Points of Interest, Places of Power
AN INTERPRETIVE GUIDE TO THE HUMBER VALLEY HERITAGE TRAIL- PALGRAVE TO BOLTON
By William Wilson, 29 July 1998.
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE: The interpretation points described in this guide are noted on the map by their distance from the north end of the trail in kilometres. These points are noted on the trail by 3 foot high cedar posts with the kilometre markings indicated on the top beveled surface of each post.
0.00 - ALBION HILLS CONSERVATION AREA This location is the intersection of the Humber Valley Heritage Trail and the Trans-Canada Trail (aka the Caledon Trailway and Bruce Trail). The Humber Valley Heritage Trail winds through the Albion Hills Conservation Area which is owned and operated by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority as a multi-use recreational area for people of all ages. Its large natural area also allows many forms of wildlife to live and thrive here.
0.80 - CENTREVILLE CREEK Centreville Creek is a spring-fed tributary of the Humber River. Although its flow is less than in earlier times, many basic characteristics typifying a cold water stream still exist in select areas along this Creek.
1.25 - REFORESTATION Many hectares of steep rolling landscape deforested by early settlers have been replanted with a variety of conifer species such as White Spruce, Red Pine and White Pine throughout the Conservation area.
1.44 - SUGAR BUSH Many Carolinian species such as Sugar Maple, American Beech, White Ash and Yellow Birch are associated with a typical Maple Sugar Bush such as the one seen here.
1.65 - KAMES AND KETTLES The rolling Kame and Kettle topography surrounding you is typical of the Oak Ridges Moraine landscape. These gravelly hillocks and depressions serve as important water storage areas for Woodland Frogs and Spring Peepers.
2.00 - WETLANDS Marsh and wetland habitats are the backbone of any healthy ecosystem. They are not only essential habitats for a variety of aquatic organisms but are necessary recharging sites, filtering and cleaning groundwater. Many beaver make their home all along the Humber River as well as in the wetlands of Albion Hills. As you hike by these wetlands, you may hear loud slaps on the water's surface. This slapping is the way beaver warning their friends that humans are near. Beavers build dams to increase their underwater habitat, in part for there own safety. The standing water enables beaver to construct their dens or lodges with underwater entrances. This provides safety for beaver young from fox or other predators.
3.00 - 6TH LINE The old "6th Line" (now called "Duffy's Lane" further south) as it appears here today would have served as an important link for early pioneers who travelled from Lake Ontario inland in search of their new homes.
4.00 - RAILROAD CROSSING Caution when crossing these CPR tracks as the the line is actively in service.
4.36 - ROAD SIDE TREES Lining Duffy's Lane (named after a local farm family south of here) are numerous Sugar Maple Trees planted by farmers several generations ago.
5.17 - DUFFY'S LANE ESA- NORTH SIDE You are at the north entrance to the Duffy's Lane Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). Hikers are particularly reminded to keep on the trail, running from Duffy's Lane on the north to Castlederg Road on the south. This caution is to ensure that the high quality habitat and significant species remain undisturbed. Dogs are potentially very detrimental to species habitats here and should be kept on leash. Several interesting birds have nesting and breeding habitat in the wetland areas of this ESA, including the regionally rare white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), possibly the regionally- rare Blue-Winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus), the Veery (Catharus fuscescens, golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) and Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea).
5.40 - FERNS You are in the middle of a ostrich fern forest here, made possible by the close-to-surface groundwater slowly percolating through the soil from the woods on the north towards the River on the south. Note how rich and black this soil is , -how primeval the ferns make this area look! Ostrich ferns are perennials. Their fronds die back each winter only to reappear as "fiddleheads" each spring.
