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Fall Colours near Airport Road

 



TRAIL GUIDE

001 - 002 | 1.2 kmThis hike takes you to the Hemlock Ridge Trail and then presents some alternatives to continue. From the parking lot on 5 Sideroad, enter the pine woods and follow the main Bruce Trail through a mixed forest of hard and softwood trees with numerous young saplings. Woodpeckers seem to be active in the area. Soon the Harmony Side Trail goes straight ahead while we turn right onto a grassy mowed trail heading downhill. Keep on the trail as there are many private landowner trails in the area. The trail passes the Darcy ST coming in from 4th line and swings around to meet the return of the Harmony Side Trail. A bit past this point the trail swings right and climbs to pass a gazebo with rest benches (002).

002 - 003 | 1.6 kmThe trail heads north through the hardwood bush and arrives at a fence line with a white metal gate. Here the Hockley Crest Side Trail goes right but stay on the main trail heading to the right and downhill (003)

003 - 004 | 2.3 kmThe trail wanders through an open hardwood bush to the left of an old wooden fence. The trail approaches the fence and heads downhill along the fence. You will see some pieces of metal roofing blown off buildings in the May 1985 tornado. The trail meets the middle of the Hockey Crest ST which heads left (004).

004 - 005 | 3.2 kmKeep to the right on the main trail heading north. The trail wanders through the woods and comes to a stile in a depression with little undergrowth. The trail climbs along the top of the ridge beside a farmers field which it follows partway down the ravine edge. The trail meets the farmer’s wire fence and crosses over a second stile into the farmer’s field. The trail widens and curves downhill through a mixed woods with a very large number of young saplings. The trail passes a small creek that flows under the trail and then parallels it as the trail climbs a slope to meet the Hockey Crest ST (005).

005 - 006 | 3.9 kmThe trail turns right and head uphill on a narrow path.  The trail places close to a small fence section consisting of 3 strands of barbed wire. Be careful not to walk into this. The trail swings right along the north edge of the field before curving south and crossing a stile to reach busy Airport Road (006).

006 - 007-| 5.1 kmBe careful crossing this high-speed road. Across the road turn right and soon a path leads uphill to cross another stile into a farmer’s field. There are some great fall colours in a nearby treeline. The trail skirts the right side of the field where there are patches of poison ivy along the edge. The trail turns right leaving the field and begins to head downhill. Here there are some spectacular lookout points showing a mass of fall colours. The trail comes to the top of the ski hill with it’s associated small buildings in disrepair. There are also some great views from this area (007).

007 - 008 | 6.0 kmLeaving the ski hill, the trail begins a long, long, long gradual descent using switchbacks, log steps and slopes to reach the ravine bottom and then begins to climb up. The trail follows a ridge between two ravines in a very scenic area. You are now in the Hemlock Ridge property purchased by the Bruce Trail Conservancy in 2009. The trail descends more to the bottom of a valley and crosses a dry creek before meeting the Glacier Valley Side Trail which goes off to the left (008).

008 - 009 | 6.3 kmNow begins the climb up the far side of the ravine. After a long climb the trail reaches the top of the even higher western ridge. The Hemlock Ridge Side Trail heads off to the right (009).

009 -010 | 6.8 kmThe main trail continues up to Sally’s Pinnacle which has an engraved sign fastened to a tree along with a display board that says, “The huge Hemlock trees overhead are icons of a forest that has gone through a series of vegetation changes and reached its most stable point. Called a mature or climax community, here you will find a wide variety of species and complex food chains that remain relatively unchanged. This stability does not last forever though. Fire, windstorms, climate change or human disturbance may change this community once again.” Beware of poison ivy in this area. The main trail drops slightly again and crosses a ravine bridge that leads upward to the higher Dave’s Pinnacle with engraved sign. The trail descends a bit to arrive at 5th Line of Mono (010).

010 - 011 | 9.1 kmCrossing the road, the trail enters a former ski area and meets a very tall wood and wire fence and wanders in and out of the woods inhabited by numerous chickadees. The trail turns away from the fence and follows a ridge between two ravines, comes out to a more open area, and then heads back into the woods. The trail crosses over a steep ravine that grows in size as it descends and that contains numerous fallen logs. I suspect the ravine would carry a lot of water in the spring runoff. The trail curves and descends a  log-sided ramp, and climbs a set of wooden steps up to the far side of this very verdant green valley and then climbs a further slope.  The trail arrives at 4th Line EHS (011).

011 - 012 | 10.4 kmThe trail heads left on the road for 70 m and passes the Peter Beechum Side Trail junction. Note: The PBST is now the main trail and the former main trail is named the Grifith Ravine ST. The trail descends a long long gradual slope down into a deep valley where it wanders along the floor of the valley, crosses over a stile, and continues through a mixed middle-aged forest with the forest floor covered in fallen leaves. Soon we meet the far junction with the Peter Beechum ST (now the Griffith Ravine ST) (012).

012 - 013 | 11.7 kmHere we leave the main trail and head east (right) on the Peter Beechum ST. The trail heads uphill and undulates through a  mixed forest with a lot of young undergrowth. The trail continues to climb and descend. The trail passes a creek of fast flowing water over a set of rapids and a mini falls (013).

013 - 014 | 12.0 kmOnce over the creek there is a nice bench for a well deserved rest after the hilly countryside. This is a very pretty location. Leaving the creek, the trail makes a long climb up the slope with some steps. At the top you are rewarded with another rest bench. Soon you arrive at 4th Line EHS once again (014). This ends the hike if you are doing a linear hike with car jockeying.

To start | 16.8 kmIf you are walking back to the start point, turn right and walk up the big hill ahead to reach 5 Sideroad. Turn left on 5 Sideroad and walk back crossing Airport Road and back to the parking lot on 5 Sideroad.
Enjoy the hike and the day!

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