Ruthven Park: The Perfect Starting Point For Hiking

This blog post was submitted by Sally Perkins.

Explore the Heritage and Beauty of the Grand River

The Grand River is the largest river in Southern Ontario, and the Lower Grand River Land Trust is just one of the many conservation areas along the banks of what was in 1994 declared a heritage river. This makes Ruthven Park an ideal starting point for explorers to undertake a longer adventure through this unique landscape. So, get your camping gear together, have a hearty breakfast and let’s take a look at some great hiking destinations and where you can stay along the way, as you venture out through Cayuga and on to your Grand River Adventure.

Hiking South

Most hikers choose to head south along the Grand River towards Port Maitland, where the Grand River flows into Lake Erie. The distance is about 35KM, so charge up your GPS system as it is a good day’s hike, and takes around 7-8 hours for anyone of reasonable fitness. However, you might prefer to take your time and complete the journey over two days, pausing to explore the unique beauty of the landscape.

Be sure to check out Rock Point Provincial Point at Dunnville, approximately three quarters of the way along, with its stunning views and flocks of wild geese. There is also a campsite here, making it a perfect place for an overnight stop.

North to Creepy Caledonia

Of course, you could go against the flow and instead hike north along the Grand River. A three mile hike from Ruthven Park brings you to the seemingly quiet town of Caledonia. With its historic toll house and its sleepy main street, it looks like any other town, but stay after dark, and you never know what you might experience on one of Caledonia’s ghost tours of the many haunted locations around the town.

Where to Stay

There are  2,500 campsites across eight parks, on the Grand River so you should have no difficulty finding the perfect place for an overnight stop. Of course, if you decide that you are missing your home comforts, there are also a number of inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts along your way.

If you are heading south from Ruthven Park, then you might wish to consider either Bruce’s Landing Campground as a first port of call. This family-friendly site is approximately a three hour hike away.

Heading north, there are campsites in Brantford, or if that is a little too far, a choice of bed and breakfasts in Caledonia.