6.22 - LOOKOUT In 1997 the pine trees around you were only about 3 feet high. An excellent 360 degree view of the country side was afforded from this spot. To the north are the rising and rolling Albion Hills, to the east is the Humber Valley above which hawks and turkey vultures are often soaring, to the south are the rolling hills which gradually descend towards Bolton and the Peel Plain of Brampton. To the west are upland forests, more fields and the CPR freight line about 300 metres distance. This rail line is well hidden in the folds of the hills.
6.30 - GROUNDWATER SPRINGS Water springs from many points in the side of the nearby grassy slope to the west. This water arrived on the land as rain not far up the hill from here, thereby recharging the soil with groundwater. Here, active groundwater discharge naturally accumulates in small wetlands and stream tributaries and feeds the Humber River. Listen closely and you may hear the gurgle of water seeping out of the hillside! This natural recharge-discharge phenomena is just part of the greater water cycle which naturally produces clean water at no cost to society. Recharge-discharge occurs over every square inch of unpaved land of any watershed, but it is particularly well demonstrated here. Any alteration or disruption of the natural water cycle, such as urban development, usually ends up costing society money in perpetuity for artificial stormwater management. Altering the water cycle also inevitably degrades fish life and aquatic habitat unless that habitat can be "remediated" at considerable cost after the alteration. This is why as much as possible of the cost-free natural water cycle should be left unaltered in a natural state.
7.06 - GRASSED WATERWAY AND WALKWAY Here agricultural practice is being slightly restricted by introducing a permanent grassed walkway and waterway across this field to reduce soil erosion.
7.53 - YELLOW BIRCH, CHRISTMAS FERN AND HEMLOCK Young Yellow Birch, of which two stand on either side of the trail at this point, display a light orange or bronze coloured bark which is producing thin papery shreds. This birch bark is not easily peelable like White Birch bark. Frequently, when a Yellow Birch comes to end of its life span, it continues to stand for a long time, though decay is going on swiftly under the bark. Several grand old specimens can be seen through these woods in company with Hemlock. Low-lying Christmas Fern may be seen scattered here and there on the forest floor. Christmas Ferns retain their bright green foliage throughout the year and provide a welcome splash of colour in the early spring after the snow is gone when most everything else is still grey. Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) groves found here with Yellow Birch and Cedar provide an almost cathedral-like feel to their interior spaces- a unexpected spaciousness and dimly-lit interior created by the smooth green carpet of hemlock needles, sparse undergrowth and dense canopy. This experience has been termed the "baroque surprise".
7.70 - CORDUROY SURFACING The trail in this swampy area is being surfaced with logs, as the pioneers did, to provide more stable footing.
7.77 - DUFFY'S LANE ESA- SOUTH SIDE This bridge marks the south side of the Duffy's Lane Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). Hikers are reminded to keep on the trail, running from Castlederg Road on the south to Duffy's Lane on the north, in order to ensure that the high quality habitat and significant species remain undisturbed. Dogs are potentially very detrimental to species habitats here and should be kept on a leash. Several interesting birds have nesting and breeding habitat in the wetland areas of this ESA, including the regionally rare white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), possibly the regionally- rare Blue-Winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus), the Veery (Catharus fuscescens, golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) and Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea).
7.93 - CASTLEDERG ROAD AND HUMBER GLEN BRIDGE Here the trail crosses the Humber River. This location is about the half-way point in the trail from Palgrave to Bolton, and is a favourate location for hiker pick-ups and drop-offs. Many parents bring their children here for in-season fishing both up stream and down stream.
8.08 - FLOODPLAIN Here just south of the intersection of the Humber River and Castlederg Road, we are standing on floodplain. The Conservation Authority permits no alteration or filling in areas such as this throughout the valley. Only those structures that are absolutely necessary such as the nearby road bridge structure are allowed. Such bridges are very expensive because they must be built high enough to not obstruct the highest anticipated storm event. In March you may usually see piled along River edges massive foot-thick ice pans which break up with the beginning of warmer temperatures.
