Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Family Hikes in Grey Highlands

There is something inspiring about walking on the trails and walkways in Grey Highlands that has always drawn me to the area trails.  As a child walking through the forest with my sisters and cousins to get to the swing rope in the channel at Lake Eugenia felt like we were taking an epic adventure.  Braving the wilds of the untamed landscape so we could swing off the “Tarzan Vine” and drop ourselves in the water was the types of adventures that we lived for and what made these adventures even better were the treasures we would find along the way.  A rock that looked like it had crystals in it, a stick that looked like a magic wand, a bird’s nest that fell or a bottle cap on the road were our most coveted possessions of the summer.

Not much has changed since those days, I still love the adventure of walking our trails to discover what we will see around the next bend and my companions have become my kids who are looking for the same adventures that have stayed in my memory all these years.

Here are some of our favourite Grey Highlands trails to explore:

Hogg’s Falls
These falls are tucked away on the Lower Valley Road in Flesherton.  The falls are named after William Hogg who had built a sawmill here during the late 1870’s.  he mill burnt down in 1888, and only a few remnants of it remain. The cedar lined Boyne River will lead you to the plunge falls.  While not high in elevation, they are beautiful and offer the opportunity to hike to the bottom for those more feeling more adventurous.  The Bruce Trail runs a trail between Hogg’s Falls and Eugenia Falls but this would not be a family hike due to its difficulty.
Old Baldy
The Old Baldy Conservation Area is certainly one of the most visited sections of the Bruce Trail in Grey Highlands.  The walk to the cliff face in the spring offers a forest floor that is blanketed with trilliums which you can’t help but stop and admire.  The rock formations and small crevasse offered a fun moment for our boys to pretend they were stuck in the ground.  When you reach the cliff face you are struck with a view of the Beaver Valley that seems to go on forever and at each viewing spot you see something just a little bit different that you have to take a photo at each one.   You may be lucky to be there on a day when rock climbers are braving the face of the cliff wall.  The trail that loops back to the parking area will take you through the forest which has such tall and majestic trees that will have you find yourself looking up as you walk along, but don’t forget to look down or you will miss the beautiful wild flowers that will pop up in the right season.

 Top of Talisman Mountain
The Bruce Trail runs along the top of the Beaver Valley, where the former Talisman Resort is continuing to be given a new life, soon to be unveiled this summer.  This section of the Bruce Trail is also a favourite spot for many to view the sweeping landscape of the valley and the ski hills below.  There is a secret spring along this part of the trail, so I have been told because we have not been able to find it yet.  We were not the only ones enjoying the autumn views that day, on our way out we say a group of artists had set up their canvases to capture the beautiful autumn scene before them.

Eugenia Falls
The majestic 30 meter height of the Eugenia Falls has drawn people in for over 100 years, having been the sight of a short lived gold rush in 1853.  Spring time offers the most water but still offers beautiful views year round.  You can find the remnants of a hydro power tunnel  and saw mill built in 1859 while you explore the trails around the falls.

Other trails to explore:
I wrote about one of other favourite spots to hike which is the Flesherton Foothills, check it out by clicking here.  Find other great hikes and hosted walks at the www.thewalkingvillage.org.