Hike #19: Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve

Distance hiked: 10.7km
Location: Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve, Ontario
Date: May 31, 2020

We initially planned to spend the weekend up at the cabin, but due to a mosquito apocalypse, we came home a day earlier. Since we had no plans for Sunday (and let’s be real, any other day of the week because of the pandemic), we decided to go for a hike through the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve.

Since Hockley Valley is designated as a nature reserve, the only permitted activities in the park are hiking, so we figured the trails in the area would be great.

We parked at the northern part of Hockley Valley at a small parking lot on Dunby Road. The first part of the hike was along the Bruce Trail. The path leads through an open meadow and passes a reforestation project along the way to the northern entrance of the nature reserve.

Once we entered the nature reserve the path leads through a dense forest, opening up into a meadow. We turned off at the Cam Snell Side Trail (2.2km), which leads through more open fields and meadows and around two ponds before entering back into the woodlands.

The path loops back to the main trail. We followed this for a few hundred metres before making another detour at the Glen Cross Side Trail (1.4km). We followed the side trail through the forest, down into the valley and then back up again with lots of other rolling hills in-between.

The Glen Cross Side Trail meets up with the Isabel East Side Trail (1.9km) to form a loop back to the main trail. Even though this section involved more rolling hills, it was probably the most scenic trail in Hockley Valley. The path leads through a wooded area down into the valley and crosses two shallow streams. It also passes through another open field before continuing through the forest to rejoin the main trail.

The nice views along the way help distract from all the steps up and down. There’s a ski resort located nearby, so that should give some indication of the change in elevation.

Once we rejoined the main trail, we followed the white blazes north. We passed through the reforestation area out into the open fields. From here it was a relatively short hike back to the car.


My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here

12 thoughts on “Hike #19: Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a lovely trail even though it was quite challenging with all the rolling hills. It also helped immensely that we had fabulous weather where it wasn’t too hot and there was a nice gusty breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Ideal hiking conditions.

  1. Lookoom says:

    It’s good to see that your 52 Hike Challenge continues to progress well despite the circumstances. Thank you for the enticing pictures.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’re a bit behind schedule as many of the conservation areas and provincial parks were closed for about a month, but we’re certainly making up for lost time now. Turns out 2020 is probably a great year to complete the 52 Hike Challenge since it’s not as if we can make many other plans besides hiking. We had planned to do some really great hikes across other parts of North America, but looks like the challenge will just have an Ontario focus. Gives me more opportunities to explore new trails in my own backyard!

  2. ourcrossings says:

    What a lovely trail! We are looking to go on a long awaited hiking expedition this weekend too. We are finally allowed to travel freely within County Sligo boarders and today was the first day when majority of the non food shops opened up! The process is slow but steady. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about your hiking adventures. Take care 😊 Aiva

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That’s awesome that you’re allowed to start roaming outside your county again! What better way to do so than by going on a hiking expedition. Must be such an exciting feeling, largely because it’s a sign that conditions are improving and hopefully some things will go back to “normal”. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in Ireland 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The area is quite scenic, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colour. Hiking here is a bit of a challenge with all the rolling hills, but the scenery more than makes up for it.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It certainly is a charming area and a great place to visit regardless of the season. There’s a nice mix between open meadows, which are perfect for a picnic, and a dense forest, to provide some relief from the sun. Thanks for reading.

  3. carolinehelbig says:

    When I read the name it was so familiar but I couldn’t place it until you mentioned that there is a ski resort near by. I believe I went there years ago. The hike looks really pretty. I like the meadow and pond.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This area is quite popular for skiing, so you can imagine how hilly the hike must have been. It certainly was quite the workout, but the views were lovely. I’m not much of a downhill skier, but apparently there are some good snowshoe trails around here too.

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