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Wreckage of doomed Cessna 205 can be found along the walking trails of Silent Valley Nature Reserve

April 2021

The Silent Valley Nature Reserve, south of Meaford, Ontario, is full of geological and historical treasures, like many parts of the Bruce Trail, which is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada.

It also contains a unique monument to an aviation tragedy.

The land that makes up Silent Valley was originally deeded from the Crown in 1866 to John Wilson, a Scottish immigrant. Wilson settled on this 200 acre lot, located at Lot 13, Concession 3, in Sydenham Township, along with his wife Jane and their six children.

Owned by the Bruce Trail Conservancy since 2013, this rural and partially wooded property is where a Cessna 205, enroute from Toronto International Airport to Griffith Island in Georgian Bay, crashed in a violent thunder-storm on 26 September 1970. The pilot and three passengers were all killed after the airplane was torn apart in mid-air and crashed.

The twisted and battered wreckage, which was scattered over a large area, was collected up and pieced together into the shape of airplane, forming a makeshift memorial.

The most prominent feature is the tail section, with the rest barely recognizable as once being a part of an airplane.

While it’s possible to walk right up to the wreckage, please be respectful of what it represents.

The remains of the Wilson Homestead

After being farmed for 38 years and housing three generations of the Wilson family, the land was sold to the Frizzell family in 1904. It was sold to Hllman Lumber in 1967, and finally to the Bruce Trail Conservancy in 2013.

All that remains of the original Wilson farm is the barn foundation and an old stone well, dug 20 feet deep. Both can be found along the Wilson Homestead Side Trail, very close to the Cessna wreckage.

Sources: Kathryn’s Report: Grey County’s Silent Valley has stories to tell, Silent Valley – Sea & Ski Realty (seaandskirealty.ca), Bruce Trail – Silent Valley Nature Reserve and Crevice Springs Side Trail – justabitfurther (wordpress.com).

Ron Savage, the trail director for the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club, wrote Silent Valley, a 33-page magazine-style book about what Silent Valley Nature Reserve — the name given to by Savage and the Bruce Trail Conservancy — has to offer for hikers and explorers.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/wreckage-of-doomed-cessna-205-can-be-found-along-the-walking-trails-of-silent-valley-nature-reserve/

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