After power walking for several years, I thought it would be time for a new challenge–hiking. I joined the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) earlier this year. So far, I have not been disappointed. Through the websites and newsletters of the BTC and my local club–Iroquoia–I have found out more about the conservation of the Bruce Trail and the Niagara Escarpment, the flora and fauna, the geology and have also gained some first hand experience by participating in their scheduled walks.
I have learned how to equip myself for a good hike, and this is different from power walking. I have also challenged myself walking on various terrain, such as trails that are hilly, rocky or with uneven footing. I have to use different muscle groups and pay utmost attention where I land my foot when I hike.
Even though I had walked and completed a marathon, the Fort to Fort hike organized by the Niagara Club enabled me to walk over 55 K over two consecutive days. The satisfaction of this accomplishment was well worth the hard work.
The route spanned from Fort George, near Niagara-in-the-Lake to the old fort at Fort Erie. On Day 1, we were bused from King’s Bridge Park in Chippawa to Fort George and walked back to the Park. The following day we started walking from Fort Erie and walked back to Chippawa.
We started at the crack of dawn. On the first day, we walked on a section of the Bruce Trail forming part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The scenery looking down at the Niagara River was captivating.
It rained on the second day. In spite of this, we could still admire the misty veil that hang over the river, as we walked along the well-paved trail along the Niagara Parkway. There were three pit stops on each day, and we were served delicious treats of cookies, cakes, fruits and drinks. The support was far superior to what I had seen in running/walking races.
The added post-hike bonus (not part of the BTC event) was a meal at Betty’s Restaurant in Chippawa. It certainly lived up to its reputation with its excellent signature fish and chips, prompt service and warm ambiance. Another interesting discovery was the Two Rivers Bed and Breakfast in the same town. The room was neat and tidy, and well equipped. Emina, owner operator, was hospitable and attentive. She even accommodated our request to give us breakfast at 6 a.m. so that we could leave for the hike. We were served a 5-star breakfast consisting of fruit juice, fresh fruit cocktail, hot breakfast from the menu, and coffee (a choice of regular coffee or Bosnian coffee, which was made the same way as Greek or Turkish coffee). Emina also offered us her home-made sour dough bread. I would certainly go back to these two places if I were in the area.
Betty’s Restaurant, 8921 Sodom Road, Niagara Falls, ON
Two Rivers Bed and Breakfast, 8006 Norton Street, Niagara Falls ON