Bruce Trail in Ontario Turns 50 This Year - Let's Hike to Celebrate!

The Bruce Trail is probably the most famous and definitely the oldest marked trail in Canada. It runs from Tobermory to Niagara  for almos...

The Bruce Trail is probably the most famous and definitely the oldest marked trail in Canada. It runs from Tobermory to Niagara for almost 900 km / 560 miles along the Niagara Escarpment, the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This year the Bruce Trails officially turns 50. Despite the fact that Ontario province of Canada technically has no tall mountains (the highest peak is only 693 m / 2,274 ft), the trail often is very strenuous and requires advance hiking skills. But today I'm going to tell you about a stretch of the Bruce Trail which can be attempted by virtually anyone. It's located at Limehouse Conservation Area, an easy one-hour drive from Toronto.

Niagara Escarpment has been recognized by UNESCO for its unique natural features. Unlike fault lines between different tectonic plates that usually form cliffs, Niagara Escarpment is a result of erosion of sedimentary rock.
In simple words, there used to be an ocean in the middle of North America which dried out over time, and sediments from sand, shells, coral, etc. were deposited and formed the rocks under pressure. Because there are different types of sedimentary rocks, the softest ones have gradually been washed out leaving the harder ones that happen to sit on top of the soft ones as a cap. That essentially has formed an escarpment which, by the way, continues to move westward as we speak.
For the most part, Niagara Escarpment looks like this, so the Bruce trail provides a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful nature and challenge your hiking skills. 
Having said so, over 3,000 people have hiked the entire trail so far from Tobermory to Niagara. It usually takes one month and a half to complete it. My friend knows a man who has done this as a fundraiser. 
Although the Bruce trail is a continuous footpath, it gets moved occasionally due to land development and private ownership. Where the land is not owned by the province or the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the trespassing for the Bruce trail hikers has to be officially approved by land owners.
Bruce Trail Conservancy has tons of great resources available for hikers at all levels. They also have a book with detailed maps especially for those who attempt a multi-day hiking.
I found out about this specific hiking route from their 'Inspirational Hikes'. We did an entire suggested loop of 11.5 km / 7 miles, but one can only make a smaller loop located within Limehouse Conservation Area (about 2.5 km / 1.5 miles).
I really liked the fissures and crevices, especially a place called ''Hole in the Wall" where you can actually squeeze yourself through the crack.
Another interesting place is an old lime kiln.
There are also remnants of an old mill by the Black Creek.
May is when wild flowers such as trilliums, lilac, may lilies and others blossom. It's sad to see dead ash trees (marked with red) killed by emerald ash borer, an invasive non-native species from Asia. I didn't see a single ash tree which is still alive.
I myself would like to try a multi-day hike along the Bruce trail, but I'm not sure where to set up a tent. For instance, this looks like a nice place for a backcountry camping, but the sign prohibits it.
For those who want to continue hiking the Bruce Trail outside of the boundaries of Limehouse Conservation Area, you should follow white blazes on trees. As you cross the Fifth Line, the trail continues along the edge of fields. 
Almost wild tulips.
It was a bit unusual for me to hike on a such an open terrain.
Bruce Trail Conservancy secured this narrow piece of land for hikers to create a continuous corridor and connect all different parks and conservation areas along Niagara Escarpment.
They also installed these ladders over fences that separate fields from different owners.
After about 2 km / 1.2 miles, you will enter Speyside Sanctuary owned by Bruce Trail Conservancy. It's a beautiful deciduous forest with lots of wetlands. 
We almost stepped on a frog and a baby garter snake that were apparently soaking up the sun after a prolonged rain.
Bruce trail takes you to the Canada Goose trail that together loop you through Speyside Sanctuary.
More cracks covered with moss.
And finally Canada Goose trail makes it way to 22 Sideroad and takes you back to Limehouse Conservation Area.


Limehouse Conservation Area is located west of Georgetown, ON.
From Toronto: Take Highway 401, exit at Trafalgar Road / Halton Regional Road 3 and drive 11 km / 7 miles north before turning left (west) of 17 Sideroad. Drive for 3 km / 2 miles and turn right (north) on Fifth Line. Continue for about 3 km / 2 miles and look for the sign of Limehouse Conservation Area on the right.

Park's address: 12169 Fifth Line, Limehouse L0P 1H0

Park's official website.
Bruce Trail Conservancy's website with the hike's description.

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