• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


Bridge over a creek


001 - 002 | 0.84 kmThe Nottawasaga Bluffs hike begins at the intersection of Concession 10 and Sideroad 12 & 13 where the trail follows the Concession Road 10 road allowance north between fields to a stand of maple and birch trees. Here we meet the Nottawasaga Bluffs Lookout Side Trail that goes off to the right. Keep left on the Main Bruce Trail (002). NOTE: Dec 2018: The Nottawasaga Bluffs Lookout Side Trail is temporarily closed to hikers due to an unsafe bridge to be repaired in 2019.

002 - 003 | 4.2 kmThe trail exits the woods and slowly climbs to the edge of a corn field passing a large number of crab apple trees. The trail enters a very dark mature cedar forest and turns left along an overgrown logging trail following the white main trail markers. Continuing along the logging trail a Blue Jay can be heard overhead as the trails enters a young mixed hardwood forest. The trail enters a corridor between two dense rows of cedar and enters a more open field area.
Circling around the field and passing a number of tractor paths, the trail head back into a cedar forest as it slowly descends into a very dark overgrown tree-limb strewn area. The trail passes in and out of these dark regions and then back into a more open sunlit area, before entering a moss-covered rocky and slippery area with mixed forest growth and a lot of old fallen limbs.  The trail becomes even more rocky and root strewn with many undulations as it zigzags past a huge limestone rock wall. At an old limestone kiln (003), there is a single picnic table and a plaque describing the history of the kiln.

003 - 004 | 4.5 kmThe trail goes right and heads downhill and enters an open meadow with a huge apple tree as the trail swings to the left and passes the remains of an old orchard and then heads back into the woods. Past a grassy area a sign describes an old stage coach trail in the area and then arrives at a large Nottawasaga Bluffs map and parking lot for access to the Bruce trail at Sideroad 15 & 16 (004).

004 - 005 | 5.1 kmHeading right away from the sideroad along the access road, the main trail meets the Betty Carter Side trail in 600 m (005).

005 - 009 | 5.5 kmContinue to the right on the main Bruce Trail arriving at the Keyhole Side Trail (009).

009 - 006 | 5.9 kmKeep on the main trail which enters a young forest with little undergrowth and circles around to a field before arriving at Nottawasaga Bluffs Lookout and Freedom Rock (006).

006 - 007 | 6.2 kmContinue to the right along the main Bruce Trail where in 350 m you meet the Best Caves Side Trail (007) heading steeply downhill. It is not advisable to descend this steep trail in wet weather. If you decide to explore this area, be careful. Down below you can stick your head in a small opening in the rock and see the cave inside -a tight squeeze to get in. You can skirt around the side of the rock but the trail just peters out.

007 - 008 | 7.5 kmContinue on the main trail to the right. The trail continues along a wire fence to the right through a mid-aged deciduous forest with sparse undergrowth. Large deep crevices in the rock can be seen on both sides of the fence. The trail arrives at the other end of the Betty Carter Side Trail (008).

008 - 005 | 8.2 kmLeave the Main Bruce trail at this point and head right along the Betty Carter Side Trail back to waypoint (005) where it meets the main trail once again.

005 - 009 | 9.0 kmContinue to the right on the main Bruce Trail arriving at the Keyhole Side Trail (009).

009 - 010 | 9.5 kmFollow this trail and you will soon see the keyhole. A solid rock wall presents a small opening that you will have to squat and squeeze through -watch your head. You are now in a narrow L-shaped canyon with moss-covered walls stretching up some 30 m. Even on a warm day, the temperature inside the small canyon can be just above freezing with snow often lingering into summer. After exploring, you exit the canyon by a steep but easy climb up a crevice to (010).

010 - 002 | 9.8 kmTake the Nottawasaga Bluffs Side Trail back to meet the Main trail at waypoint (002).

002 - 001 | 10.6 kmTurn left on the Main Bruce Trail and return to the starting point (001).
Enjoy the hike and the day!

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