Boyne Valley Provincial Park

Day hike on Ontario’s longest trail

Trail / Hike

Beginner-friendly

Full day

Always wanted to get out on the Bruce Trail but not sure where to go? We get it. This iconic trail is over 880km long, stretching all the way from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory. Try accessing the trail through Boyne Valley Provincial Park – it’s quintessential but not typical, so you’ll get the full experience without the crowds.

Boyne Valley Provincial Park

Boyne Valley Provincial Park, Shelburne, ON, Canada

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Driving time from Barrie

50 minutes

Trails in this park

3

Planning your hike

Hiking (part of) Ontario’s iconic trail

Getting there

Boyne Valley Provincial Park is located 20 minutes north of Orangeville, just east of Shelburne. There’s a parking lot on Prince of Wales Road north of Highway 89. Boyne Valley Provincial Park is a non-operating park, which means there are no facilities and no drinking water. If you need a bathroom break before starting, Shelburne is only 4km away, and there are burger joints on the corner of Highway 89 and Prince of Wales Road (you can keep those in mind for a post-hike feast, too). Make sure to wear a sturdy pair of hiking shoes and bring a daypack with plenty of water, a lunch and some snacks.

The Primrose Side Trail

Once you’ve parked your car and double-checked your supplies, it’s time to find the trailhead and get started. Follow the winding road north, past the ruins of an old house, to access the Primrose Side Trail, then head east to enter a dense forest. As you make your way further along the rolling trail, past open fields, you’ll find expansive vistas of Boyne Valley and some cairns. Continue up the hill to get to the Bruce Trail.

The Bruce Trail

Once you meet up with the main event, you’ll have the choice of taking a left or a right. Choose left and follow those iconic white trail markers down into a valley surrounded by giant trees, mossy rocks and mushrooms. Pull out your phone this section is packed full of beautiful flowers ready to be photographed. Continue on the Bruce Trail past an old farmhouse, until you get to 1st Line, then make a right.

Boyne Valley Side Trail

Make your way along 1st Line East on an old bush road, and cross Boyne River before turning right on Boyne Valley Side Trail. Keep following it along through the forest before crossing another river and meeting back up with the Bruce Trail. You’ll make a right and walk north, descending towards to the Boyne River.

Murphy’s Pinnacle Lookout

Climb out of the valley, moving left off the Centre Road (aka Hurontario Road) allowance you’ve been following and you’ll see Murphy’s Pinnacle, a sand and gravel kame that was created during the glacial retreat 12,000 years ago. Climb up the grassy hill to the top of the lookout and take in the view of the surrounding countryside and the valley of the Boyne River.

Back to the start

When you’re ready, come back down and return to your car following the Primrose Side Trail. If the day is young and the sun is shining, cross Prince of Wales Road and follow Primrose Side Trail on the western side for some extra adventure.

Essential gear

Avoid surprises with these essential items.

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