8.41 - SNAKE AND SPLIT CEDAR RAIL FENCES Here, closely parallelling the trail on the north side, is a snake rail fence. It is so named because it is built in a zig-zag or snaky fashion not requiring nails or dug-in posts. It is made of split cedar rails. Directly north about fifty feet is another cedar rail fence built in a relatively straight line with cedar posts sunk into the ground to give it support. This "split cedar rail fence" encloses an old constructed farm pond. The fence was to prevent free access of cattle to the water edge, thereby protecting the pond banks from unnecessary break down. Snake and split rail fences are usually cedar wood split from 10 foot cedar logs from the nearby forest. Farmers usually split their cedar logs, with wedges and axe tools, into four straight "rails". More than any other tree, the Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) was prized by pioneers and present users because of its outstanding resistance to decay. Its longevity of usefulness as a fence is testified by the remains of moss-covered snake rails lines still to be seen throughout the Valley. Since the Valley's purchase by the conservation authority over 20 years ago, no other fences, barriers and boundary markers have been necessary.
8.73 - IRONWOOD A huge specimen of Ironwood can be seen in the hedgerow north of the trail. Ironwood is about the toughest and hardest of our native woods. Pioneer farmers used Ironwood, also known as Hop- Hornbeam, in the absence of iron or steel, for sleigh runners, tool handles, wedges and other uses where a strong, tough material was needed. The Tree's scattered occurrence and small size prevented Ironwood from becoming important as a commercial species.
8.92 - DEN TREE AND WHITE PINE This old White Pine tree trunk has continued to provide shelter for animals such as squirrels and racoons, long after its own death. The decayed centres of trees like this, even before their death, begin to attract denning animals. These animals, needing a place to winter over and raise their young in safety, further hollow out the tree's insides into comfortable safe dens. To continue to encourage a wide variety of forest animals, these den trees should be allowed to stand as long as they naturally can. White Pine (Pinus stobus) produces the most valuable softwood lumber in eastern Canada. Because of its low shrinkage and uniform texture, it is used for patterns, window sashes and frames. This particular tree before you and several nearby, may be descendants of large stands of White Pine which grew up on Indian cultivated squash and corn fields in the 15th and 16th centuries after those field's nutrients where exhausted and abandoned.
9.10 - OAK RIDGES MORAINE SOUTHERN LIMIT This point marks the southern limit of the Oak Ridges Moraine, in so far as it is visible on the surface. The Oak Ridges Moraine is a prominent upland area, composed of glacier-deposited sand and gravel. The Moraine runs east to west through the centre of south central Ontario. In 1990, David Crombie's Royal Commission On The Future Of The Waterfront attached particular significance to the Moraine's role as the source of a great deal of the streamflow in the rivers feeding into the Toronto waterfront. Because the headwater springs along the edges of the Moraine originate from a vast underground reservoir of groundwater encased in the gravels of the Moraine's landforms, the streams there are cool and unpolluted. The Moraine performs several essential functions that make its protection and long term management paramount to the residents of Ontario. The Moraine supports SIGNIFICANT NATURAL HABITAT for an abundance of native plant and animal species and provides one of the few remaining refuges for many sensitive and threatened species in Southern Ontario. The Moraine includes SIGNIFICANT SURFACE WATER RESOURCES comprising the largest concentration of headwater streams (over twenty including the Humber headwaters) of any area within the Greater Toronto Area. The Moraine contains SIGNIFICANT GROUNDWATER RESOURCES which act as a huge recharge area that collects and stores precipitation in underground aquifer systems. These aquifers are essential to maintaining base flow in headwater streams. The Moraine is a SIGNIFICANT LANDFORM that provides a scenic backdrop to the urban areas within the Greater Toronto Area.
9.55 - FOREST CANOPY In their effort to reach the sun from this low valley spot, the leafy, largely sugar maple, trees here have grown tall and created a wonderful canopy over a large, open, almost cathedral-like room in the forest. Here sunlight filters through the leafy canopy to the mass of ostrich ferns on the rich, moist forest floor. This is truly one of those places of magic and beauty along the Humber.
