Brant Hikes – With Amy Darrell

Some amazing spots in Brant County have been showcased in the newest book in the Loops and Lattes series, “Hamilton and Area Hikes”.  To celebrate, one of the authors of the book, Amy Darrell, has written a special blog, just for our Brant Tourism page! Continue reading below for her take on five of the best hikes in Brant.

Five Great Hikes in Brant County

There is so much to love about hiking in the County of Brant. Its extensive network of trails meander along forested river banks and pass through rolling countryside dotted with historic villages.  So much potential for many lovely days of exploration.

To research and write Hamilton & Area Hikes: Loops & Lattes, I travelled the majority of the county’s trails and while every loop included in the guide is special, a few in Brant County stand out.

Best Hike over 10km:  #21 Most of the Toad Loop

39253549_2357720304448413_3191527568444489728_n.jpg

This route through Pinehurst Lake Conservation area is essentially 3 separate hikes in one truly enjoyable package, taking you from towering pine forests, through open grassland and into an exquisite stand of Carolinian Forest.  This is a hike for all seasons. In the summer, cool off with a post-hike dip in the kettle lake. In the winter, try out some trails with skis or snowshoes. The quieter times of spring and fall are ideal for spotting a variety of wildlife.

 

Best Hike Under 5km: #13 Five Oaks Loop39080825_2357720244448419_1846940914870648832_n.jpg

This hidden gem is short but sweet.  This loop offers no promises of climactic climbs to epic vistas, it is a simple hike through a lovely forest and I love it.  The Five Oaks Centre exudes a friendly peacefulness and the site features a great café, a labyrinth, a bookstore and a yoga studio if you wish to expand your experience.

 

Best Riverside Hike: #17 Glen Morris to Paris Route

39070073_2357720041115106_2476102500738924544_n.jpgTell your friends that you are walking to Paris!  This route is not a loop but we won’t hold that against it.  It makes up for its linear nature by offering some excellent views of the aptly named Grand River while following the former path of the Lake Erie & Northern Railway past tall grass prairie, crystal clear streams and shady forests.

 

Best hike/lunch/shopping experience: #23 Paris Two Rivers

I can’t get enough of Paris.  It’s adorable, it’s 39186531_2357720111115099_2975317501719609344_n.jpgfriendly, it’s steeped in history, it’s packed with excellent shops, restaurants and things to do.  This route takes you on a full-circle, all-inclusive tour of the prettiest town in Ontario.  Take in some historical sites, stroll along the banks of not one, but two rivers, stop for some delicious lunch (have fun choosing where to go, there are so many options) and then join me in my “I ♥ Paris” fan club.

 

Best weekend stroll: #22 Mount Pleasant Loop

39174748_2357719467781830_1580435093187461120_n.jpgThis loop is a great way to get the family out of the house on the weekend.  It is not long or onerous and has enough points of interest to keep it interesting. The route will lead you on a tour of the Mount Pleasant Nature park before you head out along a rail trail through pretty farmland.  The return trip sneaks in a bit of a history lesson as you pass some historic sites and cool old buildings.  Reward the gang with a stop at the Windmill Country Market.

 

Hamilton & Area Hikes: Loops & Lattes is available at dozens of retail locations throughout Southern Ontario. For a complete list of retailers, visit www.onelittlefurther.com and click on “Where to Buy Our Books.”

-Amy Darrell

 

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