Trip Report: Hiking in Glen Haffy Conservation Area

Glen Haffy Conservation Area

Glen Haffy is just under an hour northwest of Toronto, along Airport Road. The parking lot was quite bare so I guess it closes for winter, though the trails are still accessible from a couple points and still seem well-used.

Glen Haffy 01

From within the park, you start off under the arch for Nature Trails. It’s pretty cute. They have the trail map just beyond it, not that it does anyone much good. It’s just coloured lines carved into wood. Other than the ‘Start’ line, which I assume is the ‘You are here’ given that we just crossed under the arch, it has no other distinguishing features. Cool story, bro.

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I came in on the Bruce Trail from Coolihans Rd. Or I meant to anyway. Apparently it splits to a side trail at this point as well.

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I ended up on the side trail, since I wasn’t paying attention. It follows Glen Haffy Road up to Highway 9. I was not interested in this, but didn’t clue in until about the farthest point on the trail from this photo:

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It’s not that terrible; only about the better part of a kilometer. Checking on the Bruce Trail App I found that the main trail follows this side trail fairly closely, maybe 100m to my left. Off in to the forest I go! Not so bad, you can sort of make out the fence bordering the road I was on:

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And back on the main trail! This is looking back at where I should have come from, had I been paying attention when I started:

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Moving on, I come across the first bridge on my journey. According to the park trail map, there will be a few. This one seems recently built.

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Continuing through the forested path, one would think the trail moves off in this direction:

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It doesn’t. Pay attention. I was paying attention now, thankfully, and it veers right even though all the blazes are ‘straight ahead’ blazes. Always look for the blazes in directions that are not where the blazes tell you to go.

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Bridge number two is shortly after this, built much earlier than the first bridge. Still does its job. Stay strong, little bridge.

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I didn’t check in this was considered a bridge on the trail map. It’s definitely on the list of ‘things that will try to hurt you’, as it’s covered in uneven ice at the moment. Watch your footing!

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The uneven ice continues for a bit in to the forested paths, but your largely saved by the sky falling. Or well, evergreen boughs anyway.

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At this point I’ve now reached the end of my Bruce Trail adventure. Head left to stay in the park on the Blue trail.

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The Blue trail loops around the north end of the park. Apparently at some point it branches off and crosses back over itself. I did not see any trace of this but did end up at the far end, looping around the Trout pond. Some little woodland creatures have been having fun on the ice, despite the rather large ‘Danger Ice Unsafe’ sign. So reckless.

The Blue trail takes to higher ground, following the little creek off the Trout pond. I spied a cute little bridge from a distance but my trail did not appear to be heading that way. I was tempted to do a little more bushwacking to check it out, but I also didn’t want to chance slipping on ice and tumbling down the bank. Carrying on, I come to the junction where Blue meets Green. The Green trail is apparently the Short Trail.

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Green trail winds back down and takes a lower route, heading the opposite way of the Blue trail I just traveled with a little boardwalk.

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The little creek has an impressive collection of falled trees, but natural and cut.

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The Green trail takes me back to that little bridge I spied from above. No need to head off the trail!

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It’s a sad little bridge, well past its’ prime and largely ignored it would seem. Oh well, it still serves it’s purpose.

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Green trail follows the creek back the opposite way from the other side and heads up to join the Blue trail again. I took the stairs to the right instead, which brings you up to the trailhead.

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Passed this prayer sign at the start of the Red trail. A nice message to visitors.

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Apparently the start of the Red trail was not the start I was looking for. I couldn’t find which way to go to follow it the opposite way around southwest end of the park. I figure it was the tire trail on the other side of the parking lot, but there was nothing to indicate it went that way. Oh well. I ended up follow the short distance back to the main Bruce Trail and followed that out past the first two bridges and on to what should have been the first bridge, had I gone the right way from the road entrance.

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I am glad my mind went absent however, as this ice hill would have been a lot more difficult coming down! Everyone I saw today on the trail I passed on my way up this hill – strange!

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At the top of that hill I noticed an arrow for the Red trail, pointing towards the tire trail. I guess it was as I suspected from the other side. I’ll have to come exploring again sometime!

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1hr 27mins
6.08km
261m elevation gain

Glen Haffy

Happy Trails,
-Mia

About Mia

I'm a weekend warrior, escaping the bustle of Toronto by exploring a new trail in south central Ontario nearly every weekend. Hiking, camping, backpacking, crafting, baking and beer are a few things you'll find here.

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