Trout Hollow River Fall Colours_Robert Burcher-min

Trout Hollow Trail

 The trail is a walking trail, through mostly private property, along both sides of the Bighead River. Parts of the trail are an easy walk (green) while other areas
become difficult (red) due to stream crossings and clay banks which have to be negotiated. The trail generally follows the river, passing through cedar groves and old hardwoods, at times climbing out of the river valley to pass through meadows and grain fields, giving the hiker some spectacular views of the countryside. The Bighead River is one of the best trout fishing streams in Ontario and in season, you will encounter many fishing enthusiasts along the trail. You will also find patches of poison ivy, so be prepared and please stay on the trail.

The Trail is named for the industrious Trout family who built a sawmill in “Trout Hollow” in the 1850’s. The present trail was opened in 2002, however as long as people have been near the river, there have probably been paths to and from it.


Historical Areas Of Interest

  The trail goes through the site of the Trout sawmill where evidence of the old stone foundation and an earthen dam can be seen. This picture of the mill cabin was sketched by John Muir, the noted U.S. naturalist who worked with the Trouts at the mill for a couple of years in the 1860’s. After about 10 years in operation, the mill was destroyed by a fire in 1866. Somewhere nearby, the Pleasant Valley grist mill was later built, harnessing the water power from the river.

  The trail passes by the ruins of a hydro generating system, owned and operated by the Georgian Bay Milling and Power Cormpany from 1904 until the late 1920’s. During that time, it supplied electric power to the town of Meaford. GBMP was owned by the Moore family who also operated a grist mill where you can see the ruins today at the Bakeshop bridge. The ruins of the powerhouse, the settling basin and the Moore Dam are all evidence of this old enterprise.