If you ever want to escape from the madness of the GTA, and just enjoy nature for a day, Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is the place to go.
There are many many trails in this park so the length you spend there will depend on which trail you take. The problem that Sam and I had was that we saw all the cool spots on Google but we had no idea where they were, so we just planned to hike basically the entire park. That took us probably around 6-7 hours. That being said, when we went, there was a lot of slush, snow, and fallen trees that blocked off the trail (due to a storm a couple nights prior) that we had to push through, so if you go on a nice day in the summer or spring, it will probably take less time.
Here is part of the map of the park, but if you want to print out your own PDF version, here’s the link: http://headwaterscommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Mono_Cliffs_Trails1.pdf
Since Sam and I already went through the entire park and ventured through all the trails, we found all the must-see spots in this park so you don’t have to scavenge for them (that is unless you want to).
1. McCarston’s lake
McCarston’s Lake is located on McCarston’s Lake Trail. It’s also marked on the map. This is the perfect place for a lunch/snack break.
2. Lookout trail
Do I need to say more??
3. Link trail
This trail has beautiful cliffs along it, and if you look closely, you may even find a couple caves! If you are looking on the map, this link trail is the shorter black trail connecting Walter Tovell to Spillway. When you get there, you will have to go down a wooden staircase. When we went, the area was closed, probably because there was snow everywhere and the trail was not maintained at all, but I’m sure from Spring to Fall, this trail will be open for usage. Regardless, we hopped the gate anyway and ventured through the unpaved mess. Needless to say, it was completely worth it. Tough especially with all the steep inclines, declines, and snow, but 100% worth it.
So in summary, three places that you need to go:
- McCarston’s lake
- Lookout trail
- Link trail (connecting Walter Tovell and Spillway)
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” – John Muir