Upper Credit Conservation Area

Our inaugural Take a Hike features grassland, rock elms and an ancient pine tree on part of the Credit Valley Trail.

March 29, 2022 | | Take a Hike

This nugget of a hike features an enormous ancient white pine, rare rock elms and an unusual sedge. Follow the Credit River, cross curious corduroy terrain, and marvel in a meadow teeming with butterflies and iridescent damselflies.

Where: Credit Valley Trail (CVT)
When complete, the 100km-long CVT will follow the river valley from its source to Lake Ontario.

Parking: 20073 Porterfield Road, Caledon

Difficulty: An easy 3.5km, 1+ hour hike with the following options.

  • Credit Valley Trail (1.1km)
  • Safari Grassland Trail (1.7km)
  • Bobolink Trail (0.2km)


White pine: The white pine (Pinus strobus) is Ontario’s provincial tree. This ancient beauty with a circumference of 3.6m was likely planted by settlers Mary and Charles Sullivan.

Grassland: The Safari Grassland Trail, named after a neighbouring family, marks the perimeter of restored grassland – home to birds such as the bobolink and Eastern meadowlark.

Credit River: The source of the 90km-long Credit River lies north of Orangeville. The Credit empties into Lake Ontario at Port Credit, originally an Ojibwe settlement at the foot of Hurontario Street in Mississauga.

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  • Corduroy Trail: The corduroy nature of this section of trail is evidence of an old railway – in this case, The Toronto, Grey & Bruce. It once met up with the Credit Valley Railway in nearby Melville.

    Rock elm: Somewhat resistant to Dutch elm disease, rock elms are uncommon. They grow in shallow soil over limestone and have corky growths on their twigs.

    Sprengel’s sedge: This grass-like sedge (Carex sprengelii) is the predominant groundcover in the rock elm woodlot.

    Click map for larger image.

    About the Author More by Nicola Ross

    Freelance writer Nicola Ross lives in Alton and is the author of the bestselling 'Loops and Lattes' hiking guide series.

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