about 17.0 km or 19.5 if the Winston Churchill loop is hiked
4 - 5 h
This Terra Cotta Conservation Area hike contains no steep climbs but has some hilly sections. Some very nice lookout points and great scenery are evident.
At lookout points along the trail
26 Oct 2004 14 Apr 2010
Not wheelchair accessible
Last update 12 Jan 2012. See News >> Updates>> L03 Terra Cotta 2016 for latest trail section closure on this hike.
To shorten the hike, omit the Rockside ST or on the return go directly from (008) to (004). To lengthen the hike, you can make a lower loop by combining the Winston Churchill Side Trail and Winston Churchill Blvd. While this involves some road walking, it does make the double loop once more.
X-country skiing; snowshoeing -ski & snowshoe rentals
Terra Cotta Double Loop Hike
Terra Cotta Conservation Area covers 250 hectares of rocky rugged terrain on the Niagara Escarpment and includes numerous summer and winter trails. The 124 hectare Terra Cotta Forest adjoins the Conservation Area, providing a large wilderness area.
In January 2010, Terra Cotta Conservation Area added a new Visitor Welcome Centre. Here guests can guests can obtain more information on the area, purchase snacks, bait and merchandise and rent cross-country skis and snowshoes. New washroom facilities are also available.
There are many trails to take in the Conservation area and there is a link to the Bruce Trail, as well as trails suitable for cross-country skiing. The trails also connect with those of Silver Creek Conservation Area (hike L02) and Scotsdale Farm (hike L01), just to the south.
The Terra Cotta Double Loop hike begins at 10th line near the start of the Walking Fern Side Trail and enters the Terra Cotta Conservation Area. The trail heads north on the rerouted Bruce Trail to join the Caledon Trailway, loops back along the Rockside Side Trail to the main trail and then returns on the main trail and back to 10th line.
The Rockside Side Trail heads southwest from waypoint (006). At the junction of Rockside Road and Ballinafad Road, the trail turns ninety degrees and heads southeast along the unopened road allowance of Heritage Road. Due to a trail closure mentioned below, the Rockside ST rejoins the main Trail at waypoint (008).
Presently the Bruce Trail has been closed between Winston Churchill Blvd and Heritage Road and has been rerouted along the Terra Cotta Side Trail (see trail map.) This is due to Quarry development and makes one of the loops unavailable. A sign has been posted at both junctions indicating the trail closure. You will need to use the Terra Cotta ST as a temporary measure until a new main route can be found. See our trail map for the closure. So, for the time being, the Double Loop is now a single loop. You could make an improvised second loop by following Winston Churchill Blvd from the Caledon Trailway to waypoint (009) and thentaking the Winston Churchill Side Trail back to (002) but this is not nearly as satisfactory. Hopefully the Bruce Trail Conservancy will be able to develop a new trail between (008) and (009).
What makes the Terra Cotta Double Loop so interesting is that it makes it's way through the Terra Cotta Forest Conservation area. The area has recently been transformed back into its natural state through reforestration of cleared areas and by removing the concrete pool and replacing it with a beautiful wetland. What’s left is a great network of trails that offer something for all levels of hikers to enjoy in a natural environment.