Mount Nemo Loop Hike
The Mount Nemo Loop is an awesome adventure just outside of Burlington that will allow you to explore some of the rugged terrain along the Niagara Escarpment. While out on the trail, you will hike through the charming woodland landscape and make your way up the hillside to reach the edge of the escarpment for spectacular views overlooking the surrounding farmland of southern Ontario. This is a fantastic hike with spectacular views and easy to navigate paths, making it a great day excursion for the entire family.
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- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Mount Nemo Loop Hike
The Mount Nemo Loop Trail is a pretty easy hike overall; however, there is a bit of rugged terrain and some steep drop offs at the edge of the escarpment that could prove dangerous. Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear for the best footing on the uneven ground of the trail and exercise caution when at the cliffside, paying close attention to any children or dogs that you may be travelling with. Additionally, if you want to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet along the trail, try arriving early to beat other hikers to the trail.
Although it is a fairly short hike, the views from atop Mount Nemo are spectacular and provide a great insight into the natural beauty of southern Ontario. The trail largely traverses the rugged, rocky, and elevated terrain of the Niagara Escarpment, providing a good bit of variety without too much in the way of difficulty. This makes for an awesome hike that can be enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of every skill level, including families with young children.
Setting out from the parking lot, head to the northeast for 150m and follow the path on your left to enter into the tree cover. Continue along the trail for the next 0.8 km and enjoy the peaceful woodland setting, climbing gently uphill to eventually arrive at a junction in the path. Take the path on the left and follow it to the west for roughly 500 m, where you will come to another junction at the edge of the escarpment.
Head left here to explore the southwest corner of the route for about 225m, taking in some beautiful views overlooking the surrounding countryside before backtracking to the junction. Pass straight through and make your way along the rocky outcrop, exercising caution as you meander along the dramatic cliffside terrain that features steep drop offs.
Keep left along the edge of the escarpment for 1.0 km, traversing the rugged terrain until you reach the Mount Nemo Viewpoint. Here, you will have a beautiful sightline across the farmland and golf course in the forefront, with the city of Toronto off in the distance to the east. After taking in the views, continue along the trail as it bends to the southeast to pass by an old quarry.
Roughly 1.0 km from the viewpoint, you will pass through Gooseberry Gully and arrive at another junction in the trail. Take the path on the right and follow it uphill through the forest for the next 486 m, turning right at the fork to eventually reach the main trail. Turning left, follow the path to the southwest for 0.5 km to arrive back at the parking area where you began the Mount Nemo Loop.
Listed as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Niagara Escarpment is a rocky outcrop that cuts across southern Ontario and several states south of the border. Although the weathering process that created the dramatic terrain of the escarpment has been occurring for millions of years, the high volumes of meltwater from the previous ice age really took their toll on the rock formations of the area, creating the rocky outcrops that we can see today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Mount Nemo hike?
The lollipop trail that traverses Mount Nemo is a relatively short 5.3 km, which makes for an approximately 1.5-2 hour hike.
Can you camp on Mount Nemo?
While you can’t camp right along the trail itself, there is a campground located to the east called the Mount Nemo Scout Camp. Here, you will find several accommodation types from tent sites to cabins.
Insider Hints for Mount Nemo Loop Hike
- Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear, as you will experience some uneven terrain.
- There are steep drop offs along the edge of the escarpment. Take caution when hiking in these areas and keep an eye on children and dogs.
- The easy, yet varied terrain makes this a great trail for families with young children.
Getting to the Mount Nemo Loop Hike Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Mount Nemo Loop from the QEW in Burlington, drive northwest on Guelph Line for 9.7 km and turn right onto Colling Road. After 100 m, turn left to enter the parking lot.
Mount Nemo Loop Hike Elevation Graph
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