Since moving to Muskoka, I had been hearing about this place called Torrance Barrens Trails and Dark Sky Reserve. I knew it was a great place to go for night viewing of stars, meteor showers, etc, but had no idea that there were hiking trails there as well.


My dear friend Nicole came to visit me in Port Carling. I was so happy she was here with me and we decided to go for a hike. I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been, so I checked out some places online in preparation.

img_9669 img_9671

I found the above information and after a quick discussion, we decided this would be a great place to explore.

img_9678 img_9680

We dressed nice and warm as it was very cold out and hoped to get some pretty fall color views.

img_9683 img_9686

Fall peak had hit our area last weekend but the leaves were hanging on and I hoped there would still be enough color to get some good photos.

img_9687 img_9689

We started on our hike as a bit of rain fell.  The sky was dark and dreary but it didn’t dampen our spirits.

img_9695 img_9696


This trail is taken care of by Muskoka Lakes Trail Association, an organization I have come to love since moving up north.

img_9699 img_9702

It was possible to camp here and we saw a few spots that might’ve looked like they’d make a good site.  I was enjoying exploring here so far and couldn’t wait to see the rest of the trails!

img_9707 img_9711

img_9719 img_9721

The fall colors were all around us and I was so happy to be out hiking in them!

img_9725 img_9733

img_9736 img_9737

There were vibrant colors all around, lots of interesting plants and mushrooms!

img_9738 img_9739

I have recently started researching mushrooms and was enjoying all the different varieties I was finding here.

img_9741 img_9743


My eyes felt drunk from all the beauty they were seeing. It was truly gorgeous here today!

img_9752 img_9755


Along with cool plaques that filled us with knowledge, the trails also had a lot of bridge and boardwalks, my favorite!

img_9757 img_9758

We continued on the trail, excited to see what else would be in store for us.

img_9767 img_9776

As per the description we found online, we discovered lots of cairns (inukshuks) on the routes, pointing us in the right direction.

img_9778 img_9779


And also continued discovering many cool varieties of mushrooms.

img_9780 img_9783

We came across many small waterfalls on the way, although I’m not sure if many of them are here all year round, as some were very tiny, but still very pretty.

img_9783 img_9784


There was a lot of water on the trail we were on and I was glad I was wearing my Keens as they kept my feet nice and dry!

img_9791 img_9804

We came across this neat sign and thought it’d make a great pic.

img_9806 img_9807

We again, came across a lot of water that I don’t think is always here, but it looked really nice with the colors reflecting in it.

img_9808 img_9811

This bridge was one of my favorites as it has a few inadequacies in it. I thought it was cool that it wasn’t totally perfect. Not everything in nature is.



We had to be careful not to step through the boards. I walked along where the nails were put in,  as I knew underneath was the crossboard that would keep me from falling through. It added a bit more adventure to the hike!

img_9822 img_9824

We found another boardwalk a bit further along. Some went over water, some went over mushy ground and some seemed to go over nothing at all.


Then we discovered that the trail we had been on was temporarily closed. We had no idea. We must’ve gotten on it in a round about way where there was no sign, but we found it on the way out. I apologize for using a closed trail, I honestly didn’t know, but it was pretty and I’m glad I got to see it accidentally.

img_9827 img_9829

We arrived at a neat area full of inukshuks.  I added my own version! Thanks to Nicole for taking the shot!


Which way to go????

img_9831 img_9833

We were hiking for about 2 hours now and were still a bit chilly and hungry, so we decided to take the trail to the parking lot.

img_9835 img_9838


We had more amazingly pretty views on the way. Then we came up to an area that was under water.  We did our best to navigate our way through, without getting wet feet.

img_9842 img_9844

img_9846 img_9847

We continued on and found a tiny waterfall.  It was so pretty and sounded so calming. I just love the sound of water and it made my day to see this cute little waterfall!


Soon afterwards, we could see the parking lot and the car.


We piled our backpacks into the back, then  drove back down the lovely fall colored road and out towards the town of Torrance.


And as I’d heard they were closing at the end of October, and we were all pretty hungry, we stopped at Pie for our own delicious pizzas!

img_9865 img_9866 img_9868

What a treat!

Thanks for hiking along with us at Torrance Barrens! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful fall colors as much as we did! Thanks to Nicole for coming along even though I know you were freezing! Hope the pretty colors and yummy pizza made up for it!

If you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I am able to!

Happy Hiking!

Camper Christina