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Hike Info

N44.046592 W080.062190

16.3 km

about 5 h

Beginner (based on trail); Intermediate (based on length of hike)

NA

This Mono Cliffs Provincial Park hike has varied flat sections and undulating hills. There is a cliff face to climb and descend on trail swirchbacks.

Parking fee @ pay-and-display machine. Parking Fees: 1 hour $3.00, 2 hours $5.00, full day $11.00; Hours of Operation: 8:00am - 10:00pm

The trailhead has basic washrooms.  Bring change for parking machine.

At Lookout Point; McCarston’s Lake; many others at ponds and along the trail.

13 Oct 2003, 17 Oct 2009

Not wheelchair accessible

Trail map updated

Some loops may be removed

Outlier cliff; Jacob's Ladder; McCarston's Lake; Lookout Point

No information

 


The Site

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

The Mono Cliffs Provincial Park hike takes place among some of the oldest, intact, old growth White Cedar forests in eastern North America. Research has shown that some cedars have survived on the escarpment face for over 700 years and are now the oldest living trees in Ontario. Despite their age, they may be no more than five centimeters thick and a metre high. The cedars have endured the worst elements of cold and constant winds that rob the shallow soil of moisture, carry away nutrients and leave the roots exposed. Their twisted shapes are testimony to their struggle.

This 750 ha park also contains some 450 plant species including rare ferns. The Bruce Trail passes through the park and there are a number of marked trails interconnecting in the park. The trails here are enjoyable any time of the year but are especially lovely in the fall when the maples and beeches in the park exhibit spectacular colour. You are asked to stay on marked paths to protect the flora and fauna.

Mono Cliffs is noted for its' fall colours

Mono Cliffs contains a significant section of the Niagara Escarpment, including crevice caves, an upland limestone plain, and talus slopes. The park features two prominent masses of rock, separated by erosion from the main rock body. When this occurs, the resultant feature is called an outlier.

Botanists have noted that the local vegetation includes a particularly rich diversity of ferns. Park visitors need to be responsible and stay on the trails because the natural features in the park are fragile.

Prime attractions include walks through mixed hardwood forests and above and below tall cliffs. There are two prominent outliers, crevice caves, a glacial spillway, a kettle lake and a kame moraine. The park also features the phenomenon called Jacob’s Ladder and the fabulous views of McCarston’s Lake and views from Lookout Point. This park is sure to be one of your favourite hiking destinations. There is a parking fee charged at the pay machine.

South Outlier Loop Trail: This 3.5 km trail leaves the main trail past waypoint (002) at the top of a steep switchback up the cliff. At this point you can head either to the left or right along the loop. Heading right takes you along the top edge of the outlier through a cedar forest. Heading left takes you through a forested area that descends to waypoint (003).

McCarstons Lake Trail is a 600 m shortcut trail from Jacob's ladder that takes you past scenic Lake McCarston and on to the Lookout Point.

Lookout Side Trail is a 1.1 km trail that leads west to a great lookout point that is 550 m above sea level. From here you can see the South Outlier and far in the distance, on a clear day, the CN Tower.

News Release

Orangeville, Ontario  (March 26, 2010) – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, and Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, Linda Jeffrey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton- Springdale, today announced stimulus funding that will benefit local workers and the local economy in the region of Dufferin-Caledon, and improve local infrastructure for years to come. Today’s investment of $25,000 in joint federal and provincial funding will upgrade Mono Cliff’s Provincial Park by extending Jacob’s Ladder Trail, as well as providing signage along the trail to offer users opportunities to learn about regional features and other information.

We look forward to seeing this improvement in the near future.

Right off the bat, The Mono Cliffs Provincial Park hike, starts with a bang with a switchback cliff to climb and get the juices moving. The Outlier Trail takes you through some mixed woods on the way to Jacob's Ladder and then over to the beautiful McCarston's Lake and up to the remarkable Lookout Point. The return takes you along the Bruce Trail past some cliff caves before swinging around to follow the other branch of the South Outlier Trail along the high cliff edge and through a white cedar forest of aging trees clinging to the escarpment edge for dear life. This is a beautiful hike to enjoy the fall colours.

