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GLEN MAJOR FOREST / EAST DUFFINS HEADWATER TRAILS REVIEW
This one is listed under Glen Major Forest on Google maps and numerous Internet sites, but as East Duffins Headwaters at the trailheads. We first accessed these trails from the large (no charge) parking lot off Conc. # 6 in late February (this link will open Google Maps at the parking lot : https://goo.gl/maps/gp3pSqFsAYdyuEKr9). This trail loops around an old abandoned gravel quarry. The views from the rim of the old pit are quite striking. As well, the far West side of the rim, affords a view to the South far beyond the pit. There are conveniently positioned resting rocks at picturesque locations, one of which made a lovely spot for our trail snack.
The trail is gravel and compacted soil, and the width varies. The loop around the pit and back to the parking lot is about 1.7 kms. We tried to continue West on the trails but they were solid ice, so for safety’s sake we reluctantly called it a day.
We returned mid March to try again, and accessed from the Sideline #4 (no charge) parking lot this time (this link will open Google Maps at the parking area: https://goo.gl/maps/dRoB1GZebrQ74Sei6). The walking conditions were much improved. The terrain is typical of the Uxbridge trails, very hilly. Mind you there are numerous vantage point lookouts over the surrounding countryside. However, you’ll have to work for the view by climbing up to them. The forest here is a refreshing mix of numerous species. I say refreshing as I’m getting tired of the mono culture of row upon row of pines planted back in the 40’s to control erosion (after the looting and pillaging early loggers did to the landscape of Southern Ontario). The understorey is quite clear, providing a clear view in every direction.
Location map posts are conveniently scattered throughout the trails which are very helpful and fairly accurate. However, there are so many branching and cross trails, that we found ourselves having to backtrack a few times to the last post to re-confirm which way to go. Trust me, in this terrain, you don’t wanna be backtracking. I ended up taking a picture of the map so I could access it enroute to the next post. Trying to see that tiny little screen in broad daylight is a treat lemme let ya. So, I would strongly suggest you print out the trail map above, and take it with you. On that note, don’t trust any maps you pull off the I’net (which is what I tried to do). They’re not accurate, not detailed enough, nor do the location post codes on those maps, match the posts on the trail. The map above is a picture of the map on the trail so it’s your best bet.
Since the trails run all over the place, branching and criss-crossing each other, it’s impossible to give you an idea of trail lengths. You’ll just have to walk between two location posts, and gauge how much more you can handle. At least you’ll have lots of choices. I should mention the only rest benches on this side of Glen Major are at the lookouts. Another good reason to take a map is that there are a few ways to easily wander North into Walker Woods. That’ll involve a long trek back to your ride.
The Final Take
This forest is typical of the Uxbridge trails in that it’s very hilly. Though it offers a diverse experience from wide open vistas to deep mixed forest. Even in the deep forest, the understorey is quite clear of shrubbery, providing a clear view. There are a number of lookouts, some around the rim of the old pit, and others overlooking the surrounding terrain. The trails vary from single to multiple people side by side in width. There are many trails running in every direction, criss-crossing and branching throughout this forest. So, either have a good map with you, or at least study the maps on the location posts very closely before you walk away from one. On that note, there are ample maps on many location posts, (but there are also alot trails between them). We saw a few unauthorized “local” trails which can cause confusion as well. There are no markings on trees or any such thing so you are totally dependent upon the maps on the posts.
With the exception of the pit loop from the parking lot on Concession 6 (1.7 kms), it’s difficult to estimate trail lengths due to the number of linked trails available.
The free parking is plentiful at both accesses. There are no picnic nor washroom facilities at either trailhead. However, there is seating at most of the lookouts. Some are just positioned boulders, and a few are open benches. Leashed dog walking is permitted.
Have a nice walk,