Michael Tucker Trail
Location: 7th Concession Uxbridge, Ontario – Just south of Reg. Rd #21.
GPS coordinates: Longitude 0653095, latitude 4878047
Map Search: Walker Woods, East Duffins Headwaters Area
Watershed: Part of the East Duffins Headwaters which is managed by
the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Hike type: Multi-use trail for hikers (approximately 1-1.5 hours), cyclist,
horseback riders and skiers.
Rating: Easy – a gently rolling trail, some sections are quite sandy.
Permitted Activities: Passive activities including hiking, leashed-dog walking, cycling,
horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing,
bird watching and wildlife viewing are the only activities
permitted on the designated trails within the property. All other
activities constitute a trespass.
Parking: Yes (20 spaces)
Features of the Walk
Starting in the 1930’s, small plots of land here were gradually bought by a young lawyer, Jim Walker from Toronto. Over his lifetime he planted over 2 million trees including Scots and Red pine and a wide variety of hardwood trees including oak, maple, beech, ash, cherry and black walnut. He was a true visionary, often developing techniques of planting and forest management well advanced of those of the Department of Lands and Forests as the Ministry of Natural Resources was then known. He began to operate it as profitable private forest and he had multiple ventures including Christmas trees, hardwood boards, pulp wood, cord wood from the pine plantation thinnings (turned into pressure treated lumber for landscaping) and firewood.
Many of the wider trails such as the ones on the Michael Tucker Trail are the remnants of the roads used by the logging crews. You may come across large open areas which were where the logs were stacked.
Although not evident when on this trail, this is a very important location when it comes to water as it is located on the Oak Ridges Moraine and standing on the dividing line between watersheds which drain south into western Lake Ontario and those which drain north into Lake Simcoe.
This is a great trail for families – for most of the gently rolling trail you can walk side by side and talk. The route travels through several distinct forest areas which are lovely in every season: in the summer it is deeply shaded most of the way, in the fall the leaves overhead are glorious, in the winter it is an easy ski or snowshoe trail, and in the early spring wildflowers such as trout lilies and trilliums are abundant.
The walk takes about an hour at a brisk walk, 1 ½ to 2 hours at a meandering pace, and there are several opportunities to shorten the walk. There are a couple of benches and seats hidden in the forest where children enjoy sitting. There is no bathroom at this site, so arrive ready to walk. The town of Uxbridge is just a 5 minute drive to the north on Concession 7.
Park on the west side of the 7th concession, about 2.2 km south of Reg. Rd. #21 in the parking lot across the road from the large communications tower.
Step over the entrance and face the trail kiosk to look at the map, you will also see post W4. Walk west, keeping the fence on your right. On your left as you walk you will see a red pine plantation which has been thinned and is beginning to regenerate with white pine. On your right you will see a series of large white pines. Continue west on this trail, keep walking past post W3.
You will come to Post W2 and this is where you turn left. Walking south along this trail, notice how sandy it is. The enormous trees which once grew here were logged for ship masts in the 1800s and by the end of that century these lands were mostly barren and dry, had abandoned farms and were often covered by creeping blowsands.
At post W10 take the left fork, then at the next fork turn right briefly onto the TransCanada Trail. Almost immediately after that, take the next left and enter the hardwood stand of trees. In the early spring enjoy the trout lilies and later the lush ferns which grow in abundance here.
Follow this trail to W12 and take a rest on the 3 stools. Continue east, choosing the trail which passes to the right of the stools. A smaller single cycling track trail leads to the left, a more major trail leads to the right, you want the one which leads straight ahead in the direction you were walking.
Continue east past W13, taking the trail which leads to the right. Just ahead you can see one of the clearings where Mr. Walker’s forest operation stacked the logs; walk through this open are and continue on the trail. You are in the home stretch now!
Follow the trail as it winds up the hill to post W6, take the trail leading to the right and continue along this winding section east to Post W5 (you will be at the road here). Then turn left and follow the fence line back to the parking lot and your vehicle.