The Petun Loop
The Petun Loop (Osler Bluff Area)
Distance: 5.5 km
Difficulty: Moderate with some strenuous climbs
Walk the Petun Loop in early summer or fall. It’s a quiet trail and as you peer into the Black Ash Creek Valley, you can imagine the world of the Petun. You’ll also see the world of European settlers among the huge field stones cleared from fields. Along the corn fields you’ll see clusters of milkweed, a great spot to see monarch butterflies. Four kilometres south of Petun, the Bruce Trail reaches its highest point at 540 metres (1480 feet).
For years, the Petun nation lived in this area, with their longhouses and tobacco fields where open meadows now lie, their hunting grounds within the forest, their fishing and water source in the Black Ash Creek. Think about them as you look at the Black Ash Creek valley below this trail. This Conservation Area was named in their honour. An Iroquois speaking people noted for cultivating tobacco, the Petun were a smaller nation that lived along the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment.
Vistas of Georgian Bay, mixed forest, old limestone boulders, views of Osler Castle. Camping is also available south of the loop.
Part of the Petun Side Trail awill be closed annually from December 1st through to March 31st, as noted on the map.
Follow Country rd 19 west up the escarpment to the 2nd line. Park on the shoulder of the 2nd line.
Hike east following the blue blazes along an old cart track. Turn right (South) above a large pond and look for a Bruce Trail diamond. Trail climbs up the escarpment to the Osler Ski Club snowmaking pond. Follow the blue blazes up a steep incline adjacent to the ski hill. Near the top of the escarpment there’s a hand cable to assist you up the steepest section. Follow the Blue blazes south until intersecting the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail. Go right here through the old fields of the Petun Conservation area and continue west before descending back down to the road. The white blazes will lead you 1.2km back to your car.