Though I normally don’t visit the same place twice, this is actually my second attempt at Len Gertler Memorial Loree Forest. The first time I had some company, and that company was not impressed with the misting rain, or darkening skies and we ended up cutting the hike short – very short. So I had to come back and properly complete it.
I didn’t properly complete it, but I’ll explain that further on.
This trail starts off at the corner of Side Road 21 and 4th Line, with roadside parking. There is a short access trail down a lane that brings you to the main Bruce Trail.
The wildflowers were in full bloom today, and lined the lane the entire way up.
Take to the left when you meet the main Bruce Trail, and this will bring you in to the Len Gertler Memorial Loree Forest.
The trail heads down – and down and down – in to a valley with a creek. There is one area that is much more steep than others, and on the edge of the hill. The edge is roped off, and some rudimentary stairs were installed to assist you down.
Past the creek, and back up – and up and up – the wildflowers continue to bloom along the trail.
There is an unmapped side trail that runs as access between the Bruce Trail and more roadside parking farther down Side Road 21. At this junction you’ll want to keep right to stay on the main Bruce Trail, however there is also a small trail leading to a lookout point.
You may want to venture off path a bit for this. It looks north out over Georgian Bay, in one of those rare spaces where the “mountains” part.
Anyway, back to that junction point and continue to the right along the main Bruce Trail, farther in to Len Gertler Memorial Loree Forest. We cross over a flat open plain, and then head down in to another forested area. And then, what goes down must of course come back up.
And the trail continues to climb steadily. Up and up we go until we come to another junction at the very top of our climb here.
Now, this is where I made my mistake, so learn from me. To the left is the Len Gertler side trail; it cuts through the middle of the Loree forest. To the right is the main Bruce Trail, which hooks up to the top of the Loree forest and comes down the other side, meeting back up with the Len Gertler side trail.
I should have gone right. I instead went left, and cut my trip short.
Oh well, it was still a lovely hike behind a field. Very level, and very wide across this section, which made for excellent time.
From here, we meet up with the main Bruce Trail again and take another left. This leads you back down to Side Road 21, which you cross over. The road isn’t too busy, but those that do come by are usually passing pretty quickly – watch for traffic.
On the other side of the road, the trail is not as well-used and is a little overgrown. The forest gives way to an open field for a short time, with some great views.
Then we’re back in the forest. Since the canopy is so thick here, the trail hasn’t had time to dry up much and makes the going pretty messy. Luckily the bridge offers some relief.
We get some relief from the forest again, and come out in to an open field. The going is not much better here as the long grass has overgrown and hides the trail and grabs at your legs. I should have worn pants but it was pretty hot out today.
After the field, we’re back in to the forest, and the trail is now much wider and slightly less muddy. Heading in this direction on the main trail, the cut off for the Loree side trail is nearly hidden. It branches off in a Y from the other direction, so keep your eyes peeled. The sign is also a little hidden in growth; this photo is looking at the junction from the opposite direction that I was heading on the main trail.
After the hidden entrance, the trail widens and is in good condition. I was able to make good time across here.
The trail runs near a backyard, and then opens up on to Side Road 21. From here you can see your car at the corner of 4th Line, about 500m ahead.
219m elevation gain
Have you ever messed up on the route you planned to follow? How did it turn out?