Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike
The Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike is a moderate length route near St. Catherines that will lead you through the beautiful terrain of Short Hills Provincial Park. While out on the trail, you will make your way through serene stretches of woodland terrain and traverse some of the short hills that provide the park with its name. This is a quiet trail that is perfect for a weekend stroll to clear your head and reconnect with nature.
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Route Description for Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike
Although it is devoid of any really challenging terrain, the Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike will lead you through a stretch of forest that will contain trails with uneven ground underfoot. Be sure to wear proper hiking footwear in order to stay comfortable along the trail. Additionally, parking at the trailhead can be a bit limited during peak times in the summer, so try to arrive early in order to secure a space.
While this hike may not feature any breathtaking vistas, it will take you through the gorgeous forests that can be found within the beautiful expanse of Short Hills Provincial Park. Hiking along this trail will allow you to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the natural world around you, and with easy-to-navigate paths that feature little elevation gain, you can bring the entire family for a fun excursion in the woods. If you are looking for a relaxing hike in close proximity to St. Catherines, then the Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike might just be for you.
Setting out from the parking area on Gilligans Road, follow the road south for 290m to enter into the vast expanse of forest that makes up the park. From here, continue to the south and enjoy the peaceful setting of the woodland landscape, as you make your way along the wide track for another 0.8 km.
At this point, turn right at the junction and continue making your way to the south, climbing gently up one of the short hills that give the park its name. After 0.8 km, you will exit the canopy of the forest and come to another intersection in the trail. Turn left here and follow the trail for a short distance to pick up the first trail on your right.
Follow this path to the southwest through intermittent tree cover to pass underneath some power lines and enter a thick swathe of forest. Here, the trail will turn to the southeast, setting you out on the Hemlock Valley portion of the hike. From the point where you entered into the dense cover of the forest, continue hiking for 0.5 km to arrive at a junction. Take the path on the right and keep left along the trail for the next 1.7 km to make your way around a beautiful forested loop filled with mature trees and a diverse range of other plant life.
After arriving back at the junction where you turned off for the loop, head straight through to begin the journey back through the park to the trailhead. As you make your way along the 2.7 km return leg of your adventure, take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the woodland landscape and gain a different perspective of Short Hills Provincial Park. In no time, you will find yourself back at the parking area, having completed the Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike.
Short Hills Provincial Park
Located in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula, Short Hills Provincial Park offers 660 hectares of natural landscape that is waiting to be explored. The name of the park stems from the fact that it is situated along the southern edge of the Niagara Escarpment and features a series of small but steep hills that were formed during the last ice age. The location of the park at the northern edge of the Carolinian Zone also means that certain plant species can be found here that rarely grow elsewhere in Canada.
Insider Hints for Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike
- Wear proper hiking footwear, as there may be uneven terrain under foot.
- Arrive early to secure parking at the trailhead.
- The spring/autumn seasons will likely see a fair amount of mud on the trails. Wear water resistant footwear if you are planning to hike during these periods.
Getting to the Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Scarlet Tanager to Hemlock Valley Hike from St. Catherines, drive south along St. Paul Street for 1km and turn left onto Pelham Road, following it for 2.2 km. Turn left onto Regional Road 69 and continue on for 3.6 km before turning left onto Gilligan Road. You will find the parking area on the left.
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