A Guide to Trails in Simcoe County
Location, location, location is about far more than just schools and property values. It also encompasses what an area has to offer that will enable you to live the kind of lifestyle you want.
Many people are not only escaping the city to come to Simcoe County for some fresh air and a taste of the outdoors but they’re moving here to enjoy it full time. Simcoe County is home to many woodland trails and wildlife reserves intertwined within our cities. The biodiversity of our region inspires adventure and exploration.
Strap on your hiking shoes and get out to explore some of the most beautiful scenery right in your own backyard.
Length: 6.2 km
Difficulty: Easy with a large portion of the trail through the community
Features: This trail runs alongside an inhabited community featuring some concrete paved stretches ideal for rollerblading. Your walk will take you past the water filtration plant and the Enviropark where kids can play. Stop to admire Collingwood’s well known Inukshuk. Washrooms are available at the Station/Museum at the start and end of your hike.
Length: 8 km
Difficulty: Easy with a steep hill to the lookout point. Detour shortcuts at 4 and 6 km.
Features: This trail is perfect for those who want to spend the day with a leisurely walk, challenging hike or just some rest and relaxation. Winding through a red pine forest, this trail features some challenging steep hill sections to viewing sites but does offer a bypass shortcut also. Enjoy breathtaking views over Alliston, a Boyne river walk and a bridge crossing over two in-park lakes. Soak up the sun at the beach inside the park.
Length: 1.6 km
Difficulty: Easy. A relatively flat trail.
Features: This trail is a perfect short walk with lots to explore. The forest of beech trees can grow to 200 years old with a diameter of more than 100 cm. Cross over a bridge built from an old television tower, view uprooted tree pit mounds or take a peek into the salamander observation station. Climbing bittersweet vines wrap around mature maple trees and keep an eye out for the three sisters, three of the largest trees in forest grouped in an observation area.
Length: 2 km
Difficulty: Easy. Flatland trail.
Features: Located inside Innisfil Beach Park, this trail winds through numerous picnic and play areas leading to the beach where you can stop for a swim.
Length: 2 km
Difficulty: Easy with a longer route option that detours back to the start.
Features: A picnic area is the starting point for your adventure on this trail. View the site where a pioneer home once stood, a geological area where the Canadian Shields ends and a beaver lodge and beaver pond with a dam. Enjoy a lookout view over wetlands, hawthorn trees and a viewing platform where you can view wildlife and vegetation. End your hike travelling through a dense forest.
Length: 5.5 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some sandy sections and hills. A steep hill to finish the route.
Features: This popular woodland site is one of Barrie’s most well-known natural features. Access the bluffs through multiple entry points with the main entry at Cumming Park. Enjoy acres of red pine trees, cedar forests and open fields of sumacs. View a water retention pond and traverse across the creek. Washrooms are available at the Holly Community Centre.
Where: Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Length: 6.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some slight hills
Features: Start your trek from the Nordic Trail Centre located off Blueberry Trail and follow along the snowshoe path to enjoy sights of various tree species and wildlife.
Length: 2.4 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some steep slopes and uneven terrain.
Features: Traverse through a forest of red pines viewing various plantations, mushrooms and lichen. Have your hiking shoes on as this trail features some steep slopes, a ballast pit and active sand blowout all in a site next to the railway.
Where: Singhampton and Collingwood
Difficulty: Moderate with slight hills and a section of rocky terrain.
Features: Start your trek at the Ian Lang memorial and gather information at the Bruce Trail kiosk mid-route. The Bruce Trail features a campsite for registered visitors. View kilns, lichen, a limestone shale and native flora and fauna.
Length: 3.5 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some hills.
Features: Scanlon Creek is a well-known conservation park popular for those visiting from York Region to the south. A picnic area, park, play garden and washrooms invite you to stay for the day. Traverse hills and wetland, walk the long marsh boardwalk and pass over a bridge atop the creek.
Where: Wasaga Beach
Length: 5.8 km
Difficulty: Easy. Relatively flat old commuting trail.
Features: The Schooner Town heritage site is a perfect spot to begin your journey along this old logging road to the Oxbow. Travel along a limestone trail to view 3,000-year-old sand dunes, a 200-year-old oak tree, bank swallows nest in the sandbanks of the Oxbow and an old three-mile portage route that was used in the war of 1812.
Length: 2 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some slight hills and multiple detour options.
Features: Start at the south-east parking lot off old Barrie Rd to travel along woodland trails that meet up with the Algonquin trail. Travel over some slight hills and a bridge over Mill creek viewing sugar bush trails and the remains of an old log building along the way.
Length: 2 km
Difficulty: Easy with two shortcut detours and a steep hill ending the route.
Features: This nature trail spans along Spring Creek but covers just a narrow section of land starting at a specially created trail sculpture. Tree varieties along this route include beech trees, hard sugar maples, Manitoba maple, red pine, red dogwood, hemlock, cedar and white ash.
Where: Victoria Harbour
Length: 2.6 km
Difficulty: Easy but watch for steep and slippery slopes trailside.
Features: Following alongside the Sturgeon River with some steep and challenging slopes, this trail features a variety of natural growth including white pines and maples, ferns, snake grass, berries and wild grapes.
Length: 4 km
Difficulty: Easy with a couple of steep hills.
Features: This trail is perfect for the moderate hiker featuring a couple of steep hills. The sandy soils and embankments transform a portion of this trail into a river after heavy rain. Pass along the rail line, behind the Tecumseh pines adult living community, view a variety of tree species and a stream with crayfish.
Length: 5 km
Difficulty: Easy with three shortcut detours.
Features: A number of plant species can be seen along this forest route including a red pine reforestation area, eastern white pine, blackberries and raspberries. Watch out for poison ivy! This narrow block route passes behind École Secondaire Le Caron.
Where: Angus and Barrie
Length: 5 km
Difficulty: Easy with a few slight hills.
Features: This popular nature reserve delivers a bridge with a panoramic tour. Cross through a hydro corridor to view the Bear Creek embankment and wetland and walk along a boardwalk through Baby Bear Pond.
Length: 1.7 km
Difficulty: Easy. Relatively flat marshland.
Features: Travel along a boardwalk through the marsh to view dams, a birdhouse for wood ducks and ground cover vegetation. Breathtaking views can be seen from a lookout tower between the marsh and swamp. The open field is an integral habitat where mallards and blue-winged teal nest. An old crop field is now a beautiful field of wildflowers.
Length: 2.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate with several small hills.
Features: Spend a pleasant afternoon along the Tottenham trail featuring several options for a day of fun. Numerous small hills comprise this woodland walk which joins up with a travelled vehicle track. Traverse through a small pine forest, over the Mill St boardwalk and over a bridge at Beeton Creek. A mid-park beach and swimming area offer a spot to cool off.
Length: 2.5 km
Difficulty: Moderate with a halfway point shortcut.
Features: This easy to travel short trail is jam-packed with sites to see. Travel through a thicket of old cedars, by a creek with shallow pools and minnows and past a pond created in 1973 lined with cedars and sumac. Enjoy views of rolling hills and pasture, a deer grazing area, the stone foundation of an old early settler’s barn and a large 150-year-old hard maple cabbage tree aptly named for its large head of leaves. Plant species along this trail include a red pine forest with some white pines, cedar grove and large hemlock.
In addition to these spectacular woodland hiking trails, there are many linear trails which can be found in more inhabited locations. Most of these follow along rail tracks or waterfront sites that pass by numerous landmarks throughout the region. To view a complete listing of Simcoe Trails, visit http://www.simcoe.ca/InformationTechnology/Pages/TrailMaps.aspx