Thornton Bales Conservation Area
Thornton Bales Conservation Area is famous for its steep slopes and rugged beauty. This Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, and has an elevation that drops 54 metres from its southwest corner to its northern boundary.
Nicknamed "The 99 Steps", this conservation area is best suited to people who are in good physical condition and enjoy a challenge. Water bottles and comfortable footwear are strongly recommended for hikers targeting these woodland trails. Among the wildlife that can be found in this ravine-like setting are pileated woodpeckers and white tailed deer.
The Koffler-Bales side trail provides access from Thornton Bales Conservation Area to the University of Toronto’s Koffler Scientific Reserve at Joker’s Hill.
Fun fact: The change in vertical elevation from the top of the 99 steps to the bottom is a larger change in elevation than the drop over Niagara Falls!