Distance hiked: 8.3km
Location: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: February 8, 2020
Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is located in southern Ontario along part of the Niagara Escarpment, a long cliff-like ridge of land or rock that runs westward from New York, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. There are a number of trails that loop through the forest, providing ample views of the cliff faces along the Niagara Escarpment.
We’ve hiked in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park along part of the Bruce Trail a couple of summers ago and figured this would be an excellent place to go snowshoeing. Many of the trails intersect, providing options for a shorter or longer route depending on your preference (or conditions on the trail).
It was a little chilly outside, but the sun was shining and there was next to no wind. There was a fresh layer of snow from the day before, creating ideal conditions for a winter hike.
We strapped on our snowshoes and from the parking lot we first hiked along the Carriage Trail (1.3km). There is a junction sign near the end of this trail that intersects with a few of the other trails in the park.
We veered north and hiked along a small portion of the Spillway Trail until it met up with the Walter Tovell Trail (4.8km). We followed this trail south through the forest until the end, where the path then connects with a series of other trails.
At this point the trail (or rather the few trails) has been relatively flat. Once we completed the Walter Tovell Trail, we hiked along a small portion of the Bruce Trail (200m) to reach the South Outlier Trail (we completed about 1.5km of the loop). We hiked up a steady incline for the first couple hundred metres of the trail until it eventually levels off, providing great views into the valley below, which we were previously hiking through.
The trail connects back to the Carriage Trail, which we followed for about 500m or so until we reached the parking lot.
In retrospect we probably didn’t need our snowshoes on the hike as the snow wasn’t too deep. But we’re not complaining that much as we haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear them and they were still fun to romp around in the snow with.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here
8 thoughts on “Hike #5: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park”
Beautiful winter photos, guys! I’ve never done much winter hiking, but I can only imagine all the challenges that comes with it – from frigid temperatures to sudden snowstorms. But I wouldn’t mind any of it one bit, the landscape is so beautiful and serene in winter time, you just have to be properly prepared. Thanks for sharing and happy trails. Aiva
For sure. Hiking in the winter definitely has its own set of challenges (especially around navigation), but as long as you dress appropriately and have the right gear (and the right company), it’s not so bad. Everything seems so much more quiet and serene in the winter. And the plus side is that there are no bugs! Thanks for reading.
It is great that you have so many trails to choose from close by. Also, snow in the area, I see. Now, if you only did not have to drive the QEW to get there. Thanks for sharing. Allan
We don’t have nearly this much snow in Toronto. We had to drive about an hour out of the city to get a more reasonable spot to snowshoe. And yes, the most challenging part about that hike was driving along the highway to leave (and then return) from Toronto. Thanks for reading.
With a hike a week
You’ll not feel weak.
Hiking each week depends on whether
we have nice weather
We actually went out a did a section of this hike today with the kids and no snow. It hadn’t crossed our minds that we could come back and do it again in the winter. It would be a completely different perspective. Thanks on planting that idea in our heads.
Mono Cliffs is great to visit regardless of the season. It’s a fun place to go winter hiking or snowshoeing. Many of the trails are quite wide and relatively flat (besides the stairs portion of the Cliff-top Side Trail). It’s also nice that most of the trails intersect, which means that it’s easier to loop back if you underestimate your abilities or continue onward for a longer hike. Thanks for reading.