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Nature lovers will find paradise in Grey Highlands. Become one with the great outdoors, starting with these ideas to connect with the earth, water and sky.
There’s no limit to the ways you can enjoy Beaver Valley, from kayaking and canoeing on the Beaver River to hiking and showshoeing its shores. You might even want to bring a drone to get a bird’s eye view. From flora to fauna, the Beaver Valley has something for everyone.
Bloodroot on the Bruce Trail. Photo: Barbara Pearn.
The continual freeze-thaw process over thousands of years has caused large blocks of rock to chip away from the main face of the Niagara Escarpment. The result is a dramatic series of crevice caves and the unique vegetation that it supports. You’ll be struck by the dramatic change in temperate as you hike down into the crevices – so much so that you might want to dress in layers. One term for this area: rugged.
ATVing is a wonderful way to reach areas you might not otherwise get to, as well as just plain fun. Fortunately for ATVers, Grey Highlands is very ATV friendly, with riding permitting on most roads and on numerous trails. For an up-to-date map of local ATV routes, visit the Dufferin Grey ATV Club’s map page, at http://dgatv.ca/about/maps/.
The jewel of Eugenia Falls Conservation Area, Eugenia Falls crashes down 30m to pound the surface below and carve out the Cuckoo Valley Gorge. Visitors are visually jolted by the layers of rocks, exposed tree roots, and sparkling waters. Just a gentle reminder: concrete barriers provide safety while viewing the gorge and signs are there to keep you from wandering off the trails and into dangerous situations.
Hogg's Fall's. Photo: Barbara Pearn.
It’ll be the sound that alerts you that you’re near these falls, long before you see them. Brilliant shades of green foliage create a wall that attempts to keep the low but thundering falls a secret. A brief walk from the parking lot takes you close up to this 7m tall beauty; be prepared in case things are slippery.
The Osprey Wetlands span 6,500 acres. This unique area features an esker, harkening back to glacial days, and mixed hardwood forests, providing a diverse habitat for wildlife. You’ll best enjoy it in winter, by snowshoe.
The view high atop the Bruce Trail near Old Baldy lookout. Photo: Barbara Pearn.
If rock climbing is for you, then check out Old Baldy near Kimberley and Metcalfe Rock in the Kolapore Uplands, both of which allow responsible climbing. A small parking fee will apply to climbers at Old Baldy, who will be rewarded with stunning west-facing views of the Beaver Valley below.
With so many ways to enjoy nature in Grey Highlands, you’d better start your list today.