Hiking Trails

Note on Grand River Flood Conditions – Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Last week, there was significant flooding along the length of the Grand River due to a combination of snow melt, rainy weather, and ice jams.

At one point at the peak of the flood waters, the majority of the Riverside Trail was underwater and the Butterfly Meadow Trail was very wet near the river bank.

The floodwaters have receded significantly, and staff are in the process of assessing conditions and clean-up needs before the public can safely access the trail again. Therefore, at this time, we have closed the Riverside Trail. Please do not attempt to walk this trail if you visit in the coming days or go near the water. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Staff recommend that you monitor the Grand River Conservation Authority’s Flood Messages Page in the coming weeks as flooding may reoccur while spring approaches.

5 walking trails make discovering nature at Ruthven Park National Historic Site fun and easily accessible. Each trail offers a unique opportunity to view the scenery and get an insight of the flora and fauna found on the property. And situated in a rural landscape, the trails provide a getaway from the noise and crowds of city life. 

The trails are easy terrain, and each identified with a sign describing the path and the length.  

The Riverside Trail (1.4 km) begins and ends in the picturesque landscape, a feature of the history of the site. View the river from various lookouts and get a glimpse of the Greek Revival mansion, a focal point on the site. The trail ends at the Thompson family cemetery but also leads to the Fox Den Trail.

The Fox Den Trail (0.5 km) takes you closer to the river and at one point has a small beach area where you will have a good view of Slink Island (part of the Ruthven estate).

The Carolinian Woodland Trail (1.51 km) takes you through the forest and along a fresh water stream which flows to the Grand River. In season you will see a variety of native wildflowers in full bloom or the calls of songbirds as you stroll through the trail. On a year-round basis, discover the diversity of trees and woodland plants, and just relax and enjoy nature.

The Butterfly Trail (0.22 km) takes you through the meadow filled with native plants which attract birds and butterflies.

A flat trail called the Indiana Trail (0.42 km) is good for an easy walk and can be accessed by wheelchairs. 

There is free parking available as well as accessible public washrooms. Bring a picnic to fuel up before or after your hike; we have several picnic tables and spots for you to choose from.

Access to the trails and grounds is by pay-what-you-can donation. Donations help support the on-going study, maintenance, and preservation of the site. Donation boxes can be found at the entrance gate, by the public washroom building, and in the Gate House office.

The trails are open during office hours. Visiting outside of these hours when the site is not staffed is considered trespassing.


Current Hours (effective until May 19/18)

The Gate House Office: Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm

The Grounds: Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm

The Mansion: tours by appointment only fo 6 or more people


Contact Us:
Phone: (905) 772-0560 
Toll-free: (877) 705-7275

Mailing Address: 
243 Haldimand Hwy. #54,
Box 610
Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0