boyne valley provincial park

This hiking trail near Toronto leads to a pinnacle with spectacular views and wildlife

Boyne Valley Provincial Park, just an hour north of Toronto, features a hiking trail that leads to a lookout with sweeping, unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside.

There are about 12 kilometres of trails in Boyne Valley Provincial Park, which is located in Shelburne, north of Orangeville. The longer trail routes include a stop at the spectacular Murphy’s Pinnacle Lookout, while those looking for a shorter trip can just hike the 1.6 kilometres straight to the pinnacle.

boyne valley provincial park

The trails in Boyne Valley Provincial Park are part of the Bruce Trail system.

There are a few trail access points with parking on Prince of Wales Road north of Highway 89. The trails are part of the Bruce Trail network.

Boyne Valley is a non-operating park and there are no facilities aside from the hiking trails. Visitors should bring everything they need for the day including water and snacks.

boyne valley provincial park

There are boardwalks to take hikers over marshy areas.

Although the trails are best accessed from May to October, hikers come here year-round. Come prepared for the weather — you'll need snowshoes or microspikes to tackle the hills in the snow or icy conditions.

No matter the season, the park offers a variety of terrain. The trail crosses rivers with picturesque bridges in the forest.

boyne valley provincial park

Hikers cross bridges in Boyne Valley Provincial Park.

There are boardwalks cutting through the hardwood forest and steep climbs in ravines.

boyne valley provincial park

Hikers will pass by farmland neighbouring the park.

The trail passes by open fields and farmland.

But the big attraction on this hike is Murphy's Pinnacle Lookout, which offers views of the park and beyond. The pinnacle is a conical hill deposited by meltwater during the last ice age.

boyne valley provincial park

Murphy's Pinnacle Lookout is a popular spot to take a break.

If you are lucky you may spot some wildlife — deer are known to roam in the area and you may spot birds hiding in the forest.

boyne valley provincial park

An owl is well camouflaged in the trees.

Getting outdoors is a good way to stay healthy during the pandemic, but stick to group gathering limits. Follow physical distancing advice by keeping at least two metres away from others and wear a face covering when distancing is not possible. Remember also to carry out any garbage and leave the park as you found it.

Photos by

Karen Longwell

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