Trip Report: Hiking in Terra Cotta Conservation Area

Terra Cotta Conservation Area (Plus Cheltenham Badlands Side Trip)

Out to Terra Cotta for a midday stroll. It is absolutely gorgeous out – finally! Still snowy. And icy. But sunshine and blue skies. I’m happy.

Terra Cotta 01

It’s a bit of a walk from parking, as the parking is actually at the Bruce Trail entrance to Silver Creek (which I visited last year – twice). No worries though, since I am out here to get my walk on!

Terra Cotta 02

Shortly inside the park (after a near death experience descending from the road) I crossed a bridge with this pretty little waterfall underneath it. The bridge said there was a 20 tonne limit. I proceeded with caution.

Terra Cotta 03

Once the Bruce Trail joined the conservation area’s trails, it looked like someone had been busy clearing out some trees. This was a rather large one, but there were many more smaller ones that had either fallen down or were cut down. Some spring cleaning, I guess.

Terra Cotta 04

This was the location of my second near death experience today. The trail, as you can see, is on a rather steep bank and incline. This would be relatively hazardous in the summer. But this is the winter, and it is sheer ice. I am happy to report that I didn’t fall flat on my butt, however I did find out that I am much more flexible than I thought I was. So, winning?

Terra Cotta 05

Muskrat pond is up around the northeast corner of the conservation area. I passed a few cross-country skiers here. They groom the trails around the pond, though today there wasn’t much left of the groomed trails in some open, sunny area. But the skiers seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Terra Cotta 06

Headed back down towards the Bruce Trail, along the Winston Churchill side trail. Passed a group of teenagers that looked to be doing and end-to-end – I’m jealous! The boys carried the large packs, tents and sleeping bags; the girls carried, well, themselves.

Terra Cotta Trail Map

I did my usual perimeter run, following the red Bruce Trail in. Took the Yellow trail around the southwest corner and headed up to the Pink trail to round off the north. The Orange trail lead my back down to my Bruce Trail exit. 1hr 25min 5.95km 162m elevation gain On my way towards Terra Cotta I noticed a sign for the Cheltenham Badlands. I figured since I was in the area I could do a drive by. From what I hear the trails have been rerouted from within the area, which is too bad. It looks like it would be fun to explore! I snapped a quick photo from the road side. I didn’t feel too badly about ignoring all the ‘tow zone’ signage since I was not the only one with this idea.

Cheltenham Badlands

Did you explore the Badlands before it was restricted? Tell me about it!

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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