Q3. Where would you find the "Hole in the Wall?"
Ontario's walking and hiking paradise.
Whether your ideal hike is a few hours or few days, Ontario’s nature trails offer everything from urban trails to explore towns and cities, to wilderness trails within a short drive of the city. Many walking and hiking trails follow the routes of the Aboriginals and explorers. Others are rail trails that have been converted from rail lines.
For walkers and hikers, most trails are open to use and free of charge, but look for posted signs and proceed accordingly. Also, many trails are mixed use, so you may cycle, ride a horse or drive a motorized vehicle. For complete details and locations, visit www.ontariotrails.on.ca
Bruce Trail and Black Creek Side Trail
Georgetown – Hiking
There is a hidden gem called the Limehouse Conservation Area, located on the Niagara Escarpment where the Bruce Trail hooks up with the Black Creek Side Trail. The area is ideal for hikers looking for an outing with geological and historical interest.
There are massive crevices in the rock all along the trail. Continue until you come to the Black Creek Side Trail. Turn left onto this side trail and follow the blue blazes. You will go through areas with different types of trees. If you look closely you can see the old wood beams of the railway trestle.
This takes you up to a pile of rocks left by glaciers and you will see an opening into the “Hole in the Wall”. The trail continues through the rock doorway and into the crevice. You must take two ladders up to get back onto the trail. This is the only way through and it is an interesting feature. Once on the top you will step over several narrow but very deep crevices. You should keep an eye out for the trail blazes here, as it is easy to get off course. Eventually you will be out of the cedars and back into hardwood forest.www.brucetrail.org
The Arboretum, University of Guelph
Almost every tree and shrub indigenous to southern Ontario is growing at The Arboretum, modeled after the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. The Arboretum continues to develop specialized gardens and botanical collections. Labels are maintained at the base of all woody plants in the collections. The Arboretum spans 408 acres with 8.2 km of signed trails. Observed at The Arboretum are 38 species of mammals, 188 species of birds, 39 species of butterflies, 18 herptiles (reptiles and amphibians) and 1,700 species of trees and shrubs.www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum
Mississauga – Serious cyclists, on and off road
This trail follows the path of the Applewood Valley, the site of the area’s original urban development, Applewood Heights. This is one of many trails in and around Mississauga that allow for the use of bicycles on and off roads, through natural and urban settings.
Bronte Creek Trail
Oakville – Suitable for families, hike, bike and camp
This trail shows off wonderful spring wildflowers, especially spectacular when the Trilliums bloom in May/ June. It is also educational for children. You can view living history demonstrations in a 1890s farmhouse, pet animals in a play barn or have fun in the outdoor playground.
Fletcher's Pond Trail
Aliston – Suitable for families, hiking only
This paved, barrier-free trail travels from the reservoir by the dam through the main day use area of the park and ends at the pool located in Westbeach. The Fletcher’s Pond Trail is an easy walk, suitable for families and people of all fitness levels.
Elmvale – Families, history enthusiasts, walk, cycle, good for bird watching
The 22.5 km Tiny Trail passes over agricultural land and hardwood forest. It follows the abandoned railway right of way located in the County of Simcoe and ends just north of Elmvale. Users also have access to the Tiny Marsh Wildlife Area, which is classified as a provincially significant wetland, with trails, canoeing, boardwalks and an education centre.
Adjacent to the trail at about its midpoint is the Ossossane Bone Pit, an ancient site of Huron/Wendat mass burials, which has been recognized for its historical and archaeological value.
The Waterfront Trail
The Waterfront Trail has been an instrumental part of Lake Ontario’s regeneration. Along this historic and scenic route you will find a 780 km trail that celebrates nature and culture along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Bike it for a day. Or make it a summer-long adventure.
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