The Alexander Hope Smith (Washago) Nature Reserve Trail Review

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The Alexander Hope Smith (Washago) Nature Reserve Trail Review

UPDATE – June 7 2021Our thanks to Ronald Kluger for informing us that the rock chairs at the end of this trail have been vandalized. I have crossed out any reference to them in my review below. Bushwhacker

This one is a real adventure to find. So, I’m gonna dispense with my usual “do it myself so no one can accuse me of plagiarism” stuff and copy this from the Couchiching Conservancy site : Directions begin in downtown Washago (corner of County Road 169 and Muskoka Street): Drive north on Muskoka Street 1.7 km to Cooper’s Falls Road; turn right onto Cooper’s Falls Road and go 1.7 km to Riverdale Drive; turn right onto Riverdale drive and go 2.9 km to end of road (this road is shaped like a “J”… follow it to the dead-end cul-de-sac). Trailhead sign is on right, just prior to cul-de-sac. Park on road side or in cul-de-sac.

What I’ll do is give you the Google Maps location link here :

This approximately 3.5 km trail is single file walking for it’s entirety, and it’s all about the view of the Black River Boyd’s Creek (Thanks to Tanya Clark – Couchiching Conservancy, for the correction) at the end of the 2nd loop. I found this trail to be very “close” (speaking as a claustrophobe), meaning I felt slightly closed in. It’s actually a linear (return) trail with one side trail, and a small loop at the end. We chose to cover it all by simply staying to the right, until completing the loop. We took the side trail on our return trip which provided more views of the creek.

The trail to the rock chairs and creek was a blend of lowland damp scrub brush, upland forest, and granite base as well as glacial erratics. There are a number of boardwalks provided over the wetter areas.

As stated, the high point of this trail seems to be the end loop, and the view of the creek. It was certainly pretty enough to prompt us to take a seat on the “rock chairs” and have our lunch. The stone chairs were remarkably comfortable too.

The Final Take

This is a short (3.5 km) walk through a mix of forests, granite outcrops and glacial erratics. It culminates in a view of Boyd’s Creek from a granite outcrop with a set of charming (and oddly comfortable) stone chairs. We’d been spoiled by other trails in the Muskoka area (like The Thomas C Agnew Nature Reserve), and were disappointed not to spot any unique/rare wildflowers though. It’s a well marked, single file trail with boardwalks provided where needed, and hasn’t any hills worthy of note. There are no facilities, save the stone chairs at the lookout and parking is at the end of the road just past the trailhead.

Have a nice walk,



  1. Ingrid Kern · · Reply

    Hi Everyone, we hiked the Alexander Hope-Smith Nature Reserve Trail on August 15.
    An easy 3.5 km loop through lovely woods and along the water-lily-padded Black River. No claustophobic paths, no bugs, and a set of rock “chairs” overlooking the river, where we had our wine, cheese and sandwiches. Thanks, “2 Old Guys walking”. We plan to do many other of your recommended walks. Isn’t Ontario fabulous! Aren’t we all lucky to live here !!!
    Ingrid & David. Toronto


    1. Hello Ingrid,
      Yes Ontario is indeed a lovely place. We are most fortunate here. I’m glad you and David enjoyed the Alex Hope Smith trail, and I hope we can provide you many more enjoyable walk locations.


  2. The waterway you see from the rock chairs and other spots is named Boyd’s Creek. It flows into the Green River, which eventually flows into the Black. I’m a staff of the Conservancy and just happened to find your site. Thanks for visiting one of the places we help protect!


    1. And I’ll thank you for your waterway name clarification Tanya. I have corrected my posted review. We have many more reviews of properties under your conservancy’s umbrella holding for publication timing.


  3. Ronald Kluger · · Reply

    The rock chairs have been vandalized – all the rocks but the one large base were thrown into the water. Some young fellows proudly took credit when I was there but who knows? It’s too bad,


    1. Thanks for the (unfortunate) update Ronald. I simply can’t figure why anyone, who would be inclined to walk a peaceful trail through the woods, would be of the mind to vandalize that same trail. I mean … trail walkers are generally trail appreciators. I’ll amend my review to reflect this act of idiocy.
      Thanks again,


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