Hemlock Ridge to Griffith Ravine
Bruce Trail, Map 18
Distance- 8.1 km
I divided the hike into three separate sections and anyone who does not have the time for all can certainly find enjoyment from one of the three, especially since the beginning and end are loops.
Hemlock Ridge loop
I parked in a parking area on 5th line just south of the 7th (Hockley Road). This is a Bruce tail maintained parking area with room for about a dozen cars. You will cover the first half this loop on the way out and the second half on your return.
Take the right trail (one next to the road) up (and I do mean up) the hill to connect with the main trail. Here you are on very steep ridges with open views due to the mature forest. Stay on the mail trail and you will shortly cross the fifth side road. Spot the bicycle as you cross the road?
Fifth to fourth line
This is the section of trail you will cross twice. As you follow the
trail you will see remains of old metal, hydro poles, concrete pads, etc., these are the remains of a ski resort. Continue west through mostly mature maple forest with a track of pines and cedars for variety. This section has a couple of nice views looking down into ravines.
Griffith Side trail loop
The Bruce trail and Griffith side trail is a great little 2.7-km loop that starts after you cross the 4th line. You immediately start down a steep hill. If you do not stop to look around, not to worry. You will be coming back up later and as you stop, gasping for breath, there is plenty of time to enjoy the view. At the bottom of the hill the trail splits, left keeps you on the mail trail and personally I think this is the best way around the loop.
You soon come into an old logging area dotted with stumps and blown down trees. To me this area has a somewhat desolate feel, even with all the maples growing up around the old stumps. Climbing out of this area the trail leads to a rather steep decline along a fence line and stream. At the bottom a small foot bridge crosses over the stream. The bench here makes a perfect resting spot or lunch area and is about the half way point on the hike. My associates especially liked having a drink, getting their feet wet, and of course a snack.
Leaving the stream, you go up and across a mature hardwood forest. As you descend out of this and onto an old road, turn right (east). This is the Griffith ravine side trail. It takes you down to the bottom of a ravine where you cross the stream again. Walking on a gently upward plane you can see the ravine rising steeply on both sides. Reaching the end of Griffith ravine side trail, you will once again rejoin with the main trail, turn left, and as I promised earlier you get to enjoy the view as you go up, up, up.
You now retrace your steps between the 4th and 5th lines. Crossing the 5th you will shortly turn right on the Glacier valley side trail, thus beginning the second half of the Bruce trail, Hemlock ridge loop. This is a pleasant walk to where it rejoins the main trail, turn left and continue along the main trail until you come to the Hemlock Ridge side trail, turn right onto this trail and you will wind your way downhill back to the parking lot.
Enjoy your hike. Remember leave nothing behind.
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