9.94 - WILSON- STEWART RUINS Southward towards the River, are remnants of a large stone barn foundation. Almost three feet thick but now collapsed, these are the last remains of a barn and a nearby log house built by Henry Wilson in the 1830's. Wilson rented the home, barn and surrounding lands to Andrew Stewart in 1879. This farmstead was reached from the 5th Line Rd (Humber Station Rd to the west), by a ford across the Humber River. Andrew Stewart was a former stagecoach driver and hired hand since he had arrived in this area from Kilmacrenan, County Donegal, Ireland in 1865. He and his wife raised six children -George, Jim, Ernie, Bill, Rebecca and May. The children attended MacVille School on the Forth Line (The Gore Rd) from 1880 to 1911 when the buildings were abandoned. By then, Andrew had purchased the former "Bradley place" which is now the Robert J. Stewart (grandson of Ernie) farm nearby on Duffy's Lane.
10.80 - WETLAND This wetland is a tiny, perfect example of many such upland wet areas found in our forests. Perhaps some underlying layering of clay keeps the rain water from seeping in here as fast as in other areas. In any case, the retained water encourages and supports quite a different mix of more water-loving plants and animals -more silver maple than sugar maple, more leopard frogs than tree frogs- , a ecosystem different and unique as compared with the better drained surrounding forest.
10.91 - NATURAL GRASS AND GIANT PUFF BALLS Scattered throughout this pine plantation are natural grassy patches which are as thick and luxurious as any lawn and they need no maintenance. The grass started here, most likely because an older tree fell, thereby opening the forest canopy and allowing more light and warmth to the reach the forest floor. This grass, one of many natural grass species, is taking full advantage of its place in the warming sun and light, and it still has the benefit of the forest's moist soil condition which it needs to survive. Puff Balls (Calvatia gigantea) eight to twenty inches or more in diameter are commonly seen during the fall in this area and in other similar open woods, pastures and fields. Their surface is smooth, soft leathery, something like kid, white to yellowish or brownish. Early in the season the puffball interior is white, soft, fleshy. It then slowly becomes yellowish and finally becomes powdery. Owing to its size, the Giant Puff Ball is not likely to be confused with any other fungus. It is one of the safest fungi for the beginner fungi eater and is highly recommended for flavour. Any puff ball is edible if it is white and homogeneous inside. You don't need to use too much butter when slicing and frying. Enjoy!
11.30 - JEWEL-WEED Around this bridge (proudly built by Bolton's local cubs and scouts) perennially grows a stand of Spotted Jewel-Weed, Impatiens bifora. This lovely pendent flower blooms July-September in shady moist places. Its fragile, one-inch blossom, orange spotted with brown, hangs like a dainty earring from a slender stem, usually beneath a two to three inch, toothed leaf. When pressed, the succulent, two to four foot high plant yields liquid considered a healing lotion for poison ivy. It's other name, Touch-Me-Not, refers to the nearly ripe seed pod which, if even lightly touched, springs open and scatters its seeds.
11.49 - PINE PLANTATION You are surrounded here by Red Pine planted by the Conservation Authority in the early 1960's. In earlier decades this land had become barren through loss of top soil after farming had removed the original trees. Red Pine planting is a first step in a long successional process of establishing a more welcoming natural soil condition and a shadier and cooler seeding environment for other species. With top soil again forming, the attractive diversity of a more mature mixed forest will begin naturally to replace this pure red pine stand.
