirt road that goes on for some distance. You can hear the roar of the Credit River down below on your right. At point (003) there is a trail marker indicating the Bruce Trail goes off to the right.

003 - 004 | 5.8 kmTurn right and follow this trail as it narrows and passes through the woods. The trail comes to a  T-intersection and a gravel road. Follow the main Bruce Trail to the right where you will soon arrive at a barrier across the road indicating you are leaving the Forks of the Credit PP grounds. Continue along the paved roadway (Dominion Road) with the Credit River and houses along the right side. The road passes a number of viewing areas along the banks of the Credit River that make good lunch stops. Soon the road comes to a bridge from which you can view the forks of the Credit River where the two branches of the river come together (004).

004 - 005 | 6.2 kmJust past the bridge, the trail comes out to the Forks of the Credit Road where you turn right and follow this road under the railway overpass and to a bridge. Just over the bridge on your left a blue sign indicates the start of the Trimble Side Trail (005) .

005 - 006 | 9.2 kmThis charming trail with its blue blazes goes into the woods along the side of the river winding through a mostly pine forest. As you walk along the trail carpeted in pine needles there are great views of the Credit Valley below as you walk along the edge of the escarpment.  The Crowsnest Side Trail is a 1 km loop trail that is worth the walk. Take the loop to the right which crosses a dirt road and goes back into the bush straight ahead. The path soon climbs a very steep hill up to the top of a ridge overlooking the valley on both sides. The trail follows this ridge through the pine forest and gradually descends to cross a wooden boardwalk along the edge of the escarpment.  Crossing some rocky areas the trail approaches the Credit River which you can hear in the distance and then swings back to the starting point of the loop.
Back to the Trimble Side trail again, turn right and follow the trail to Bellfountain Park (006).
Here there are washrooms and picnic areas and playing fields as well as a suspended bridge, weir falls, and refreshment areas. Leaving the park and coming out to the Forks of the Credit Road there is the Caledon Hills Ice Cream Parlour which is worth a stop. There is also a nasty surprise that you are not warned about at the start of the Trimble Side Trail. You will be asked to pay $4.50 each even if you used none of the park facilities when you leave the park on the trail. You can refuse to pay this. However, it’s free if you show your Bruce Trail membership card.  (At this point you can extend the hike by turning left and walking up to River Road and over to Shaw Creek Road. Go right along Shaw Creek Road. There are tractor side trails on the left side which enable you to stay off the busy road for part of the way. At the sign for the Elora-Cataract Trailway turn right and follow this route).

006 - 007 | 10.0 kmFrom the Ice Cream Parlour, turn right, cross the bridge and follow the Forks of the Credit Road uphill to the intersection with Mississauga Road (007).

007 - 008 | 12.5 kmKeep left on Mississauga Road and follow this road until you arrive at the sign for the Elora-Cataract Trailway (008).

008 - 009 | 14.1 kmFollow this gravel trailway used mostly by bicyclists. At the end of the trailway there is a bridge across the river. Once over the bridge turn right and follow the iron and wood plank walkway over another body of water leading to the viewing area for the spectacularCataract Falls (009). From here you can see the cataract and the old hydro generating station that began producing energy for the surrounding area in 1899. Before that the building was used as a flour mill served by the railway that still uses the trestle bridge over the Credit. Prior to the flour mill a sawmill occupied the site.

009 - 010 | 15.2 kmLeaving the falls there is a long stairway (164 steps) that climbs up the escarpment. At the top of the steps (phew!) you soon arrive at the Meadow Trail where you turn right. This trail will take you back to intersection (010).

010 - 001 | 16.6 kmTurn left and follow the Meadow Trail back to the parking lot (001).

Enjoy the hike and the day!

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