Petun to pioneers – Nottawasaga Township

I hiked to the Petun Conservation Area up the Escarpment in the Pretty River Valley. I did a 10 km and was pretty sore and tired by the end of it. But that’s what Vikings do – they wait for perfect conditions and then push themselves to the top – this time the top being the Petun Conservation Area, which looks out over the spectacular view of Clearview Township. Clearview was established on January 1, 1994, when the Townships of Nottawasaga and Sunnidale were amalgamated and it is stunning from up here. Soon after the survey of the Township of Nottawasaga by Thomas Kelly, in 1832, and Chas. Rankin in 1833, a few settlers began to arrive from Scotland, Ireland and Germany for free 5 acre lots granted in exchange for clearing for the Government. They were paid in provisions, which at first they had to carry from Barrie on their backs. Imagine carrying their supplies on small trails through the swamp and wild forest for 50 km one way!! Looking out from this point, I can visualize how far it actually is! Peter Currie came with the first influx of Islay settlers in the fall of 1834, but did not live long to see the growth of the settlement, having been killed by a falling tree in March, 1835, north of Duntroon. His death was the first that took place in the new settlement. Next time you go to Currie’s market on 6th street, mention that you heard this story about their ancestor from the Viking!! signing off, “Hiking with the Viking”

Published by Annette Sandberg

I grew up on the Niagara Escarpment in Grey County and this ancient land was, and still is, my backyard playground. I am a Certified Hike Leader with Hike Ontario and I lead hikes for various Ontario Trail Clubs, Sightseeing Tour Agencies and individual groups of family & friends who want to experience nature safely and informatively with an experienced Guide.

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