11.63 - ORIGINAL SURVEY BY CHEWETT Sometime in the summer of 1819, a King's survey party led by James Chewett passed this point. They would have been establishing the 6th Concession Line (now Duffy's Lane). These "Lines" ran absolutely straight and together with lot lines every 30 chains (1 chain equals 66 feet) or 1980 feet, formed a grid pattern for systematically subdividing the land for settlement. The Crown's Surveyor General named Chewett Deputy Surveyor of Albion Township on May 15, 1819 to survey all the lands in this area which had been ceded by the Mississauga Indians to the Crown on October 28, 1818. Chewett and his party of several helpers may well have been the first Europeans in this area. Chewett's survey notes record that much of these uplands were heavily forested in Birch, Basswood and Maple.
12.07 - GEORGE EVANS LANDS The surrounding lands down to the River were once owned by George Evans, one of the first pioneers to actually settle in this area. George Evans came to the Bolton area about 1835 and took up shoe-making. The George Tremaine map of Peel County of 1859 clearly shows his holdings. Evans had held a Major's rank with the Royal Irish Constabulary before he arrived. He resumed his military career for the Crown with the coming of the 1837 Rebellion. He became responsible for the local militia. Evans is said to have conducted rather harsh militia training on these lands during summers, causing some of the trainees to forage for food on neighbouring lands. Perhaps this was Evans' very intent with the training. Evans must have been regarded with extreme caution by his neighbours just down River in Bolton, such as mill owner George Bolton, who was sympathetic to the cause of the rebels. Evans later became successful in the hotel business. He was the owner of the grand Queen's Hotel which stood close to the north-west corner of King and Queen Streets in downtown Bolton until it burned in 1963. Here the valley slopes are visibly eroding. This is only partly natural. This erosion was greatly aggravated by past cattle grazing which destroyed most shrub and trees which would have held the top soil intact. Hawthorn shrubs are here. Hawthorns are a common sole survivor on cattle grazing lands because their thorns were unpalatable to the cattle.
12.50 - WHITE TAIL DEER White Tail Deer are common in this part of the Humber Valley, as their distinctive hoof marks attest. They are very reluctant to be seen but early-morning hikers may see them from a distance resting at the forest edges. One may be watching you right now. Hunting deer on these lands by any means is strictly prohibited by the Conservation Authority. Early summer is deer mating time. Bucks will occasionally fight for dominance and mates. Nearby farmer and resident R.J. Stewart, in July 1996, came across a 25 foot circle in his young bean field which was beaten down by the fury of buck fight. There, R.J. found a five-point antler which had broken off one of the fighting bucks.
12.84 - MEANDERS, OX-BOWS AND GHOSTS From this high vantage point, we can imagine the ghosts of aboriginals scanning the valley for deer in the early morning. Here we can relax and pause to enjoy the southward view, witness the winding nature of the Humber River as it flows downstream. We can contemplate how those original inhabitants lived and what their thoughts may have been while standing at this very spot. The channel of the River will, over time, slowly shift or meander from one side of the valley to the other and back, following the path of least resistance. More dramatic channel changes may come with large storms. Where the river abandons part of its channel for a new route, bow-shaped lakes or dry flat areas are left which are called "ox-bows".
