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Lest we boast, Grey Highlands is blessed with a seemingly unending supply of waterfalls, rolling fields, lookout spots and lush forests. This area offers hikes for everyone, from the weekend warrior to the family out for a casual stroll. Here are a few of our favourites.
The Niagara Escarpment winds its way north through the area, affording you some beautiful hiking opportunities. Enjoy a richly forested portion of it while hiking the 8km Beaver Valley Loop of the Bruce Trail, travelling lots of ups and downs and taking in superior views. A good calf workout.
The forest as seen from the Bruce Trail along the top of Old Baldy.
Just east of the historic village of Kimberly, the Niagara Escarpment reaches 152m high at Old Baldy, a stunning limestone outcrop. You can choose between two trails of differing lengths, with an optional different return route. No matter which route you take you’ll find breathtaking views.
The arched stone exit of demolished water tunnel along the Eugenia Falls side trail.
Eugenia Falls is a 90ft waterfall that’s been part of local history for over a hundred years, supporting five mills. It was even once thought to contain gold! Head north on the Bruce Trail to reach the other side of the Falls from the parking lot. There you’ll find a little-known secret: a stone arch marking one end of a now-demolished water tunnel constructed in 1907 for water diversion but never used. Taking the Bruce Trail south will lead you along the edge of the gorge down to the rocky bottom. If you then continue 6km along the Trail, you’ll arrive at Hogg’s Falls.
Hogg’s Falls is one of this area’s best-kept secrets. At 25ft, it isn’t as tall as Eugenia Falls, but the large volume of water cascading over it makes it just as stunning. Is reaching the Falls via Eugenia Falls not for you? You can always head straight here by driving east from the town of Flesherton to the Upper Beaver Valley Extension of the Bruce Trail. From there, follow this side trail through picturesque tall hills, thick forest, rolling farmlands and otherworldly wetlands and take the time to enjoy the dozens of postcard-perfect lookouts.
From the parking lot of the 35-acre Madeleine Graydon Memorial Conservation Area east of Feversham, make a somewhat difficult hike 1.5km through mixed woodland to arrive deep in Feversham Gorge. Thousands of years of erosion by the Beaver River have carved 24m high limestone walls, while tall trees clinging to the top of the cliffs have created a shaded area ideal for rare ferns and mosses to thrive in.
The Pretty River Valley trail is an 11.4km loop of the Bruce Trail as it crosses the Pretty River Conservation Area. It includes a vast forest, a (pretty) river, and wildflowers too numerous to count.
The beautiful rural countryside found throughout Grey Highlands.
This 1.6km loop trail near Flesherton takes you through forests and around water bodies and is ideal for any skill level. Combine it with a stroll through the small town for an active yet relaxing outdoor experience.
In 2017, the Grey Highlands Canada 150 Committee and local museum friends produced a series of seven Village Experience Tours, one for each of the distinct communities that form Grey Highlands. Of these seven, six are walking tours: those of Eugenia, Flesherton, Kimberley, Markdale, Priceville and Rocklyn (Osprey excepted). Take a leisurely walk through these villages and discover what makes them unique. A treat for a history buff.
Lake Eugenia near the main dam on the Eugenia community walking trail.
This multipurpose trail spans [72 or 77] km from Dundalk to Owen Sound, with the portion through Grey Highlands layered in coarse gravel. An impressive string of geocaches can be found if you’re up for the challenge. Wear good footwear and, if you’re biking, think mountain biking. ATVers use this trail, too, so earphone use is not advisable. Instead, tune into the sounds around you and enjoy the escape from buzzing power lines, honking cars and wailing emergency sirens.
So, what’s caught your attention? You’ll find lots to do to keep you on your feet in Grey Highlands!