Hiking in Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 days
Visited: October 2021

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park is located in Caledon. It is a day-use park that features a few trails, including the Bruce Trail which extends from Niagara to Tobermory. It is especially scenic in the fall when all the leaves are changing colour.

We initially planned to spend the weekend at the cabin to celebrate our anniversary, but the forecast wasn’t looking ideal. It rained overnight and all morning, but by the early afternoon the clouds were starting to clear and we even got a bit of sun. So we decided to go to the Forks of the Credit to get some fresh air. Given the weather we figured the park would be empty. This was not the case. We had to park in the overflow parking lot since the main parking lot was full.

At the trailhead there’s a map of the entire trail system. There are a few different routes depending on how long you want to spend hiking.

We first hiked along the Meadow Trail, which as the name suggests, winds through an open meadow and up a series of sandy ridges (this was just a preview for what was to come). It also passes Kettle Lake and another smaller pond. Despite all the rain from earlier in the day, the trail wasn’t overly muddy or wet. It was, however, very crowded.

There’s a few more ups and downs (but mostly ups), until we reached the Bruce Trail. At the junction, the trail splits off into a few different directions, we followed the signs towards the falls. From here it’s a steady descent down a series of steps into the valley. This would be super fun to climb back up on the return trip. On the plus side, all the ups and downs seemed to have deterred the hoards of hikers and this portion of the trail wasn’t very busy.

At the bottom of the valley, we turned right and hiked along the Cataract Falls Trail, which leads to the falls. The trail is marked by a series of blue blazes and requires another steady ascent up a ridge. There used to be a viewing platform at the end of the trail, but this has all been blocked off and the platform has been removed.

Back in the day there were three main quarry operations in the Credit Valley, including the “Forks” Quarries. The provincial parliament buildings at Queen’s Park and Old City Hall in Toronto are two prominent buildings that used the rock found and quarried at the Credit Forks. Due to greater demand for cheaper materials like concrete and steel, the last local quarries were abandoned in the 1920s.

We turned around and walked back the way we came, but turned off to complete the rest of the loop along the Cataract Falls Trail. We passed a couple of scenic lookouts of the Forks of the Credit River and had more opportunities to just enjoy the fall foliage.

The trail loops back to the Bruce Trail, which leads to the stairs in the valley. Dark clouds were rolling in and the threat of rain was in the air. At least we were over halfway done the trail. And then it started to rain. It was a slow and steady slog up the steps. Once we reached the junction we turned right and continued along the Bruce Trail for a few hundred metres.

The trail connects with the Trans Canada Trail, which we followed back to the parking lot. Much of the trail winds through an open meadow and provides zero protection from the rain. By the time we returned to the car we were soaked.

But it didn’t matter so much since we were heading home and could change into dry clothes. For now we turned our seat warmers on and blasted the heat. Despite the rain, it was still nice to go on a hike to enjoy the fall colours.

L

My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

63 thoughts on “Hiking in Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve been to Forks of the Credit many times over the years and I remember that the trail to the falls ended at a viewing platform. I can see why it’s been closed and that there are even a few fences to block the area off due to erosion. It’s too bad that the views weren’t the greatest, but the real highlight of the park is the fall foliage. Thanks for reading. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  1. wetanddustyroads says:

    You had definitely some really beautiful fall colours on this trail! I love the view of the beach with the colourful trees in the background. I would say, that despite the rain, you had some lovely sunny views early in your hike … and a warm heated car was probably just what you needed after this hike!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was crazy how quickly the weather changed during our hike. When we started out we had blue skies and sun, but then it progressively got cloudier and darker. I’m just glad we were more than halfway done the trail by the time it started raining and that we weren’t camping!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m not sure whether the ruins are still there. We missed the Ruins Trail and opted to see the falls instead. Since it started to rain on the way back, we cut our hike short and headed straight for the parking lot. I must say, if you do go back to Forks of the Credit, go early in the morning or on a weekday. It was unbelievably busy when we visited. We were actually turned away from here last year during the winter because the parking lot was completely full. Out of all the trails we hiked in 2021, this was by far one of the busiest.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The beginning of the trail was unbelievably packed with people. It was nuts. Thankfully as the terrain started to get tougher, we managed to ditch most of the crowds. The fall is my favourite time to hike and I’m glad we managed to get out a few times to enjoy the fall foliage. I did some digging around to find out more info on the name of the river. Apparently it comes from the time when French fur traders supplied goods to the native people in advance (on credit) against furs which would be delivered the following spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thattamma C.G Menon says:

    Gorgeous hiking place and wonderful nature , variety of awesome trees on the way and
    The admiring falls all so wonderful 🌷🙏👌😍 Specially your written lines so clearly can
    Read and understand.the advancharest journey through Provincial park , thank you 🌷🙏🌷

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. It’s always great to spend time outdoors, especially in the fall when all the leaves are changing colour. Despite the rain towards the end of the trail, it was a lovely hike overall.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The Trans Canada Trail is a system of greenways, waterways and roadways that stretches from the east coast to the west coast. It is apparently the longest recreational, multi-use trail network in the world. We’ve hiked bits and pieces of it over the years, but largely because it overlaps with whatever trail we were hiking along.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The trail was actually insanely busy near the beginning. The terrain becomes more challenging as there’s a series of steep ridges to hike up (and down), which was great as that seemed to have deterred most of the crowds. Despite the rain towards the end, it was a lovely trail and a great way to enjoy the fall colours and get some fresh air.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You are too kind. We started the year off strong with our Ontario Parks Challenge, but towards the end it was a bit of a struggle since we had already visited most of the nearby parks. I’m glad we managed to squeeze in a new park in October because the fall is my favourite time of the year to hike when the leaves are changing colour.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Seat warmers are amazing and they are a total game changer. Agreed, I’d rather get rained on during the end of the hike rather than towards the beginning. I was pretty much done taking pictures anyway, so I didn’t mind rushing through to get back to the car.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s crazy how quickly the weather changed. At the start of our hike we were enjoying blue skies and sun. But then it got progressively darker and cloudier. Thankfully we were well over half-way through our hike before it started to rain. And hey, at least we weren’t camping!