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Comments (5)

  1. Brett M

We did a number of the trails at Mono Hills on monday. it was later in the day and the trails and the park were really nice. saw a lot of life getting ready for autumn. we spent 4 hours there and it was really easy to do. could have spent more...

We did a number of the trails at Mono Hills on monday. it was later in the day and the trails and the park were really nice. saw a lot of life getting ready for autumn. we spent 4 hours there and it was really easy to do. could have spent more time. i have to comment on the pay parking machine: its $11 for the day and it only takes coins and not the new $2 coins - so come prepared! also it said in the screen $5 would get 2-4 hours (whatever that means) and only gave me 1.5 hours of time. ??? there was nothing noting $/mins and there as no way to cancel and re-do it. so make sure you are 100% about what you want to do. its a royal pain - i dont know what they are thinking with that machine. it should be replaced.

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  1. Jack

04 Sept 2012 That machine has been a problem for years and is really a disgrace. In bright sun you can barely read the screen and it's too high for some people as well. It does not take new loonies or toonies or credit cards either. It barely...

04 Sept 2012 That machine has been a problem for years and is really a disgrace. In bright sun you can barely read the screen and it's too high for some people as well. It does not take new loonies or toonies or credit cards either. It barely takes the old coins as well. I was there also on the long labour day weekend and had to insert even the old coins a number of times to get it to work.

The times are unrealistic also. Four hours is not enough time to do the hike outlined here. The rates were obviously set without much thought. Five dollars should get you five hours time which is reasonable. I also put in $5 and did not get 4 hours parking on the ticket -it was an hour less. Seems like the time you get varies from person to person for the same cost. The all-day rate of $11 is too much to pay for a 5-hour hike. A more reasonable rate would be $1/h with a two hour minimum and a ten hour maximum. They would likely take in more money this way also.

Even after you pay, the ticket does not come out of the dispenser. You have to reach way up inside the ticket dispenser to find the ticket. It's a great place to hike but it's diminished by an obsolete parking machine, unreasonable rates and a machine that cannot tell time and give you the time you paid for (unless 2-4 hours means 3 in my case.)

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  1. Claes Holmquist    Jack

The clock in the ticket dispensing machine is off by more than one hour. Hopefully the park warden or whoever does the tagging is aware of this time discrepancy when checking the tickets on the cars.

I agree, this parking machine is a disgrace...

The clock in the ticket dispensing machine is off by more than one hour. Hopefully the park warden or whoever does the tagging is aware of this time discrepancy when checking the tickets on the cars.

I agree, this parking machine is a disgrace and certainly detracts from the hiking experience at Mono Cliffs.

The Mono Cliffs Prov. Park is managed by the staff at Earl Rowe Prov. Park, and I suppose any complaints, for what it is worth, should be sent to the Parks Manager there.

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  1. Jack    Jack

I did make Ontario Parks aware of the concerns expressed here and received a prompt reply:

"Hello Jack,

Thank you for your email.

We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Your message has been forwarded directly to management at Mono...

I did make Ontario Parks aware of the concerns expressed here and received a prompt reply:

"Hello Jack,

Thank you for your email.

We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Your message has been forwarded directly to management at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park for their information.

Sincerely,

Ontario Parks"

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  1. Jack

Received the following email today (18 Sept 2012)

Hello Jack,

Thank you for your e-mail dated September 5, 2012 regarding the pay and display machine located at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park,

I have ordered replacement parts for this machine...

Received the following email today (18 Sept 2012)

Hello Jack,

Thank you for your e-mail dated September 5, 2012 regarding the pay and display machine located at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park,

I have ordered replacement parts for this machine and hope to have it repaired as soon as these parts arrive.

If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me.

Thanks

Mike Toutant

A/Park Superintendent

Earl Rowe Provincial Park

P.O Box 872 Alliston

L9R-1W1

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