While it’s certainly true that Halton has some gorgeous hiking trails, it’s important to remember that other cities — actually, the entire province of Ontario and, really, the entire country of Canada — offer hikers absolutely stunning trails that are good for both avid walkers and novice wanderers.
Since fall is here, now is the perfect time to get out of the city and enjoy nature a little further from home.
Here are the top five hiking trails you can find just a little outside of Halton.
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Located in the scenic town of Elora, the highlight of the Elora Gorge Trail is the 20-metre waterfall that clings to limestone cliffs. Cedar trees and gorgeous colours will surround you on your hike, and if the weather is nice, you can even go for a swim at the end of your hike in the quarry! Elora Gorge boasts 3 km of trails at its conservation area, plus a few more nearby. If you’re feeling adventurous you might want to check out the Elora Cataract Trailway, a 47-kilometre trail linking the Grand and Credit river watersheds.
4) Mono Cliffs
You won’t believe this place is in Orangeville. Mono Cliffs is a picturesque provincial park that’s an incredible spot for a hike – or a few. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the park, so this is a great spot if you’re looking to spend a day hiking. Located on the Bruce Trail, you can walk through a canyon on the spillway trail or past 30 meter cliffs on the cliff top trail. There are eight trails to choose from here, or you can go ahead and conquer them all. The longest is Walter Tovell Trail at 4.8 km.
If you don’t mind traveling just a little further west, the Niagara Glen nature reserve is a nice spot to hit in the fall. The area is located in the Great Gorge and boasts stairways that lead to four kilometres of paths that wind through Carolinian Forest. If you’re hiking this trail, you should know that pathways in the Glen involve an elevation change of over 60 m (200 ft.) and that proper footwear is an absolute must because of the steep and sometimes rough terrain. Because the Glen is a nature reserve, you should know that you may encounter wild plants and animals. To ensure an incident-free visit, stay on the trail and follow posted instructions. Also, if you’re into sightseeing, you might be happy to know that the Glen overlooks the Niagara River Whirlpool.
Did you know that Hamilton offers some exceptional sightseeing opportunities? If you’re into waterfalls (aren’t we all?), Webster Falls and Tew Falls should impress you (especially if you never knew they were there). A hike up to Dundas Peak in this popular conservation area boasts gorgeous views of both Hamilton and Dundas and its surrounding fauna and flora. If you’re more into the idea of hiking than admiring a waterfall, note that this place doesn’t offer a full-loop trail, but rather connects you to the Bruce Trail.
If you finish your hike early and want to embark on more exploration, you can check out the Hermitage Ruins, Dundurn Castle and the Hamilton Farmer’s Market.
1) Bruce Trail
I’m sure you knew this one would be number one. The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked footpath in Canada and it runs along the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve) from Niagara to Tobermory. It boasts a seemingly endless amount of hiking trails and some of them are genuinely hardcore and worth trying if you really want to challenge yourself. The hiking section is a whopping 121.7 km long, with each hike averaging 30 or more kilometres.