Essa Township is home to a variety of trails within its boundaries, and continues to work towards providing connectivity to its residents.  

For those interested, the County of Simcoe Trails Guide provides you with information and maps depicting trails in the County of Simcoe.

Essa Trails

The following trails are maintained by the Township of Essa:

The Pine River Trail is a 1.5 km trail that meanders through the Nottawasaga Fishing Park and LeClair Park.  Enjoy the picturesque Nottawasaga River while hiking this trail.

This trail can be accessed by visiting one of the following two locations:

The Rippon Trail is a 1 km trail that connects Peacekeepers Park at the north end of Mill Street to the Nottawasaga Fishing Park, and the Pine River Trail.

The Thornton Cookstown Trans-Canada trail is a 15.6 km shared use trail (walking, cycling, cross country skiing, snowmobiling) between the villages of Thornton and Cookstown. This trail is a part of nearly 24,000 km of trail that goes through 13 provinces and territories.  It travels through green pasture land and forest, and crosses the Cookstown Creek.

In Essa, the entrance to this trail is located at the corner of Robert Street and William Street in Thornton.

Simcoe County Trails

The County of Simcoe provides nature and hiking enthusiasts with a plethora of trails scattered throughout Simcoe County forests.

The following Simcoe County Forest Trails are located in the  Township of Essa, but are maintained by the County of Simcoe:

  • Baxter Tract of Simcoe County Forest
  • Foster Tract of Simcoe County Forest

For information on these tracts, please contact the County of Simcoe at 705-726-9300.

Conservation Area Trails

The following trails are located in Essa but are maintained by local conservation authorities:

The Utopia Conservation Trails encompass  an area of 100 acres which is used as passive green space.  The conservation area is open to the public for passive recreation, and features the historic Utopia Grist Mill.

Established in May 1960, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) is a public agency dedicated to the preservation of a healthy environment providing the expertise to help protect our water and land.

Utopia Conservation Area

The Tiffin Centre is a spectacular place for a walk or to bring your gear and bike, cross-country ski or snowshoe on 5 km of looped trails that meander through a mixture of wetlands, forests, open meadows and ancient lake beds.  It is home to the Tiffin Centre Loop Trail which is situated in the Township of Essa.

Tiffin Centre for Conservation

Other Trails

The Mad River section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail encompasses a 50.5 km section of trail that runs more or less west through Angus and Glencairn. The trail follows the Mad River in the direction of Creemore and Glen Huron, where the Ganaraska Trail meets the Bruce Trail. 

This trail is maintained by the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association.  For more information this trail, please contact the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guidebook

Trail Etiquette

  • Please stay on the designated trails
  • Be courteous to all trail users
  • Please keep pets on a leash & be sure to pick up after your pet 
  • Do not litter 
  • No motorized vehicles

Trail use involves an element of risk.  The Township of Essa assumes no liability in the case of injury.  We caution all users to exercise caution when using our trails.

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