Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: June 2021
Located along the shore of Lake Huron, Inverhuron Provincial Park boasts of having one of the nicest sandy beaches in southern Ontario. Inverhuron features 125 campsites and has three hiking trails that weave through forests, wetlands and sand dunes.
Inverhuron also has an interesting history. It was first established as a provincial park in 1956. With the construction of the Bruce Nuclear Power Development, Inverhuron was sold to Ontario Hydro in 1973. Ontario Hydro also signed a 999-year lease with the government which allowed the park to operate as a day-use park only. Overnight camping was completely phased out by 1976. However, when Bruce Nuclear closed its Heavy Water plant in 1998, environmental and safety concerns were reduced and in 2005 the park re-opened and began offering overnight camping again.
After spending the morning hiking in Morris Tract Provincial Nature Reserve, we rolled into Inverhuron just before 2:30p.m.
It was hot and humid (27°C felt like 36°C with the humidity) with a threat of rain on the forecast. While we were eager to go for a swim, we decided to first go for a hike, largely because we probably wouldn’t want to afterwards. There are three hiking trails in Inverhuron and we planned to first hike along the River Trail (3km, rated moderate / difficult with large hills and rough trail surfaces). The trail loops through the forest and follows the Little Sauble River.
The trail is marked with yellow blazes on the trees and is relatively easy to navigate. There are a few storyboards along the trail that provide more information about some of the interesting features that can be viewed from the trail.
The trail passes by the largest eastern white cedar tree within the park. It has a circumference of over 12 feet, a diameter of almost 4 feet and is estimated to be about 400 years old.
The trail also passes by the site of a former mill. Back in the mid 1800s, there were saw and grist mills situated on the Little Sauble River. Unfortunately there was a fire that burnt down the grain warehouses and the pier. By 1886, residents began to focus more on fishing. Tragedy struck again in 1887 and a second fire ravaged the area, which made farming virtually impossible.
While there weren’t many remnants from the former saw mill, we did see a porcupine at the top of the hill. We must have surprised the porcupine because it scurried into the bush and then proceeded to climb up a tree. I’ve never seen a porcupine do that before.
The trail loops back to the bridge. In no time we were back at the beach area. Time to go swimming. We traded our hiking shoes for flip flops, changed into our bathing suits and grabbed our towels. It was windy and overcast and the waves were rockin’ and a rollin’. Even though the water was cold, it felt refreshing on such a hot and humid day.
We reluctantly got out to drink some water and let the wind dry us off. After getting changed we went on one other short hike along the Maloney Trail (1km, rated easy with set sections during the spring). We parked at the Gatehouse and first had to hike a short stretch along the Chain Trail to reach the Maloney Trail.
The trail waves through the forest and passes by the former homestead of WM Maloney, McGilles and McIntosh. There’s a couple of interpretive storey panels along the trail, including one that provides more information of the Malloney House.
On the drive out, we passed by a turnoff for a cemetery so we decided to check that out. The cemetery contains a few gravestones from the early settlers.
After that we headed out to Sauble Falls Provincial Park where we planned to spend the first night of our road trip.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here