About the Trail

Welcome to the Trail Guide for the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association. This Guide consists of trail descriptions for the Ganaraska Hiking Trail including significant points of interest, km markings, parking locations, and geographic coordinates. In addition, the Trail Guide provides 33 downloadable maps. For more information, go to Trail Sections with Maps.

The 500+ km Ganaraska Hiking Trail extends from Port Hope on Lake Ontario to Glen Huron, nestled in the Niagara Escarpment, just south of the Blue Mountains. The trail passes through a variety of landscapes including the sandhills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the lakes and drumlins of the Kawarthas and the rugged wilderness of the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park on the Canadian Shield. The trail then continues west through the rolling hills of Simcoe County to the shores of Georgian Bay.

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail is like a string of pearls; the trail blazes the string to take you from one scenic pearl to the next. To navigate the trail, familiarize yourself with our trail blazes as shown below. In some situations, you also have to look for rock cairns, painted doglegs, etc.

If the blazing differs from the map when you are on the trail, always follow the blazes.

Many stretches of the trail cross private property. At all times, behave as the guests of the landowners who have granted you the privilege of hiking on their land. Always remember a trail is a privilege, not a right.

Hikers should also be reminded of the Hikers’ Code of proper hike etiquette:

Hikers’ Code

  • Respect private property
  • Stay on the trail
  • Cross fences using stiles
  • Carry out all garbage
  • Walk around the edge of fields
  • Protect wildlife, trees and shrubs
  • Never strip bark from trees
  • Keep dogs on a leash near farms and where required by law 

(NOTE: No dogs allowed on group hikes)

Fires and camping are not allowed on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, except in the Wilderness section in designated sites.

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guide is current at the time of publishing; however, trail data is subject to change due to re-routes. Check for updates posted in the News/Trail Changes section of this website.

Hikers use the trail at their own risk. While every care has been taken to keep our mapping up to date, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc is not responsible for:

  • Any loss or accident resulting from the use of the trail or our mapping.
  • Any act of trespass or damage committed by individuals.

To access Ganaraska Hiking Trail maps on your smartphone, download the free ONDAGO app. The app and free maps are available here.

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail is available to all as “a place of reflection, fitness, friendship and a return to nature”. Come and enjoy!

Trail Description

The trail begins at a boulder opposite the town hall in Port Hope, located on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The trail passes through a variety of scenery from Lake Ontario, north through the Ganaraska Forest on the sand hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine and past the lakes and drumlin fields of the Kawarthas to the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Shield. The unique Wilderness section of the Trail is on the Pre-Cambrian shield and connects the southern and northern parts of the Trail. The Trail then continues west through the rolling hills of Simcoe where it meets the Bruce Trail at McKinney’s Hill, Glen Huron. A cairn marks the end of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. The Trail continues from the Niagara Escarpment to a terminus at Wasaga Beach. A second branch of the Trail runs from north of Horseshoe Valley to Highway 32 near Port McNicol on Georgian Bay.

From Springdale, just west of Glen Huron in the Mad River section, a branch of the Trail leads to Wasaga Beach. Another branch extends from north of Horseshoe Valley in the Oro-Medonte section to the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in the Midland section.