13.04 - THE RIDGE Here , the trail takes advantage of a narrow, climbing ridge of land left behind between the eroding action, over hundreds of years, of the Humber River on the south and its tributary on the north. Note, on the south face of this ridge, the dominance of mature leafy (deciduous) trees - as contrasted to the dominance of the Cedar (coniferous) trees on the north facing slope. The greater availability of sun on the south slope clearly encourages heat-loving deciduous trees. The south side of this ridge is covered with wild leeks. They are especially evident in the spring.. Remember, no digging and removing! We seldom see moles themselves because they spend most of their lives burrowing underground feeding on earthworms and invertebrates. Often mole signs are evident on or near the trail. Like any excavator, a mole must do something with the earth it displaces, and it pushes it up through holes and leaves it in little piles on the surface . Fresh piles of earth, eight or ten cm high and fifteen cm or more in diameter are sure signs of moles. In hardwood forests, such as here, it is likely to be the hairy-tailed mole. Black mucky soil near water will indicate the star-nosed mole. There are several fine examples nearby of Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), largest of the genus Prunus in Canada, reaching 60 to 70 feet or higher. With age the bark breaks into squarish scales that curve outwards at their vertical edges. This beautiful smooth-grained wood was highly prized for furniture and cabinetry, second only to Black Walnut. It is now in very short supply. Less than a hundred years ago, whole fleets of city streetcars were panelled in the superb Black Cherry. American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is identifiable by the gleam of its wonderdrously smooth silvery bark, not furrowed even by extreme old age. Its very smoothness have often invited amateur initial carvers- please try to resist this temptation! Early settlers often used dried Beech leaves as filling material for mattresses, because the leaves gave that certain springy comfort which was lacking with the universal material- straw. Sugar Maple, the most common hardwood throughout the valley is one of the most valuable commercial hardwoods in Canada. Some specimens near the trail, because of their advanced age, would perhaps be bypassed by lumber hunters because of the higher incidence of "decadence" or rot found in the interior of older trees. Nevertheless, age has definitely made these trees into a distinguished examples of their species. Sugar Maple sap is the source of commercial maple sugar and syrup. The sap of these old trees would no doubt have a flavour as equally distinguished as its grand appearance.
13.28 - EARTH DAM You are standing on the remains of an earthen dam which collected waters for farm-related purposes from an unnamed Humber tributary draining an area between Regional Road 50 on the east and a prominent ridge on the west. Had early plans for a large Humber River Dam been carried out in the 1960's just downstream from here, you would have been standing several feet under water at this point. Flood control was the main mandate of the conservation authority then, so soon after the devastating Hurricane Hazel. Large dams were thought to be one of the principle means of addressing this potential problem in the future. About three thousand acres of land were purchased in order to construct the dam and allow for the resulting lake between Bolton and Palgrave, now known as the Bolton Resource Management Tract. The forest cover was cleared upstream of what would have been the dam. Several homes in the valley were also bought and either moved or demolished by the conservation authority. However, as time passed, other means of flood control were decided upon. This magnificent tract of land remaining in public hands is therefore a direct legacy of Hurricane Hazel.
13.32 - VALLEY WALL SLUMPING From this bridge, the stream banks can be seen slumping into the water.This natural slumping is caused by a combination of the ongoing action of the river undercutting the valley bank, groundwater seepage and wind erosion on exposed surfaces. Some fields can experience as much as one foot per year cut-back on average from river erosion and slumping. This is why proposed structures anywhere near rivers must observe valley setbacks which attempt to account for this inevitable natural occurrence. Cross-sections of ages-old layering of river sediment becomes visible with slumping. Sometimes in the lower Valley, ancient cedar logs become exposed which were buried long ago after being undercut by the River.
14.15 - TOWN OF CALEDON WORKS YARD ENTRANCE Using the traffic lights at the Regional Road 50 - Columbia Way intersection, the Humber Valley Heritage Trail is accessed through the Caledon Works Yard on the west side of Hwy #50. Hiking straight west inside the Works Yard southern boundary to the "lip of the Valley", you are quickly introduced to some of Caledon's famous woodland vistas towards the north and west.
14.55 - CALEDON CENTRE FOR FOR RECREATION AND WELLNESS PARKING LOT Free parking is available here.
THE FOLLOWING POINTS OF INTEREST CAN BE SEEN AS YOU WALK THE TRAIL EAST FROM THE GLASGOW ROAD TRAIL HEAD THROUGH DOWN TOWN BOLTON TO THE CALEDON KING TOWN LINE
Updated and revised by G. Gorman January 2015
GLASGOW ROAD TRAIL HEAD During the early 1900's a dam and mill were built at this location to produce felt for blankets. Remaining small sections of building foundations are slowly disappearing under this reforested area, but broken pieces of old red brick occasionally come to the surface. In 2003 the Humber Valley Trail Association built a pedestrian bridge across the Humber River at this location, incorporating parts of earthen dam structure at each end. This extended the trail from its original 1996 Trail Head at the Caledon Works Yard entrance into downtown Bolton. The kiosk at the Glasgow Trail Head illustrates the history of the Glasgow area.
