A beautiful speck of nature in the
Niagara Escarpment UNESCO Reserve
The Pretty River Valley Provincial Park is a little known speck of greenery about 14 kilometres (8.5 miles) southeast of the Town Collingwood and Blue Mountain at the headwaters of the Pretty River.
This 1032-hectare (2550 acre) non-operating natural environment park is part of the Niagara Escarpment and is thus part of the UNESCO Niagara Biosphere Reserve. Please note that non-operating means that there are no facilities of any kind on site.
What makes the park so unique is that in addition to its natural beauty it also contains deeply scarred bedrock as a result of glacial erosion.
These features are displayed in a series of:
Piles of rocks
One of the best places in the province to see these types of landscapes the unique geology has also led to an ecosystem that supports over 400 plant species.
The Bruce Trail runs through the park leading you past some of the highest points on the Escarpment providing beautiful views. The Escarpment's highest point at Osler Bluffs is very close by and accessible.
Location of Pretty River Valley Provincial Park
Getting to Pretty River Valley Provincial Park:
The park is located just off Highway #10, one of the main north-south corridors to the near north.
Highway #10 is a continuation of Highway 410 which is easily accessed by Highway 401.
Pretty River Valley Provincial Park Attractions and Activities
The park is open year round for day use only. Camping is not allowed and there are no facilities.
What draws people here is the peace, serenity and pure natural beauty. Visited by few, the various trails through the hardwood forests and over huge boulders with the water running below make it perfect for:
Cross country skiing
Snowmobiling (on designated trails)
With 6-kilometres (4.2 miles) of the Bruce Trail running through it Pretty River Valley offers some wonderful hiking opportunities with the various side trails leading you to:
Scenic vistas from some of the highest points on the Niagara Escarpment
Through deep chasms cut into the bedrock by the retreating ice
Past wetlands and through the valley of the Pretty River carved millennia ago
Through dense hardwood forests
By far the most popular activity in the park it is particularly beautiful in the fall when the autumn colours are magnificent.
Pretty River Valley Provincial Park is open year round and is utilized by those that:
Cross country ski
Check out this winter jogger at the park
Pretty River Valley Provincial Park is a beautiful little place that makes for a nice break for those staying in Collingwood or Wasaga Beach.
Located just 10 minutes south of Collingwood or 2.5 hours north of Toronto this tiny park is perfect for spending a few hours in admiring the beauty that this part of the province has to offer.
There is limited access to the park and parking is in a small gravel lot on Pretty River Road.
Other natural attractions located close by include:
Petun Conservation Area
A small 40-hectare (100 acre) chunk of protected Niagarsa Escarpment land with portions of the Bruce Trail running through it located just a few minutes north of the park.
Pass through some of the highest points on the ridge offering commanding and sweeping views of Collingwood and Wasaga Beach off in the distance.
Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Nature Reserve Area
Another protected portion of the escarpment this 130 hectare (320 acre) preserved area is located just south of the park along Nottawasaga Road/Concession #10.
The Bruce Trail runs through it and it offers some unique and rare plants and both hardwood and softwood forests.
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