Trails at Terra Cotta Conservation Area
The Bruce Trail through Terra Cotta Conservation Area
Distance – 1.6km
A portion of the famous Bruce Trail travels through Terra Cotta Conservation Area on its way between Queenston and Tobermory. Accessed from 10 Line Road and always recognized by white trail markers, the trail passes ponds and exposed red clay hills (similar to nearby Badlands). The Bruce Trail connects and follows the Vaughan trail, but is still marked by white paint. The Bruce Trail is not a loop and is isolated and rugged in spots, so plan accordingly. (Blue markers identify Bruce Trail side-trails).
The Bruce Trail is a footpath that threads its way across the CVC watershed along the Niagara Escarpment affording the user a variety of special interest side trails and spectacular scenery and outlooks. Users are advised to obtain a trail guide before venturing out.
The Bruce Trail Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and maintenance of over 800 km of main trails and an additional 200km of side trails along the Niagara Escarpment between Niagara Falls, Ontario (Queenston Heights) and Tobermory, Ontario (Little Tub Harbour).
The Bruce Trail Association can be contacted at PO Box 857, Hamilton, ON L8N 3N9 or visit their website at www.brucetrail.org .
A.F. Coventry Nature Trail
Distance – 1.2km one way
Starting near the Learning Centre at Terra Cotta Conservation Area, the trail meanders through different examples of forest communities that are home to birds of prey, mammals and other wildlife. This moderate trail starts 100 meters southeast of the Learning Centre building and ends at the Vaughan Trail, which you can follow back to the parking area. There are some elevation changes so plan accordingly. Admission or membership to Terra Cotta Conservation Area applies.
The Graydon Trail
Distance – 1.2km
Beginning in the southeastern portion of Terra Cotta Conservation Area near the Caledon Trailway off Winston Churchill Boulevard, this route is a Bruce Trail side-trail. Taking you past old conifer plantations, valley edges and into mature forest stands, this trail connects to the A.F. Coventry Nature Trail, which you can follow back to the Terra Cotta parking area or to the Vaughan Trail which eventually connects with the Bruce. The Graydon Trail is isolated and rugged in spots so plan accordingly. Admission or membership to Terra Cotta Conservation Area applies.
Distance – 0.6km
Starting from beside the Terra Cotta Conservation Area’s gatehouse or from the parking area, the Wetland trail lets you explore our unique, human-restored wetland ecosystem. With the old public swimming pool removed, we have created a home for a number of floral and faunal species common to a typical Ontario wetland that you can see from shore or boardwalk.
The Vaughan Trail
Distance – 2.8km one way
Beginning beside Terra Cotta Conservation Area’s Learning Centre Trail Kiosk, the Vaughan Trail is an excellent way to explore deep into Terra Cotta. Peer into lush valley floors, enjoy mature forest stands or experience edge ecosystems, where forest meets field. The Vaughan Trail connects in places with Terra Cotta Lane and ends at the McGregor Spring Pond Trail and you can follow either back to the parking area. This moderate trail is long, rugged in spots and takes you over varying terrain so plan accordingly. Admission or membership to Terra Cotta Conservation Area applies.
The McGregor Spring Pond Trail
Distance – 1.8km loop
The McGregor Spring Pond Trail loop starts and finishes at the Muskrat Pond Trail Kiosk in Terra Cotta Conservation Area. Follow the shore of a spring-fed pond and watch for surfacing fish, muskrats or turtles. Stroll through mixed deciduous forest and listen for songbirds or try to catch the sounds of different frogs as they all compete for prime wetland real estate. This easy trail is great for any nature lover. Admission or membership to Terra Cotta Conservation Area applies.
Terra Cotta Lane
Distance – 3.2km loop
Terra Cotta Lane is a great way to introduce you to this conservation area and is a major access route to some of our other trails. Starting near the parking area, the trail follows an old road along the eastern shore of a pond and eventually loops back to the parking area. Although this trail is a loop, there are a number of one-way arms that allow you access to the Vaughan and McGregor Spring Pond trails. This easy trail is good for nature enthusiasts of all ages. Admission or membership to Terra Cotta Conservation Area applies.