Starting where my last hike at Balls Falls Conservation Area ended, I’m embarking on hike #11 of the Bruce Trail in Niagara wine country. If you want to follow along on my hiking journey, you can read more about my Bruce Trail hike #10 from Glen Road to Ball’s Falls. This hike starts at the Ball’s Falls parking lot and continues through the forests surrounding Niagara wine country, ending at Cherry Road in Vineland, Ontario.
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While some hikers will complete the Niagara section of the Bruce Trail in far fewer hikes than this, I’m taking it slowly and sometimes I’m hiking it twice (from my car to the end point and then back to the car). It’s taking a long time, but I’m in no rush. I’m enjoying every moment on the Bruce Trail!
If you’re following along in the Bruce Trail maps and trail guide book, I hiked the trail from kilometre 55.0 to 60.4 and back in the Niagara Club section. Here’s a map of my Bruce Trail hike showing my hiking route for journey #11:
Bruce Trail in Niagara Wine Country
Starting at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, you can park your car in their parking lot. When I visited, there was an $8 parking fee, which I paid in full. When I got back to my car around 5:00pm, the gate was open and I left without having to use my parking token. Use that information as you will, but I advise not to pay for parking until you return to the lot (because you may not have to pay at all!). However, I didn’t feel too bad about my parking donation because the parking funds go towards the maintenance of the park itself.
Hiking only a short trail within the park itself from the lot down to Sixth Avenue, I continued across a little bridge over Twenty Mile Creek and a grassy field to stay on the Bruce Trail. Then, you’ll walk past a little vineyard and back into the woods.
You’ll hear the rushing waters of Twenty Mile Creek and Ball’s Falls (the Lower Falls), but you can’t access them from here. You’re hiking at the top of the escarpment around the creek and the waterfall. If you want to check out Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, I recommend that you read more about hike #10 or this guide to Ball’s Falls.
Hiking Through the Woods
Gradually, you’ll enter a wooded area that has a couple of little wooden bridges over small streams. These were barely a trickle in the middle of the summer, but I imagine that there’s more water in the spring and the fall. There’s always something about hiking across bridges or boardwalks that I immediately love.
There are a few inclines and declines here as it’s not exactly a flat trail. Also, there are many rocks and tree roots that cover the trail, making it a slightly more difficult hike. It’s not a hard hike by any means, but you just need to watch your step. The Bruce Trail is very well marked. There are lots of white blazes guiding the way. It’s pretty impossible to get lost or off the trail through this stretch.
Crossing Victoria Avenue
You’ll come to a clearing and walk out onto Fifth Avenue. This is a really short gravel road off Victoria Avenue, and there weren’t any cars driving on it during my hike. However, you will come to Victoria Avenue, which is a very busy street.
To continue hiking the Bruce Trail, you’ll need to cross Victoria Avenue. There are tons of cars whizzing by at high speeds, so you’ll need to take extra care here. Make sure it’s a perfectly safe time to cross the road. When you get to the opposite side of Victoria Ave, the trail continues up a little hill over a meadow. You’ll be able to enjoy some lovely views that you can only experience while hiking the Bruce Trail in Niagara wine country.
At this point, you’re entering private property. The Bruce Trail has lots of sections on private property as they don’t own all of the land that connects this 900km trail. They rely on handshake agreements with many landowners that will allow hikers to use their property for hiking purposes only. You’re allowed to hike on their private property as long as you are respectful and walk straight through. They can revoke this handshake agreement at any time, so please continue to be respectful so this doesn’t happen.
Sometimes when the private property has a fence around it, there will be a wooden ladder for hikers to climb over the fence. This usually signifies entering or exiting the privately owned land. I came across a ladder on the trail in this section.
Continuing on the Bruce Trail in Niagara wine country, you’ll enter a dense forest with really tall trees. This shady area is great if it’s a little too hot outside. I went hiking on a really hot day, so these trees made the hike a little cooler. You’ll hike through the forest, crossing more wooden bridges over little streams on the way.
Moyer Road to Cherry Avenue
You’ll walk besides some vineyards for a little while until you reach Moyer Road. The Bruce Trail continues along Moyer Road for a short period of time. Then, you’ll cross the road to continue on the trail.
At this point, you’ll enter a dense and lush forest that’s really beautiful. The hiking becomes a little more intense here as you’ll descend down into the escarpment, and then climb up over a ridge. The trail descends and ascends a few times here. It’s nothing treacherous, but it definitely got my heart pumping a little more than usual.
Eventually, I reached my end point for the day at Cherry Avenue. Sometimes when I’m hiking, I’ll call an Uber to return to my car. In these cases, I’d probably hike twice as far. I usually hike between 10km and 15km on a typical Bruce Trail hike. However, I wasn’t sure if there was Uber service in this remote, rural space. Furthermore, we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic and I didn’t feel comfortable taking an Uber. So, I decided to turn around and hike back to where I began.
The Bruce Trail and Niagara Wineries
Looking to add some winery visits while hiking the Bruce trail in Niagara wine country? This section of the Bruce Trail has wineries all around. After all, you’re hiking past several vineyards on the way. Here are a few of the wineries within hiking distance of the Bruce Trail here:
- Megalomaniac Winery
- Tawse Winery
- Vineland Estates Winery
- Ridgepoint Wines
- Featherstone Estate Winery & Vineyard
- Cloudsley Cellars
The Bruce Trail: My Hiking Journey
Here are the stats for my Bruce Trail hikes. Here’s how far I’ve hiked and how far I have to go on my goal to hike the Bruce Trail in its entirety. This also serves as a trail log of my treks. If you’re interested in reading about my past hikes, please check out my Bruce Trail Hiking Page.
|Date||June 26, 2020|
|Location||Map 04 (Ball’s Falls)|
|Distance||5.4km (twice, so actually 10.8)|
|Total Trail Distance||60.4 km (833.6 km remaining)|
|Start||Ball’s Falls Conservation Area|
|Finish||60.4 Cherry Avenue|