Primrose Hiking trail along the Bruce Trail
An excellent forest hike, with views over the Boyne Valley Provincial park. Slightly marred by the sounds of cars and trucks along County Road 19 for a portion of the hike – to be fair, we drove all the way from Toronto for the day, leaving our own sound and air pollution behind.
Location of the hike:
- About an hour drive north west from Toronto or about a 20 minute drive north from Orangeville
- Parking lot is: Roughly 1.5km north of Hwy 89 (Primrose) on the left side at the curve north at Lat 44.100049, Long -80.137339
- Dufferin Hi-Land section of the Bruce Trail on Map 20
Driving and parking:
- Coming from the south take Hwy 10 north through Orangeville to Primrose Ontario at Hwy 89
- Continue straight (north) on Hwy 19 for roughly 1.5km and over the bridge at the Boyne River
- The parking lot will be immediately on your right after the bridge
While I always try and stay on the marked trail, the parking lot is a bit south of the start of the hike, along a curve in a busy highway with narrow shoulders. You can either head due west, across the street to an unmarked trail that heads up the hill and joins the marked Prince of Wales Side Trail after a bit, or you can walk north up the road a few minutes, watching for the official start of the side trail:
If you do take the direct route up the hill into the forest you’ll have a good view of the parking lot, which is situated near the location of the old Ponton Mills dam and flour grist mill on the Boyne river. It was established by George H. Shepherd in 1869 and ran for 30 or 40 years until the early 1900’s.
Which ever way you get started, you’ll be walking north up the escarpment edge, with the Boyne River in the distance to your left, and the road to your right. This initial part of the trail is 520 metres before it hits the southern most part of the Primrose Loop Side Trail.
It is a loop, so you can turn right or left at this point – we decided to go to the right and do the 3 km loop counter-clockwise.
You’ll head north through a wonderful forest, with Hwy 19 to your right. We were there later in the day on a Friday, so there was a fair amount of traffic noise with the road so close by. Ignore the Primrose Loop side trail that branches off to the right (east) which would take you down to the road and across the highway, eventually taking you to the Murphy’s Pinnacle Side trail.
Instead continue straight (north), eventually to a 90 degree turn to the left to head west away from the road, then into the interesting trees – an old tree farm I believe. The path will then turn again to the left to head south east with views across the Boyne Valley Provincial Park.
Eventually you’ll return to the Prince of Wales Side Trail and continue straight (south) to the road, and the parking lot.
Other hikes nearby:
- Splitrock Narrows Nature Reserve is 8.2km south (10 minute drive)
- Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is about 14km south (15 minute drive)