Forks of the Credit provincial park is a beautiful gem hardly one hour drive away from Toronto and around 45 minutes from Etobicoke. It represents a lot of the geographical features like marshes, steep trails, a tranquil lake, a spectacular fall. Also, you can see a historical railway track, wooden bridge, etc.
This Park is part of the Ontario Parks system and is part of the Niagara Escarpment biosphere and green belt.
Nowadays, parking is not available for a full day, but only available in 4 hours windows. Therefore, parking costs $7.50, including taxes for the said hours. Parking passes can be purchased online at Ontario Parks Reservations.
My all-time favorite attractions are the gorgeous train tracks and the Cataract Falls. Although getting to them is an outstanding experience in itself that renders the final destination even sweeter to enjoy.
Popular in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A great area for fishing.
The Forks of the credit provincial park is a great place for hiking if you are new to hiking and building your endurance.
It is part of the Trans-Canada trail and Bruce trail, and Green Belt.
A road trip from Toronto is a scenic route as you cruise along with large farms, on long curvy & uphill roads, and scenic landscapes.
When you enter the main parking lot, you will find a map of different trails next to it. The main parking lot is situated off McLaren Road. Here the Trans-Canada trail meets the Meadow trail that you can use to travel to different points in the Park.
There are restrooms next to the parking area if you need to use them.
Forks of the Credit area constitutes easy to moderate hiking trails.
There are a few trails in the Park that you can explore, depending on what your preference is.
- Meadow Trail
- Trans Canada Trail
- Bruce Trail – Portions of the Bruce Trail also called the Dominion Trail in the park
- Bruce Trail Side Trail
- The Quarryman’s Side Trail
- Dorothy Medhurst Side Trail
Secret Tip – If you would like a beautiful secret ( well, maybe not so secret ) area, enter through the secondary parking ( Entry for this parking is right before you enter the main parking area) and enter the Trans-Canada trail. It will lead you to the side of the main parking area. But this small patch of mystical-looking land will set your mood for the entire journey.
From the main parking lot, you can choose between the Meadow trail or the Trans-Canada trail. I always prefer to follow the Meadow trail. This trail is an easy trail with a few ups and downs. After walking for about 2 minutes, you will find a small trail that leads to this amazing view of Kettle lake.
It is a small but beautiful lake surrounded by small hills and trees. A few minutes of experiencing this area can jolt you up for the journey ahead. There is also a picnic area with a bench that you can use.
The trees and flowers look absolutely stunning in the Falls. You will find a few different types of flowers in the Park along your journey and on the hills. There are flowers wherever you look, which makes this experience even better.
Extra Fact – Kettle lake freezes over completely in the winters and looks amazing.
The usual route is taking the Meadow Trail down the escarpment on the Quarryman’s Side Trail and then Hiking up the Bruce Trail / Dominion Trail to the waterfall. This ends up at the high point from where you can enjoy the waterfall in its glory. This route ends at this point as the terrain ahead is a bit tricky and closed at this time.
Instead of taking the previous route to the fall, I prefer another route through the Trans-Canada trail. Take the Meadow trail to the point where it meets the Trans-Canada trail and turn right to the Trans-Canada Trail. After about a 15-20 minute walk, you will reach a marker where Meadow trail breaks into two paths. Take the left path to experience an area similar to an enchanted forest. This route is more beautiful and shorter. After crossing the “Enchanted Forest,” stay straight, and the trail leads will lead to stairs to take you downhill.
You can take whatever route you prefer.
At the bottom of the stairs, you will have access to the various beautiful locations of the Park. Let’s use this location as a reference point.
To the right, you will find a way that crosses the Credit River and leads to a bridge over the railway tracks. The meadow trail continues across the bridge. Across the bridge, you will find –
- A path where you can climb downhill to the tracks themselves, but it is tricky and slippery without any brace, so take if you will with caution.
- A few minutes ahead of the previous path, you will find a small cliff where you can enjoy a high point view of the tracks and the falls. This place is especially quiet and tranquil, good to rest for few minutes and enjoy the nature.
Once you are done admiring the train track, you can head to the falls now. To the left of the Stairs, you will find a way that leads to a collapsed structure and the Cataract Falls themselves. At this structure, you will find yourself on top of the falls, where you can enjoy the views of the Falls, the Credit river gorge from various angles. It looks gorgeous from wherever you look.
You can also choose to climb downhill to enjoy the falls from up close.
This whole area is not very stable or maintained, so proceed near the falls with caution at every moment.
After spending some time enjoying the waterfall and the beautiful gorge view, climb up. Here you can choose between the Bruce Trail or the Trans-Canada trail. My all-time favorite route is the Trans-Canada trail. You reach the gorgeous Bailey bridge through this route. 2 Field Engineer Regiment Toronto constructed this old wooden bridge in 1999.
This can be a perfect place if you are looking for some peaceful and quiet place to spend some more time. I like to stay couple more minutes and enjoy my time here. There is a bench to sit down and hear the sound of the river. Once ready to finish, you can choose to head back up the meadow trail or the Trans-Canada trail back to the parking area.
What to pack for your trip ?
- A good pair of hiking shoes
- Poop bags, if you bring along your pet dog.
There is no alcohol allowed in the Park, so do not bring that along with you. As a friendly reminder, remember to pick up your garbage if any. You will find some garbage beer cans and water bottles etc ruining some of the places near the falls, so it would be nice to not contribute to it.
All and all, this is a great location to practice your brisk walking and hiking skills and to enjoy some great-looking locations. Do spend some time visiting this Park and let us know about your experience.