Grants Woods - Orillia

Scout Valley  ◘ Geo. Langman Wildlife Sanctuary  ◘ Grant's Woods

wooded area with large outcropping of orange mushrooms shaped like little umbrellas, Grants Woods Orillia
Grants woods is a natural wooded area located just on the outskirts of Orillia, along Division Road West (between Fairgrounds Road and Uthoff Line. The trail is purported to be 1.9km in length, however there are a few smaller trails branching off the main trail so if you tend to wander through the woods you may find it takes you longer than you'd expect. You will need to have care when using any footpath that is off the main trail - some areas within the woods are marshy.

When you arrive at Grants Woods (see bottom of page for a map) you'll find a gravel parking lot behind the main "house" - this property once was a private home, and now is used by the Couchiching Conservancy. I don't believe there has been anyone in the office area at any time when we've been at the property, though.

To the west of the main parking area (located at the edge) is a large gazebo with benches where you can rest. If you happen to bring a bagged lunch, please do not leave a mess and take your wrappings with you when you leave. Because this area is mostly natural, leftovers will bring the forest animals out. And nobody likes litter, particularly not in an area such as this. The gazebo is also situated close to the edge of the woods and a trail entrance, and along thea young bluejay with a peanut at the edge of Grants Woods, Orillia edge of the small grassy lawn are bird feeders. If you bring along your camera and sit quietly in the gazebo you'll be able to photograph a number of bird species at these feeders.

Also note - walking in the woods requires proper protection: long pants are better than shorts; long sleeves better than tank tops. Wear proper footgear (sandals are NOT a good idea), use bug repellent, and a walking stick (not a necessity, but very useful). A small backpack carrying a mini-first aid kit (bandages, saline, wipes); a bottle of water and a cell phone are a good idea, even in areas relatively close (like this one) to populated areas. I will mention the last time we headed into the woods there were notices posted at the edge of the trails (that would be late last summer - 2010) to be vigilant while in the forest due to the possibility of bears.

While we thankfully didn't see a bear, we did see a rusted old hulk (an old Ford Fargo truck) as we were fairly close to exiting the woods.

If you are looking for an interesting place to hike, close to Orillia, then you might want to try this one (oh - and there's no admission fee, but donations are welcome).  Check the balance of the page for the some of the sights you may com across while visiting Grants Woods.

bluejay at bird feeding station in Grants Woods, Orillia

young blujay with an undeveloped head crest, Grants Woods Orillia
a female Hairy Woodpecker at a feeding station in Grants Woods, Orillia

female hairy woodpecker at birdfeeder

mail hairy woodpecker, Orillia

just some of the many areas showing a variety of fungus and mosses at Grants Woods

fallen log covered by fungus, Grants Woods

some sort of wild lily plant having gone to seed showing pink and mauve berries

mushroom cap with frilled underside and tall stem in a shady nook of tree roots, Grants Woods

an old Rusty Ford Fargo 100 farm type truck, front view - Grants Woods

Two tiny mushrooms - white stems and flat red caps, Grants Woods

hundreds of small shelf style fungus along the length of a fallen tree, Grants words

rather odd tree markings remind me of some sort of hieroglyphs, Grants Woods, Orillia

Any of you interested in hiking trails in and around Orillia (or in fact all of Ontario) may find the Ontario Trails Website of help.