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  3. Ab says:

    A happy belated anniversary – and the next one is coming up soon! 😉😊

    Some of those trails look lovely. I was just reading something this weekend about what constitutes and meets the criteria for a Kettle Lake. It’s very interesting!

    The view of the falls, although a bit covered, seems so lovely just about now!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      If you’re fascinated by kettle lakes, you should totally visit Kettle Lakes Provincial Park near Timmins. Esker Lake is also super close to Timmins and another great park to learn more about how the glaciers shaped the landscape.

      I was surprised at how busy Forks of the Credit has become over the past couple of years. We used to come hiking here all the time and never had any issues with parking or the crowds. I guess that’s just one of the side effects of the pandemic is that so many people discovered the outdoors and hiking. I’m hoping the trails will return back to “normal” now that this pandemic is being treated like it’s over.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        I think there will be more outside Ontario travel this summer so I hope that eases the pressure on the parks. But it’s also nice to think that many people have discovered the beauty of these parks too.

        Happy Friday and hope you have a nice weekend! 😊

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        For sure. It’s always nice to get a change of scenery. We don’t have much planned in terms of camping in Ontario this summer, but are hoping to do some day trips. We’ve also been trying to make the most of visiting the parks in the offseason. We just spent the weekend camping in a yurt in Bruce Peninsula National Park. It was lovely, although very chilly yesterday. Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks!! The Bruce Peninsula is such a beautiful area with its rugged shoreline and crystal clear water. It’s too bad the water is always freezing cold, even in the summer. Hopefully you’re able to visit soon. I would highly recommend a visit to Manitoulin Island too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        Thanks Linda. We did a day trip through Manitoulin in Summer 2020. We did the Cup and Saucer Trail and had really bad fish fry and chips at a food truck. 😆 I’d love to go back and explore more one day including taking the Ferry to Bruce Peninsula.

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        The Cup and Saucer Trail is such a great hike. I bet it’s even more beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing colour. That’s too bad about the terrible food from the food truck. I guess you won’t be going back there when you visit Manitoulin Island again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Than it should be easy to avoid! Having tummy troubles is one of my biggest concerns while taking a road trip, especially when there aren’t many (or any) Timmies around to stop just in case of an emergency.

        Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It was nice to get outdoors and enjoy the fall foliage. It’s too bad that we got rained on towards the end of our hike, but overall we had a wonderful time. Enjoy the rest of your day and have a fabulous weekend. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thehungrytravellers.blog says:

    Autumn (fall) hikes always have that special something extra as all of the different shades appear. At first I thought “what a strange name – Forks Of The Credit”, then quickly understood why. Nevertheless “Credit” is an odd name for a river!? I’m sure there’s a story behind it.

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  5. Christie says:

    We found last year this park is very popular. By the time we arrived, the parking lot was full, but we went around and parked on Cataract Rd, where of course we got a parking fine, as there is absolutely no parking allowed there LOL But we managed to get to the falls, and we had fun anyway!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I am surprised at how busy Forks of the Credit has become over the past few years. We used to come hiking here all the time and never had any issues with finding parking or the crowds. I think out of all the trails we hiked last year, this one was by far the busiest. Sorry to hear that you got a parking ticket (go figure) when you visited, but glad to hear that you had a good time anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It’s funny how quickly the weather changed. I’m glad we managed to enjoy some blue skies and sun at the start of our hike, even if we did get rained on as we were finishing up. Heated seat warmers are such a game changer. I usually keep my on in general as I’m always cold and my husband is always warm.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. BrittnyLee says:

    I’m sorry you got soaked! But I’m glad you had a great hike. You took a really great photo of the sun shining through that tree branch. The creekside photos were pretty too. I love hiking during the fall. The leaves are so stunning and colorful. Great photos 🙂

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It wasn’t ideal to get rained on during our hike, but I’m glad it was at least towards the end of the trail and that we weren’t camping! Despite the rain, it was still nice to enjoy the beautiful fall display of colours. Nature really is the best artist.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        Nature is the best artist ! I’m glad you were able to get to your car and get warm fast. I’ve gotten rained on in the fall and it’s tough. This one time my sister, bro and I went hiking on a trail at Frances Slocum and decided to take a detour across the frozen lake. There were ice fisherman out nearby so we knew we would not crack the ice. However, there was an upper layer that was cracking sinking into freezing cold water puddles on the ice. Needless to say, we cranked the car heat once we got inside haha. This was during winter and we forgot the length of the trail. It was going to be getting dark shortly so we didn’t want to keep on the trail. We figured crossing the lake would save us time. You can get fined if you’re in a park too late around here. It was an awesome adventure but I would not cross the lake again. Too cold 🥶

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s one of my biggest concerns when hiking is getting stuck on the trail when it’s dark. That’s good that you could take a shortcut, even if was sketchy and required crossing a semi-frozen lake. I probably would have been too terrified to attempt that. Glad to hear it all worked out.

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