DICK'S DAM PARK At this location in the 1870's, a structure was built to retain and divert water to power Dick's Agricultural Works downstream on the north side of Humber River , a couple of hundred feet west of the Queen St. (Hwy #50) bridge. The boards of Dick's Dam were installed each summer by the Village of Bolton until the 1970's for supervised recreational swimming. The River, at this location in Dick's Dam Park still offers a refreshing opportunity for wading on a summer's day.
BOLTON AGRICULTURAL WORKS In 1869, William Dick established the Bolton Agricultural Works (foundry) on the west side of the Hwy #50 bridge on the the north bank of the Humber River (about where the Rivers Edge Condominium sits). The bronze plaque on massive stone cairn a few steps to the east of the Rivers Edge building commemorates his historic foundry.
HUMBER RIVER HERITAGE PARK The attractive sheltered pavilion, located adjacent to the Queen Street bridge in downtown Bolton, depicts a comprehensive history of early Bolton in a series of unique maps and photographs.
TRAIL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE HUMBER RIVER EAST OF QUEEN STREET
TRAIL TO FOUNDERS PARK ON THE SOUTH SIDE BERM In 1822 George Bolton bought a 200 acre parcel of land from James Chewitt, the original Crown Surveyor, and established the village of Bolton by building the first grist mill and dam on this site. Mill Street was built to serve this mill and is the oldest street in Bolton. The large bronze plaque here expands on this history. Further along on King Street East, the McFall Lookout Park has a series of small tablets illustrating the evolving history of this river oriented location.
TRAIL THROUGH BOLTON MILL PARK ON THE NORTH SIDE In 1845 George Bolton's nephew James relocated the dam and mill downstream from the original site. It is marked by a large bronze plaque overlooking the remnants of this dam. Over the years ownership of the milling operation changed a number of times. In 1860 it was sold to John Guardhouse. Around 1876 he built a large Gothic style brick home on King Street East, which is visible across from the dam. In 1881 the mill operation and the house were sold to Andrew McFall. The mill was demolished in 1968 when Humberlea Road was built and constructions of homes began on Bolton's "North Hill".
SNEATH BRIDGE TRAIL HEAD Located on the east side of Bolton near the Caledon King Town Line, this heritage designated bridge over the Humber River was built in 1914 and refurbished for a pedestrian use in 2012. It marks the junction of 2 trails. The original HVH Trail along the Humber River links up here with the newer loop trail through the old Bolton Camp property to the north. The road was named for local Ontario Land Surveyor James Sneath, who purchased the property on the south west corner of Sneath Rd. and King Street East in the 1950s. An illustrated history of the area can be found on this website.
BOLTON CAMP LOOP TRAIL (4 km) After climbing the graveled old Bolton Camp service road on the north side of King Street East and passing the now inactive water treatment ponds, the trail follows the original Albion 8th Concession Line survey for a short distance. The crown survey of what was then named Albion Township began in 1819, and established the framework for the local land sales by the crown. Evidence of pioneer road building efforts is clearly visible along this stretch of rustic trail. The trail then begins to twist and turn through a sloping, heavily wooded area, passing though a delightful ecosystem that has not been disturbed by human activity for a very long time. At Kingsiew Drive the trail connects with a paved municipal path which continues west between the residential subdivisions on the north side of Columbia Creek until it reaches Columbia Way. The Trail Head to the main Humber Valley trail at the Town of Caledon Works Yard, and the parking lot at the Caledon Centre for Wellness and Recreation on Regional Road 50, is a short walk west from this point.
WORK TO EXTEND THE HUMBER VALLEY HERITAGE TRAIL INTO KLEINBURG IS ONGOING.