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Behold 'beauty and wonder' of Canadian Shield (14 photos)

Cooper's Falls Trail boasts varied terrain that is 'just enough up and down climbing to make it interesting but not overly difficult,' says hiker

Do you have a favourite local hike destination?

According to many visitors to (an online resource connecting people to the outdoors), it is the nearby Cooper’s Falls Trail.

Located about five kilometres northeast of Washago, the trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail and is managed by the Town of Gravenhurst. It offers beautiful scenery with lots of varied terrain – “just enough up and down climbing to make it interesting but not overly difficult,” noted one hiker.

Featuring lots of scenic forest, lakes, ponds, streams, cliff edges and rocks, hikers can experience the beauty and wonder of the Canadian Shield without driving hours to Algonquin or other more northern parks.

The trail passes through the Kahshe Lake Barrens Conservation Reserve, located south of Kahshe Lake. This reserve protects a delicate ecological area that is home to some very rare national and provincial plant species.

Also nearby is the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park and areas protected by the Couchiching Conservancy, including the Ron Reid, Adams and Alexander Hope-Smith Reserves.

To get there: There are two entrances to the trail – off Cooper’s Falls Road and Housey’s Rapids Road. The trail is a 15-km out-and-back route (7.5 km one-way). To hike just one way, a car shuttle is useful. The best place to park is at the northern entrance, located off Housey’s Rapids Road, across from Fire Route #4. A small parking area is located just north of the trailhead. The southern entrance is located on Cooper's Falls Road along the Black River.

Tips: Come prepared with proper waterproof footwear. There are some sections of rough boardwalk bridges and lots of rocky terrain. And keep an eye out for trail markers – there are a variety: signs, ribbons, arrows painted on rock and even some inukshuks. As for bugs, I’m sure there are plenty. I hiked this trail in May and October and am happy to report that insects were not a problem.





















Be prepared with waterproof footwear when venturing out to the Cooper’s Falls Trail