Kerncliff Park, located within and managed by the city of Burlington, is truly a hidden treasure of diverse landscapes and scenic hiking trails. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Toronto with no traffic, northwest of the major intersection of highway 407 and 403.
The trails weave through dense forest with shade to keep cool on a hot September weekend. The terrain is varied in elevation and was slightly more challenging. I do strongly suggest utilizing the map near the bottom of this post as it was an easier resource to reference than the slightly worn trail map at the entrance of the park.
Kerncliff Park lies on what once was the Nelson Quarry. The quarry was purchased in by the City of Burlington in 1981 and was used to mine limestone from the edge of the Niagara escarpment. The Ian Reid Side Trail meanders through the remains of the blasted cliff face and the wetland ecosystem that has since flourished.
When hiking on the Bruce Trail, we were awarded with scenic views of Burlington all the way to Lake Ontario. On a clear day, we saw the Toronto skyline in the far distance when looking over the quarry.
Kerncliff Park is a region under the “Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System”. It’s a combined effort amongst government and non-profit organizations to protect important natural landscapes. You can read more about the initiative here.
We hiked for a few hours but we’d like to return as we didn’t have a chance to explore all the trails!
Have you visited Kerncliff Park? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
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