Until 1913, this recreational trail would have been echoing with musket shots as the local volunteers #4 Company, 5th Battalion, 31st Regiment, Grey Militia practised their rifle drills from the river flats, firing at a target built into the hill. A man stayed in a gun pit at the top of the hill, changing targets before the next firing round. Today, trees have grown in where the target used to be located.
This trail is a .7 km loop.
This is the longest trail system in the park, at 2.7 km. A great day-hike, pack a lunch, your bathing suit and towel and trek on! The trail begins at the Pinewood Campground through mature cedar and hardwood forests. Occasionally, you may catch a glimpse of the mighty Saugeen River. Eventually, as you walk along, you'll find yourself at the beautiful and well-known McGowan Falls. Named after the grist and flour mill built next to the Saugeen River in 1888, you'll often see fishermen angling for that prized catch in the cool waters below (depending on the fishing season)! The trail surface consists of a combination of gravel, grass and hard packed earth and rock.
Stop awhile and take in the fabulous view, go for a swim, or continue along the trail hiking along the top of the 6 metre (20 foot) limestone rock face. From here, let the trail lead you into the Town of Durham, where you'll cross the famous trestle bridge, once used by the mighty trains that used to pass through town. Shop, dine, visit or check out the Durham Art Gallery. It's yours to discover!
For those wishing to take a short hike, try the Cedar Ridge Trail. Note: This loop trail does include a rather steep hill or incline.) Mature cedars line the pathway keeping it cool and shaded.
After your hike, whatever the trail, stop in at the gatehouse and enjoy an ice cream bar and a nice cold pop!
Please note: All recreational trail systems are designated as 'Use At Your Own Risk'.