Thursday, July 25, 2024

Exploring the Boyd Crevices

T.S. Giilck

0209crevices270The Boyd Crevices Side Trail on the outskirts of Meaford tell a tale of compelling and dangerous beauty.

The trail, located in close proximity to the KOA Campground on Side Road 10 just east of Owen Sound, was created over the last three years but has garnered little public attention for the most part.

The trail leads through a labyrinth of crevices and mini-canyons along the iconic Bruce Trail, with towering, claustrophobia-inducting sheer walls and a plethora of interesting caves and fissures.

It’s one of the most spectacularly gorgeous sites to see these kinds of crevices, which are fairly common along the Niagara Escarpment, and it is accessible in every season. The winter, of course, would be a challenging time to visit.

That seductive beauty, though, should be tempered with caution, and hikers need to resist the urge to wander off the marked trail, according to Ron Savage, the director of trails for the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club.

“There is a reason we place the trails where we do,” he said via email. “Our first priority is the safety of the hiker, the second is the trail leads or travels through somewhere interesting. Many crevices on the Boyd property and elsewhere are dangerous with unstable rock on the walls above or steep drop-offs on the floor. These are places we don’t create trails or encourage hikers to explore. They simply could get hurt or worse. To encourage otherwise is foolish.”

With that blunt warning in mind, it’s a short walk of less than 20 minutes to reach the crevices. That path leads through an evergreen forest and adjacent wetland area before it begins an easy climb to the outcropping of the escarpment where the crevices are located.

The crevices are created over agonizing years by the freeze-thaw cycle of the seasons.

“This labyrinth of crevices, cut deep into the Escarpment rock, is a delight to explore,” according to the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club’s website. “They are the result of ‘cambering’, when small cracks in the rock deepen over time, and gradually large blocks pull away from the cliff face. They form roughly cubic shapes, due to the crystal makeup of the rock.”

As Savage mentioned, the trail leads directly through some of the safer crevices.

“I marked out and along with my volunteers built all of the trails through the property the Bruce Trail Conservancy purchased from Jim Boyd,” he said. “There are some really neat crevices that we took the trail through.”

It’s a pleasant way to while away a couple of hours in any season, but late spring and early fall are likely your best options.

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