updated March 23/2023
To earn this Discovery Badge you must complete all the hikes listed below, including the badge requirements, either on your own or on an organized hike. You will have fun discovering more about the Caledon Hills section of the Bruce Trail. (Map references are from the Bruce Trail Guidebook, Edition 29)
Discovery Hike # 1: Map 14 & 15
Distance: 11.0 km (approx.)
Parking: Meet north of the intersection of Cataract Road and Mississauga Road at the Elora Cataract Trailway Trail Head. Google Coordinates: 43.813120, -80.028656
Hike: Hike east on the Elora Cataract Trailway for approximately 1.2 kilometres. At the T-junction veer right. Cross the bridge to enter the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. Turn left and proceed along the Mill Pond Side Trail to another bridge. Take a photograph of this bailey bridge and briefly explain the uniqueness of this type. Provide the name of the group that we can thank for its installation. The trail swings right and follows an old cart track to the rim of the valley. Turn right and proceed to the main Trail.
Turn right and descend to the Cataract Side Trail. (Take the shortcut by turning right at the washrooms.) The trail remains flat for a brief distance then starts to climb. Midway up watch on the left for the metal Hendry Stile embedded in a tree. It is a remnant from an early trail structure designed for climbing fences. Take a photo of the stile remains. Later, admire the beauty of the Cataract Falls and then retrace your steps, this time fully following the blue blazes to the main Trail.
Continue forward. The Trail runs parallel to the Credit River and then turns to the left. This upward 450 metre climb was once known as the Dorothy Medhurst Side Trail. Google Dorothy’s name and describe a couple of her contributions to the Bruce Trail.
At the top of the climb turn left (do not head straight onto the road). Take this section of the main Trail back to the Millpond Side Trail.
Follow the side trail for approximately 800 metres, watch on your left for a trail leading to a set of stairs. Take the stairs. Turn right at the bottom. Soon you will cross an elevated boardwalk and metal bridge over the river by a mill pond above the falls. Shortly after you will come to the bridge that leads back to the Elora Cataract Rail Trail. Turn left and proceed back to your parked car.
1. Provide a photo of the bailey bridge.
2. Briefly explain the uniqueness of this bridge type.
3. Name the group that we can thank for the installation of this bridge.
4. Provide a photo of the remains of the Hendry Stile.
5. Describe a couple of Dorothy’s contributions to the Bruce Trail.
Discovery Hike # 2: Map 16
Pre-hike Discovery: Research Monarch butterflies, Milkweed, Dog-Strangling Vine and Butternut trees if you cannot identify each.
Distance: 10.5 km (approx.)
Parking: Meet at Roadside Parking on Innis Lake Road, north of Finnerty Sideroad. Google Coordinates: 43.918917, -79.909387
Shuttle to St. Andrew’s Road (km 24.5) north of Escarpment Sideroad. Park along the east shoulder of the road by St. Andrew’s Stone Church, 17621 St. Andrew’s Road, Caledon ON L7K 2E1
Note: Dogs are not permitted on sections of the trail in this area. Please respect the wishes of our landowners.
Hike: Early Scottish settlers built St. Andrew’s Stone Church, using local fieldstone. Now, a designated Heritage Structure, provide the year it was built. From the church, head north along St. Andrew’s Road. The main Trail soon turns right and initially follows along the edge of a field. Hike the Trail to Mountainview Road Side Trail.
Follow the blue blazes of this trail and watch for Milkweed and Dog-Strangling Vine plants. Milkweed leaves provide food for Monarch butterflies. Because the two plants are related, Monarchs will sometimes lay their eggs on the vines, thinking it is Milkweed. Consequently, the larvae do not survive. Dog-Strangling Vine also spreads quickly, invading forests and dominating groundcover, thus posing significant risks to Milkweed and other native plants and habitats. Bruce Trail volunteers and landowners work hard to contain this highly invasive plant. List actions hikers can take to help control the spread of invasive plants. At the end of the side trail, turn around and retrace your steps to the main Trail.
Once back at the main Trail, turn left. Continue along it through hardwood forests, then along Escarpment Sideroad, eventually meeting the very busy Airport Road. Turn left and hike along this road section of the Trail with great caution, keeping well to the left on the shoulder.
Watch for the Songbird Side Trail on the left. Follow the blue blazes of this “buttonhook” loop. Take special note of the fauna. You will notice 3 distinct vegetative communities. Name each community. (Hint: Side Trail Description from The Bruce Trail Reference Maps and Trail Guide; Edition 29.)
Once back at Airport Road, turn left and continue to Finnerty Sideroad. Turn right and hike along this picturesque and bendy country road for approximately 1 kilometre. The Trail then enters the forest on the right. Watch for Butternut trees. These trees are native and are a species at risk.
Photograph yourself/group with a Butternut tree (any other tree will do, as long as you identify it.)
Exit this forested section to your parked car.
1. the year St. Andrew’s Stone Church was built
2. actions hikers can take to help control the spread of Dog-Strangling Vine and other invasive species
3. 3 Vegetativ
1. The year St. Andrew’s Stone Church was built.
2. Actions hikers can take to help control the spread of Dog-Strangling Vine and other invasive species.
3. The 3 Vegetative Communities of the Songbird Side Trail.
4. Group photo by Butternut tree (or other tree species).
Discovery Hike # 3: Map 18
Distance: 12. 0 km (approx.)
Parking: Meet at Mono Community Centre, 754483 Mono Centre Road, Mono. Google Coordinates: 44.026195, -80.071516
Shuttle to BTC Parking Area on the east side of 5th Line EHS, just south of Hockley Road. Google Coordinates: 43.93572, -80.014057
Note: The north end of the Caledon Hills Trail is closed from October 1 – December 31 for hunting. Meet at roadside parking on the south side of Dunby Road at the Trail entrance. Google Coordinates: 44.006485, -80.059272
Shuttle to the BTC Parking Area on 5th Line EHS. See above directions.
