A tragic tale that had a happy ending.
Once upon a time in the town of Meaford, there was a dog who went after the wrong mailman and paid the price. In a fit of rage the mailman, probably tired of being chased by the damn dog, chopped off Joe’s ears and tail. Joe was then rescued by a local family, and became well known when Canadian author Margaret Saunders wrote about the story. The Beautiful Joe Park in Meaford has a statue of this “cur”, with lopped off ears and all, telling its tale, and working against the cruelty to animals.
Beautiful Joe Park is an access point of the Bighead River, a popular spot for avid fly fishermen like my husband, hell bent on catching fresh fish. You can walk to the river from inside the park, but it’s better to cross the road from the parking lot to access the meandering Bighead Trail of the Bighead River Conservation Area.
The trail is gorgeous and runs along the river and through the forest. All along the riverbed if you look closely you’ll find tons of fossils! There are no facilities so be prepared for a pee pee stop in the bushes (i.e. take toilet paper). It’s a great place to take kids who want to fish, and if you’re lucky you’ll catch trout or bass, depending on the season. If you’re not into fishing (like me) you’ll still be pretty happy with the lovely hiking!