On a weekend with beautiful weather in April, we visited this gem. It was a spot we actually returned a few monther later in June since it was so enjoyable.
We chose to park in a decent sized lot just off Highway 50, north-west of Palgrave past Zimmerman drive. It’s about an hour drive from Toronto and the two times we had visited (both on a Saturday), there were still parking spots left when arriving around noon-ish.
Just off the trail from lot and up a short hill (from entrance 12 to spot 11), you are greeted with an open valley surrounded by tall pine and various conifers. We headed on the trail to the right within the valley to walk through the lush pine forests.
It wasn’t intentional but when writing this post I noticed I took some photos from similar angles; it’s fun reviewing and comparing them and seeing the growth in just two months.
There are multiple smaller side trails off the main trails that are perfect for biking. The main trails are pretty wide and you can walk side by side easily, where the side trails are wide enough for one person. Both of the times we visited we saw about a dozen people on bikes, but it wasn’t busy.
The conservation area (managed by Toronto Conservation Authority) is 360 hectares in size, with over 20 kilometers of trails to explore. Palgrave Forest lies on the Oak Ridges Moraine – a hilly feature of Southern Ontario that was formed 12,000 years ago from retreating glaciers leaving deposits of sediment.
There exists a diverse array of flora and fauna, including over 80 bird species. The trails we explored were dominated by coniferous trees including pine, cedar, and spruce.
Have you visited Palgrave Forest? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Hockley Valley Provincial Park
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