Forks of the Credit Provincial Park is located within Caledon, and its 282 hectares is managed by Ontario Parks. It’s about an hour drive northeast from Toronto and features approximately 10 km of hiking trails including the Bruce Trail. We visited on a Saturday in September and made sure to reserve in advance online for a Daily Vehicle Permit. You can reserve in 4 hour time slots or full day permits (we reserved for 12 PM – 4 PM). The parking lot was completely full when we arrived and left, and it’s one of the busier trails we have visited, as we often came across groups of people.
We started our hike at the park entrance off McLaren Road, and hiked along the Meadow Trail to the viewpoint of the falls and back (about 5-6 km in total). This hike is moderate difficulty, and was pretty tiring where we had to take a few breaks. This trail guides you through terrain of varied elevation up and down moraine hills and the escarpment edge. There’s also a nice diversity in the flora – our hike started with views of rolling meadows and hills of the moraine and closer to the waterfall was a hike through a cedar forest.
Forks of the Credit is a special place that highlights the features of geological forces over time. The Niagara Escarpment which encloses the valley is the remaining hard limestone and other rock initially deposited from an ancient body of water that covered the area that is now the Great Lakes over 400+ million years ago. Differential erosion and glacial movement that receded around 10,000 years ago formed moraines and kettle lakes that can be seen at this provincial park. This also eroded away softer rock, leaving the hard limestone that forms the Niagara Escarpment remaining. Credit River that flows from Orangeville cuts through the valley on its journey to Lake Ontario.
The park’s history begins with being an important spot for indigenous peoples for gathering and fishing. In the industrial era, the region became an important spot for production and natural resources including the creation of mills, quarries, and powerhouses. Up until the 1930’s, a railroad station was operating with the purpose of bringing sandstone and other supplies to market. Some of Toronto’s most historical buildings including the parliamentary buildings of Queen’s Park was built using resources from quarries at Forks of the Credit.
The actual view of the falls when reaching the end of the Meadow trail was not spectacular as foliage and trees obstructed most of the view. The trail seemed to cut off abruptly before you can venture closer to the falls, but this seems purposeful for safety reasons as the soft rock did not seem to be too stable past the trail end. Some people hopped the fence to try and get a closer look but we didn’t risk it.
We look forward to revisiting to explore some of the other trails.
Have you visited Forks of the Credit Provincial Park? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
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