Saturday, February 24, 2024

Local Historian to Lead a Historical Trail Hike at The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy’s Grand Opening Ceremonies For the Trout Hollow Trail

On September 18, the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy Inc. (EBC) is organizing a grand opening to celebrate the acquisition of their latest nature reserve, the Trout Hollow Trail in Meaford, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with free guided nature hikes, refreshments, and local speakers. The Trout Hollow Trail was generously donated to EBC by the Knight Family of Meaford to preserve its unique cultural, ecological, and historical significance into perpetuity for the citizens of Meaford and beyond.

From 12:30 until 2 p.m., Robert Burcher, local historian and expert on John Muir, the young very determined botanist who lived in Trout Hollow from 1864 to 1866, will be leading a trail hike on the History of Trout Hollow. Robert is the author of a book on John Muir, My Summer Of Glorious Freedom,and is keen to share the significance of John Muir, both in Canada and as the founder of the Sierra Club in the United States.

Burcher stated some little known facts about John Muir in Meaford. “For over 100 years an overgrown abandoned sawmill site at the edge of Meaford, Ontario, contained an unknown secret. This had been the home for two years in the 1800s of John Muir, the famous American environmentalist, National Park creator, and founder of the Sierra Club.”

In the 1990s a group of local citizens came together to honour that unknown fact. Called The Canadian Friends of John Muir they worked hard with the landowner to preserve the site. With the rise of environmentalism world-wide, the valley has become a pilgrimage site for those who revere the name John Muir.

The history hike into Trout Hollow during the event is a ramble of less than five km into the steep and beautiful valley of the Big Head River. Although it is on the edge of Meaford, the quietness and lack of any modern civilized intrusions is a great delight. During the hike, I will not only talk about John Muir but will also interpret the remains of the first electrical power development for Meaford and show the scant remnants of a grist mill that existed after the time of Muir.” Burcher adds, “Wear sturdy shoes; bring hiking poles, water, and snacks.”

More details of the event can be found here: 

Owen Sound Field Naturalists » Blog Archive Tout Hollow Nature Reserve Grand Opening

While all events are FREE, tickets for the hikes must be reserved in advance:

Trout Hollow Opening Event (

For more information on EBC’s local nature reserves in Grey County see:

Grey County and Owen Sound — Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy



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