Ranney Gorge Autumn Hike

Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge
Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge

Introduction

A friend had mentioned that the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge makes for a great autumn hike so in early October we set off on the 2 hour drive from Toronto to Campbellford.

Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge
Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge

Once we reached the town we crossed the Trent River and did an immediate right turn heading long the river and over a bridge onto an island until reaching the parking lot at Lock 11. While at this time of year the lock was closed but still provided and excellent view downstream.

We walked crossed the Trent Canal passing the hydro plant until reaching the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge. Upstream we could see a set of waterfalls, while downstream was the wide Trent River with the beautiful autumn colours on the trees lining the banks.

The far side of the river is Ferris Provincial Park with campsites and a number of hiking trails.

River Gorge Trail

Ranney Gorge Trail
Ranney Gorge Trail

We started off to the right on the River Gorge Trail, an easy 3.5 km trail which started off along the Trent River providing excellent views. On the return loop was a plaque describing the unique stone fences (some with steps to cross) and some which have been rebuilt.

Ranney Falls Trail

Ranney Falls Trail
Ranney Falls Trail

The River Gorge Trail brought us back to the Suspension Bridge so we headed off in the opposite direction again along the river until arriving at Ranney Falls. The trail ended at a picnic area and parking lot.

Drumlin Trail System

Ferris Provincial Park
Autumn colour near Lock 11

The Drumlin Trail System are 3 interconnecting moderate looped trails with the blue being 1.2 km; white 2.5 km; and red 2.5 km. We decided to hike the longest route around each which first had us on a bit of a ascent in a mature mixed forest. Along the way we passed some seasonal creeks that have developed into 2 elongate hills called drumlins. We also passed the Ferris family’s sugar houses.

The far side of the red trail was in an open grassy area with a county highway and the edges of Campbellford visible before looping back to the start.

Campbellford

If you have time you may wish to check out Empire Cheeses and Laura Secord factory outlet stores.

Getting to the Trailhead

We took Highway 401 east to Brighton and Highway 30 north towards Campbellford. On entering town go right on Trent Drive and proceed to Trent-Severn Waterways Locks 11-12.

A second way is to drive right into Campbellford and take a right on County Road 8 and follow it to the main entrance of Ferris Provincial Park.

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