For some reason I thought that the Cam?? Side trail in the western part of Hockley Valley was part of it. I think I take a different each route every time but this time I second guessed the proper route alot. One of these days...
No side trails on the west side of Hockley Loop. It's all white-blazed main trail from the southeast corner (Sally's Pinnacle) to the northwest corner near 15th Sideroad.
Most of us skip the short white-blazed section in the northwest where it goes into the rocky area west of 3rd Line, north of Dunby Rd., then we turn east on 15th Sideroad, which is a blue-blazed side trail.
Okay thanks makes sense. When you get to the parking lot south of Hockley Valley Rd which Side trail do you take? One to the east or north? I think it's Hemlock or Hockley Heights?
After entering the small parking lot, I turn hard right (south) and take the side trail closer to 5th Line. (I can't remember its name but you are probably right!) Both trails go up to the main trail, which makes it a great little area for hill training if you also include the 5th Line hill, which extends a long way above the level where the trail crosses the road.
You were right that it's also a great run to combine the side trails with the main trail in Hockley Provincial Park - the place where most of us start the Hockley Loop. I used to run out on the 3 side trails and return on the main trail for a 14-ish km route. I now skip the Tom East side trail since it adds no distance compared to the main trail and has less elevation gain.
This run was what we call the official Hockley loop:
All main trail and Hockely Heights side trail to make the loop.
It's easy to miss the southernmost loop of main trail and take the less technical and flatter Griffith Ravine side trail.
We do that purposely ....seems we are always crunched for time
It used to be white-blazed until about two years ago. DD11 took the flatter side trail yesterday too although he made up for it in other ways! It only matters if anyone gets all competitive about Hockley Loop times, which is Officially Discouraged except when comparing to one's own PB on whichever version of the Loop you prefer to run. :) There are so many slightly different Loops and they are all great training. The only reason we say that the southeast-to-northwest section is all on white-blazed main trail is that it makes it super-easy to explain to newcomers since they can just follow the markings.
Makes perfect sense. I like having the "official loop" as a marker but then being able to add the various side trails for added distance/elevation gain. I always think the worst is behind you when doing then loop clockwise and you get past those three b*yotches but that south side climb ain't much easier!
I definitely took the short-cut Griffith Ravine side trail on purpose cause I was zonked. :)
You worked extra hard in the northeast forest so you deserved a break. You got in the distance/elevation of the full Loop - even a little more.