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hockley-valley-trail-guide

Pond and "ghost" woods

 



TRAIL GUIDE

Trailhead - 002 | 0.3 kmThis hike takes you through three loops in the Hockley Valley Provincial Park. From the parking lot, turn right and walk along the north side of Hockley Road for about 250 m to reach the trailhead. Follow the trail uphill past a large boulder in the middle of the trail. The intersection with the Tom East Side Trail [which goes straight ahead] is soon reached (002).

002 - 003 | 2.5 kmTurn left keeping on the main Bruce Trail (white blazes). The trail curves around climbing to a hikers’ rest bench with great views of the valley before entering a hardwood bush. The trail begins to head downhill along the top of a ridge through an area of young coniferous and deciduous growth. The trail gradually descends through an area of young beechwood into the ravine and continues winding ahead through the woods. At a Y-intersection keep to the right on the main Bruce Trail as the trail to the left is closed for regeneration. The trail winds and undulates through the woods and trillium fields. At a curve to the right, you can see and hear the roar of the water flowing in a branch of the Nottawasaga River in the ravine below. The trail follows the edge of the ravine and descends passing through an area of cedar growth before reaching a more open meadow area with abandoned orchard trees. Through a darker area closed in by coniferous trees, the trail arrives at the intersection with the returning Tom East Side Trail (003).

003 - 004 | 3.3 kmFollow the main Bruce Trail off to the left. The trial descends a slope and heads to the right as it follows along the creek through an area of fallen trees and brush. Soon the trail crosses a sagging wooden plank bridge with a railing over the river. The trail swings left crossing two more bridges over the creek and begins to climb a steep slope and continues along the top edge of the ravine before making a U-turn heading down a series of log berm steps to follow along a lower level of the ravine. The trail crosses a longer wooden plank bridge and swings left to climb a hill. Watch for a deep hollow beside the trail known as a dry kettle which was left in the glacial moraine by a large melting block of ice centuries ago. The trail soon meets the Glen Cross ST (004).

004 - 005 | 4.1 kmKeep on the main Bruce Trail to the left. The trail climbs a curving slope reinforced with logs and swings around the edge of the ravine before beginning a descent on a series of log bermed steps as it heads downhill towards the creek. Another wooden bridge crosses a fast flowing small creek before swinging right and climbing a set of log berm steps. At the top there is another large bed of white trilliums in Spring. The trail heads downhill before a long gradual climb where we again meet the Glen Cross Side Trail (005).

005 - 006 | 4.3 kmKeep to the left on the main Trail. In a short distance the start of the Snell Loop is reached at a Y-intersection (006).

006 - 007 | 6.4 kmLeave the main Bruce Trail and head left on the Snell Loop. The trail begins a gradual descent through the woods towards a creek. The trail turns right and winds through a mixed woods. Robins swoop and the sound of the creek below can be heard. At the edge of the creek there are a number of fallen logs which make for a good place to sit and have lunch and listen to the bubbling creek as it flows by. The trail wanders along the creek before crossing a wooden plank bridge and climbs a slope and continues along the other side. A gradual but long ascent reaches the top of a hill.
The trail now winds through a regeneration area of sumac. At a wide grassy farm road turn right and head downhill towards the pond where a chipmunk darts across the path. Keep on the grassy path past the pond where it turns right on a narrow land bridge between a swampy pond and a ravine. The trail turns right and heads into the woods. The trail wanders through the woods and gradually climbs a slope arriving at a more open area and a grassy hill trough an abandoned orchard. The Snell Loop now rejoins the main Bruce Trail (007).

007 - 005 | 7.0 kmTurn right and follow the main Trail heading downhill. Keep on the main Trail passing the Snell Loop Entrance and arriving at the Glen Cross Side Trail (005).

005- 004 | 10.0 kmTurn left on the Glen Cross ST which winds downhill before swinging right and climbing a slope and then following a ridge between two ravines. The trail gradually descends to the valley bottom and swings left. The trail climbs to the far side of the valley and circles around to the top of another ridge. Below to the left you can hear the water flowing in the creek as you descend. A small plank bridge crosses the fast flowing creek where the trail enters an attractive open meadow area before heading back up the slope covered in wood chips for erosion control and swinging right into the woods. Passing through a cedar woods and up a slope, the trail follows a ridge between ravines on both sides. The trail descends to the creek once more passing through an area of hemlock. The trail descends a series of earth and log berms to reach an open grassy area heading further downhill towards a rusted metal drum. The remains of an old stone house can be seen.
A gravel stone and wooden stairway leads down to the creek through an area of very dense cedar growth great for mosquitoes. A small wooden bridge crosses the fast flowing creek. The trail climbs another set of log berms past cedar and pine and into a more open beech area. The trail enters a more dark coniferous area as it gradually descends part way down the ravine. At the bottom a side path to the creek is interesting to explore. Continue on the main Trail. Wooden boardwalks cross some wet areas and the trail enters an open sumac area before entering a cedar and pine woods. Another open field appears with more sumac before reaching some wooden boardwalks over wet areas and a wooden plank bridge over the creek. The trail climbs some log steps with a wire cord and rubber hose for support on this strenuous climb. The trail follows the edge of the ravine as it wanders through the woods reaching the end of the Glen Cross Side Trail and the main Bruce Trail (004).

004 - 003 | 10.9 kmTurn left onto the main Trail heading downhill. Descending to the creek, the trail crosses the creek on a wooden bridge and then climbs the wooden berms and the long gradual slope along the creek. Through a series of switchbacks and berms the trail descends the ravine and crosses the three bridges over the creek. Turn left leaving the creek and head uphill. The trail arrives at the intersection with the Tom Cross Side Trail (003).

003 - 002 | 13.4 kmTurn left onto the Tom Cross ST. The trail crosses a platform over a small creek and follows along this creek to the right. The trail veers away from the creek but continues parallel to it. The trail swings right away from the creek and climbs a long gradual hill. Following a long straight pathway along a wooden farm fence, the trail eventually turns left over a stile into a farmer's field. Follow the blue blazes up the hill past the old orchard trees on the right. The trail passes through the cedar woods and continues straight ahead at a trail crossing. After some undulations, the trail crosses another stile and heads left. After more undulations, the trail passes more trillium fields along the bottom of the ravine. After another long hill climb and a gradual slope, the trail descends through fields affording good views across the valley before arriving back at the main Bruce Trail (002).

002 - Trailhead | 13.7 kmContinue straight ahead on the main Trail to Hockley Road and the trailhead. Turn left along the road to the parking lot (001). Enjoy the hike and the day!

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