Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve

Length of stay1 day
Visited
May 2021

Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve is located along the Niagara Escarpment in the town of Mono. It is a non-operating park so there are no visitor facilities or washrooms. However, there are a few hiking trails and countless opportunities to just appreciate nature.

There are a few parking areas that provide access to Hockey Valley, including along the northern entrance on Dunby Road, eastern entrance on 3rd Line EHS and southern entrance on Hockey Road. We parked at the southern entrance which is the most popular area and can accommodate the largest amount of cars. Despite the fact that it was overcast and the weather forecast was calling for rain, there were quite a few cars in the parking lot.

At the parking lot there is a map of all the various trails through the nature reserve. The Bruce Trail cuts through the park and there are four side trails, which form a series of connected loops, creating a few options depending on how long you want to spend hiking. But first we need to get to the trail. From the parking lot we walked a couple hundred metres along the side of Hockey Road, also referred to as the Hockley Valley Side Trail (250m one-way) to get to the Bruce Trail.

We followed the white blazes down the path for a couple hundred metres until we arrived at a junction which provided another official sign of the park and map of the hiking trails. Last summer we hiked along the northern two loops of the trail so for this visit we tackled the remaining loop (4.5km round trip).

We turned left and continued our hike along the larger Bruce Trail, following the white blazes through the forest. It was hot and humid outside, but there was a vigorous breeze that helped cool us down. But there was no keeping us cool for long as the terrain is quite hilly. We followed the path upwards and onwards.

After a steady incline, the trail leads down into the valley. It was especially scenic in the spring as the forest floor was lush and covered in trilliums and other greenery.

As we were appreciating our natural surroundings we stumbled upon something unnatural – an abandoned car on the side of the trail.

Shortly after the trail connects with the Tom East Side Side Trail. From here we followed the blue blazes through the forest. This portion of the trail features more rolling hills. It started to lightly rain, which was most welcome as it felt refreshing.

The trail connects back to the Bruce Trail and leads to the road. From here it’s a short stretch back to the parking lot. Usually I’m not a fan of hiking in the rain, but in this case, it was most welcome as it was hot and humid outside.

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My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

58 thoughts on “Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This trail is very scenic in the spring with all the wildflowers scattered throughout the forest. It’s kind of funny how there seems to be a few trails that pass by an abandoned car. Now it belongs to the forest and is being reclaimed by nature. Thanks for coming along on the virtual tour. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It’s amazing how many provincial parks and trails there are in Ontario. We have however visited most of the nearby parks so now have to drive further afield to explore new ones. Now that restrictions are easing here in Ontario the roads have once again become heavily congested, especially on weekends. While spending time in nature is relaxing, being out on the roads not so much!

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I can see why the trillium is the official flower of Ontario. They are beautiful and plentiful here. That’s weird that you weren’t able to leave a comment from the post but instead had to do it through Reader. I’ve been having some issues with WP lately and I wonder if it’s related. Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The valley floor was simply stunning with all the greenery and spring flowers. We definitely weren’t expecting to also stumble across an abandoned car by the side of the trail! I love that it’s being slowly absorbed into the forest.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a real treat to visit during the spring to see the valley so lush and green. It was very picturesque. I’m right there with you, when we stumbled upon this abandoned car, I couldn’t help but wonder how it made its way so deep into the forest!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Judging by how big the trees are, I’m assuming this car has been in the forest for quite some time. It was definitely one of the highlights of this trail, that and the greenery through the valley. I’m usually not a fan of hiking in the rain, but in this case it was only lightly raining and it felt amazing because of how hot and humid it was.

      Like

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I do have rain pants, but I only bust those out on special occasions. I remember thinking what a waste of money when I initially purchased them, but they’ve come in handy many times over the years!

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      • winteroseca says:

        Where did you get them from and what brand are they? My dream dog is a black labrador. I am hoping to get it when I get a place of my own and get permanent residence here

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I got them nearly a decade ago from MEC. We’re taking next week off to go camping and the forecast is calling for so much rain over the weekend and into next week (To give you a preview: 25mm on Friday and 20-25mm on Saturday). You better believe I’ll be packing my rain pants!!

        Labradors are so adorable and are such friendly dogs. What a great way to celebrate than by getting one when you get your own place and permanent residency!!

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      • winteroseca says:

        Thanks for the recommendation! I will see if they still have rain pants there. That’s a lot of rain! Glad you’re getting away. I so can’t wait to have a dog!

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I think we’re going to drive up Saturday morning instead of Friday after to work to (hopefully) dodge the worst of the rain. Hopefully you won’t have to wait much longer to get your dog!!

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      • winteroseca says:

        Good idea! I heard Toronto is expected to get hammered with a month’s worth of rain this next week. I hope I won’t have to wait much longer either. I already delayed getting a dog because of the pandemic starting

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        It turns out that there is a rainfall warning today with amounts of 50mm over the next 24 hours. So it looks like we’re going to head out Sunday morning instead. Not impressed. It’s also supposed to rain every single day next week. Cool cool. You should just go out and get your puppy this weekend! 🙂

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      • winteroseca says:

        My family’s in a complicated situation with our cat back in California right now. We’ll see how it goes

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve hiked through Hockley Valley before, but it was especially scenic in the spring because of all the trilliums and greenery covering the forest floor. Thankfully it was still early enough in the spring that the mosquitoes weren’t out … yet. It was neat stumbling upon the abandoned car and it made for a great excuse to pull over to take some pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There were hundreds of trilliums along the trail. The blooms last for about three weeks, so it was excellent timing. That old junker in the middle of the forest was quite the surprise and a great excuse for a photo op! It’s not the first time we’ve come across an abandoned car along the trail and it probably won’t be the last. It does make you wonder how it got there in the first place though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was especially scenic during the spring with all the trilliums and greenery scattered across the forest floor. That abandoned car is now part of the forest and will eventually be reclaimed by nature. If it hasn’t been moved yet, I doubt it ever will!

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve been to Hockey Valley a few times over the years as there are a lot of great hiking options and it’s relatively close by. This was my first time visiting in the spring and it was a real treat to see all the trilliums are in bloom. The abandoned car made for a great excuse to take a break and a couple of pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s incredible how quickly the forest can transform during the Spring. A few weeks ago there were no leaves on the trees and the ground was brown and barren. Now everything is so lush and full of life. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend even if you did have to work.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ourcrossings says:

    Wow, it’s amazing how green everything is! And I have to say that Trilliums are oozing with elegance and quaint charm! I am pretty sure I gushed over their unique beauty in one of your previous spring posts some time last year! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Spring time is always a magical time to hike. It felt like we were in an enchanted forest with all the greenery and wildflowers. Trilliums typically bloom for three weeks, so we were quite lucky with timing. The best part was that it was also early enough in the spring before the bugs were out. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your week.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was such a scenic hike with all the greenery and trilliums along the trail. This gave us a good excuse to take a lot of breaks and admire the landscape as the trail itself was quite strenuous with all the rolling hills. Thanks for coming along on the virtual tour. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Same. It’s incredible to think just how old some of those trees are. The valley looked simply stunning with all the greenery and trilliums along the trail. It was a real treat despite the heat, humidity and little bit of rain. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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