Hike as described until the end of the Hockley Heights Side Trail. Turn left onto the main Trail and proceed back to the parking area. The hiking distance is around 10.0 km.
Hike: Hike south along the Hockley Heights Side Trail (photograph the Hockley Heights Sign) until you reach the main Trail.
Turn right to follow the main Trail to the Glacier Valley Side Trail. Take this side Trail into the valley. Photograph the “heritage tree.” Further along you will notice large rectangular holes in some of the trees. Identify the type of woodpecker that makes these holes.
Turn left at the main Trail and continue to the Hemlock Ridge Side Trail. Take this Side Trail back to the parking lot (km 50.8).
Walk out of the parking lot to the 5th Line and start hiking north (turn right) along the road which is also the Hockley Heights Side Trail. What is the name of the river the trail crosses? After hiking for about 1.2 km on the 5th Line, the Side Trail goes into the woods. As you get to the top of one of the hills, photograph the bench with the great view.
Once you reach 15 Sideroad, photograph the Sheldon Anderson Tract Sign and indicate who manages these trails. Continue hiking until you reach the main Trail.
Turn right onto the main Trail. Soon you will enter the Whitetail Refuge Nature Reserve. Explore the reserve and its side trails by turning left onto the Springwater Side Trail, then left onto the main Trail, left onto the Turnbull Side Trail, left onto main Trail, and then left onto the Laidlaw Side Trail back to the Mono Community Parking Lot.
1. a photo of the Hockley Heights sign
2. a photo of the heritage tree
3. identify the type of woodpecker
4. name of river the trail crosses
5. a photo of the Sheldon Anderson Tract sign
6. who manages these trails.
Discovery Hike # 4: Map 18
Distance: 9.4 km (approx.)
Parking: Meet at the Hockley Road Parking Area located on the north side of Hockley Road, approx. 2.5 km east of Hwy 10. Google Coordinates: 43.972857, -80.056330
Shuttle to BTC Parking Area on the east side of 5th Line EHS, just south of Hockley Road. Google Coordinates: 43.993572, -80.014057
Hike: Begin by hiking the Hemlock Ridge Side Trail. (The trail head is at the back of the parking lot.) Then turn right onto the main Trail and continue hiking west. Once you cross 5th Line EHS you enter the overgrown property of a former ski club. Staying on the Trail, find and photograph a remnant from this past usage.
As you approach 4th Line EHS, watch for the handiwork of Club volunteers, who work tirelessly to keep the trail safe and well maintained. Photograph yourself/group by an example of their work.
Continue along the main Trail to the junction of the Griffith Ravine Side Trail. This trail was named for former landowners Julius and Rachel Griffith. Take this trail, following the blue blazes to the main Trail.
Hike for another kilometre to a working resort. Provide the name of this Resort. As you hike through this property for 1.1 km, photograph 3 examples of recreational land use.
Upon exiting the resort property, the Trail enters a forested valley. Watch for pieces of folded and twisted corrugated steel blown off farm buildings and mangled by the 1985 tornado that ripped through neighbouring communities. The debris remains along the trail as artifacts of cultural interest. Photograph a sample of the debris.
Continue along the trail and watch for a vineyard that backs onto the Trail. Provide the name of this Winery and Vineyard. (Hint: Google Search or watch for signs as you shuttle to the parking lot.)
Upon reaching the 2nd Line EHS, turn right following the Trail along the road to the Hockley Road Side Trail. Turn right and watch for blue blazes as you make your way back to the parking lot.
1. a photo of a ski remnant
2. a photo of yourself with an example of a volunteer trail maintenance crew’s work
3. the name of the working report in the area
4. 3 Recreational Land Use Photographs
5. a photo of metal debris from the 1985 tornado
6. name of the winery and vineyard
Discovery Hike # 5: Map 14
Distance: 13 km (approx.) winter – 12 km (approx.)
Park: Meet at roadside parking on the east side of Creditview Road, immediately north of the Grange Sideroad intersection. Google Coordinates: 43.791491, -79.975229
Shuttle to km 2.8, roadside parking at the turnaround at the north end of Chinguacousy Road. Google Coordinates: 43.791491, -79.975229
Hike: Begin by hiking south on the main Trail. Turn right onto Olde Baseline Rd. At the parking lot continue west to the park’s Badlands Trail. Explain why the Cheltenham Badlands have become protected from hikers walking on its surface? Briefly explain the formation of the ridges and the grey-green streaks in the Badlands landscape? Marvel at the wonder of the Badlands and take a photo.
During spring, summer, and fall continue to the end of the Badlands Trail. Turn left onto the Bruce Trail main Trail. Soon you will come to the parking lot. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the Chinguacousy turnaround.
During the winter, this boardwalk trail is closed. Hike west to the entrance on Olde Baseline to take a peek at the Badlands. Retrace your steps to the Chinguacousy turnaround.
Take the main Trail to the Devil’s Pulpit Side Trail. Take this side trail to the Ring Kiln Side Trail. Follow the blue blazes of this in-and-out trail. Take a photograph of the Hoffman Lime Kiln and briefly explain its significance. Turn right and retrace your steps along the Devil’s Pulpit Side Trail back to your cars.
1. a photo of the Badlands
2. Why has the Badlands become protected from hikers walking on its surface?
3. Briefly explain the formation of the ridges and the grey-green streaks in the Badlands landscape.
4. a photo of the Hoffman Lime Kiln
5. Briefly explain the significance of the Hoffman Lime Kiln.