It had been awhile since Alex and I had taken off on any adventures – he’s been swamped at work recently, we’ve been sick (what IS that terrible cold/flu that is knocking everyone out?!) and with the holidays – yadda yadda yadda- so on Sunday morning after grabbing a couple of Egg McMuffins + hash browns, we set off to Mono Centre Provincial Park for a hike. I thought it fitting that my first hike as an Official Bruce Trail Member be back in my old neighbourhood. I grew up 3 mins from the trail entrance and also worked at the Mono Cliffs Inn for several years. I spent many, many days exploring this section of the trail growing up, and thought after 4 years, it was time to bring Alex. It doesn’t matter where I go, coming back here always feels like home.
We parked along the entrance right in Mono Centre (for easy access to the pub post-hike) and started along the main Bruce Trail until we caught the Cliff Top Side Trail (marked in green). This offers an awesome viewpoint over the park and a chance to walk down into the caves. The trails were in really good condition despite the recent freeze/melt temperatures we’ve been having except for the fairs which were just pure ice. We were warned by a couple coming out of the cliffs to not go down the stairs – but we found other ways:
I think this little section in the cliffs is one of my favourite places ever. 50% nostalgia, 50% rocky mossy goodness.
We kept on hiking down to the bottom where we hooked up with the Walter Tovell Side Trail (marked in blue) up a steep hill which offered another great view over the park.
We doubled back down and hooked up with the Spillway Side Trail (marked in purple) which takes you through a field and then through a valley forest nestled between two cliffs on either side and the trees are pin- straight. It’s really quite beautiful, especially in the summer under a full canopy.
The Spillway Trail hooks back into the Walter Tovell Trail and pops you back at the parking lot and conveniently about 50 yards from Mono Cliffs Inn and Peter Cellers Pub – which is perfect for post- adventure meals and celebratory beers.
We went about 2 hours, and 10 kms (of course I forgot to start my Suunto) but is an awesome loop that doesn’t require much backtracking. Highly recommend if you haven’t explored this section of the trail!