Hike in Huron (and a little beyond!)
Winter hiking may seem daunting, but with a little preparation and some local knowledge, hikers will find that winter is one of the best seasons to experience Huron County. We have chosen these hikes because of the great scenery and because the trails are easy to use in snowy weather. As with any outdoor adventure, be sure to dress for the weather, know the forecast and be aware of the trail conditions. Snow can pack into ice quickly and slippery sections are common. Hike with a partner and carry a cell phone.
Menesetung Bridge & Tiger Dunlop Trail
Located at the mouth of the mighty Maitland River, this is the Goderich end of the Goderich-to-Guelph Rail Trail (G2G). There is ample parking along the North Harbour Road. From the Menestung Bridge, the amazing vistas of the Maitland as it empties into Lake Huron are picture perfect. The former rail bed offers an easy walk, even in winter, and this section close to Goderich is well travelled. The hike along the river offers great views of the treetops and church spires of Goderich just across the river. About two kilometres from the trailhead you will find some steps up to Tiger Dunlop’s Tomb. There are plaques and information kiosks throughout the parkette to tell the story of Goderich’s famed founder. From this point, you can return to the parking lot for about a one-hour round trip or, if you have more time, you can cross the footbridge over Highway 21 and continue on through scenic wooded areas until the trail opens up onto Huron County’s rich farmland.
Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area
This park located on Nature Centre Road between Blyth and Wingham is a winter wonderland. The 3.1-kilometre loop starts by crossing over a low footbridge that spans a pretty little creek with overhanging branches covered with snow and icicles - the perfect stop for your first photo of the hike! When you reach the clearing, veer to your right to walk down a lane with pine trees and bushes on either side. You will then walk through several meadows until you curve back around and reach a hemlock forest. There, the trail follows the Maitland River and then goes up over a steep ridge section to return to the clearing near the bridge.
There are several boardwalks throughout the forest and they can accumulate snow and become quite icy, so use caution when you’re crossing. 38854 Nature Centre Road, Belgrave.
Pinery Provincial Park
Just across the county line in neighbouring Lambton County lies a provincial park that can be enjoyed year-round. The park maintains two of its hiking trails for winter use. Both the Cedar Trail (2.3 kilometres) and the Heritage Trail (three kilometres) have parking available at the trailheads. The trails can be either hiked or snowshoed. Wildlife and winter birds abound in the park and are often easier to spot at this time of year.
The Pinery also offers 40 kilometres of ski trails, winter camping and roofed accommodations in yurts. 9526 Lakeshore Road, Grand Bend. pinerypark.on.ca