Category Archives: Hiking

From Kelso to Limehouse: End-to-End with the Bruce Trail Toronto Club (Day 2)

After Day 1, the hikers in the group had warmed up to one another and started in a cheerful mood. After all, we only had less than 22 Km ahead of us. We were bused from Limehouse to the start point at Kelso  where the Toronto Club section connected with the Iroquoia Club section. A short walk on flat ground soon turned into a climb up the Niagara Escarpment. It was still early morning hour, but we were blessed with the view of sunrise to a beautiful morning as we tread carefully uphill.

When we reached the top of the Escarpment, the landscape changed to rocky formations.

The route was varied. We passed forest areas, rocky crevices, a resting area, open roads, as well as farm trails, corn fields and orchards.

The 22-km hike turned out to be challenging as we negotiated down a narrow rocky cliff.This was the so-called “Hole in the Wall”.  What a test of balance and strength!

By now, we were tired and was only too happy to come the landmark of an old, abandoned lime kiln.

We reached the finish point at Limehouse, where we completed our hike the day before but coming from a different direction. This badge will add to the collection and probably sewn onto a backpack.

Reference:The Bruce Trail Reference Maps and Trails Guides. Maps 11 and 12.

Welcoming Fall in Gardineau Park

The beauty of Ottawa in the Fall does not limit itself to the myriad of colours in the Byward Market fruits and vegetable stalls. The natural beauty in Gardinaeu Park is equally a feast to the eyes.

Gardineau Park was born on  July 1, 1938. The Canada Government purchased the land that form a protected area with forests, lakes and hills for the public to enjoy. It is only minutes from the City centre, making it a convenient green zone for a break. The trails are covered by Fall foliage of myriad colours. A short climb will take on to the breath-taking view of the Champlain Plain.

Point one’s camera anywhere and focus, the click will result in beautiful scenery or close up views of trees, leaves, rocks and streams. Words cannot do justice to the Fall beauty. I hope the sample of my photos can give you a better feel of the place.

 

From Caledon Hills to Limehouse: End-to-End with the Bruce Trail Toronto Club (Day 1)

1-IMG_1853The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s Toronto Club End-to-End expected hikers to complete about 50 Km over two consecutive days. (There was a one-day option, but I decided to forego this ultra distance which would take me 10 hours of walking and took it easy instead.) My group met at Limehouse in Halton Hills. This small community of about 500 people were still asleep when we arrived. There were over ninety participants in this event and we were taken by bus to the start point which divided the Toronto Club section from the Caledon Club section.

The first lag was the paved asphalt surface of Credit View Road and then Boston Hill Road. We were flanked on both sides by farmland. We passed a cornfield and an orchard.  We walked over a kilometre before entering into the trail.

The footing and the trail surface changed as soon as we were in the woodland.

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It was more shaded, but it also meant more obstacles. Some trees that had fallen across the trail were there for us to walk over or duck under. I negotiated three such tree trunks within a short distance. I felt like a horse jumping over hurdles in a steeple chase.

This section soon ended and we were back on the road of Heritage Road, which led into the Caledon Trailway.

The Trailway had an old rail buried under it. It reminded me of the Rail Trail in Hamilton that I frequented. As another hiker remarked, “Once you’ve seen a rail trail, you’ve seen them all.”

After exiting the Trailway, we entered some private property by climbing over a stile, and out again, but not before we saw many apples by the roadside. They were likely from apples trees of an abandoned orchard in an area close to the Terra Cotta Conservation Area.

The forest is a mixture of deciduous and evergreen tree. This is  the military formation of tree planting.

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We had walked over 10Km and was glad to reach the first check point near Vaughan Road for some snacks. Leaving the Terra Cotta Conservation Area, we entered the Silver Creek Conservation Area for a totally different challenge and scenery.

This was also a very rocky section on high elevation.

I suddenly realized that I had been here before, when I came to this narrow rocky section. I was here in early spring here when it was still covered in ice and snow on what I called a treacherous hike.

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We were hiking by Silver Creek and the sound of the running water accompanied us for some distance. This was a well-maintained section by the volunteers of the Bruce Trail. We came across many bridges like this one.

One more rocky patch and the second checkpoint was in sight.

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This also meant out of the woods into more urban area of the trail. The remaining hike went through the grounds of Scotdale Farm, road ways and finally the Limestone parking lot was in sight.

Day 1 was now completed and we had accomplished 28 Km. The weather was most co-operative. What we needed was a relaxing bath and a good night sleep to recover for the following day.

Reference: The hike followed Maps 13 and 14 of the Bruch Trail Maps and Trail Guide Edition 27.

Hiking in Hockley Valley

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The Bruce Trail in Ontario is divided into nine sections, each of which is maintained by volunteers from the local areas. I often hike in the Iroquia and Niagara regions, which are the two southernmost sections of the Trail. For a change, my hike today is at Hockley Valley of the Caledon Section.

We enter the trail by walking up an incline, and there is a sign indicating that this trail has a friendship counterpart in Korea.

The Hockley Valley is known as a popular resort–golfing in summer and skiing in winter. From the trail, we can see the ski runs looking green but deserted at this time of the year.

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It is a hot day, but the trail is shaded. It seems to be so as we move further into the forest away from the farms. But first, we say hello and goodbye to the cattle fenced behind the trees.

I notice that the trees are a mix of deciduous and pine. The predominance of pine means that we are north of the Carolinian forest that I often see hiking further south of the province.

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We enter Tom East Side Trail. There is a narrow water way along the trail, but it does not look like a natural stream. Our experienced hike leader explains that this is a ditch dug single- handedly by the wife Tom East, Isabel, when she was in her seventies. Both husband and wife were avid hikers and contributed much to the Bruce Trail. The ditch is meant to drain water away from the higher grounds to avoid flooding. There is also a side trail named after Isabel, except that we are not hiking there this time.

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Our route takes us to Glen Cross Side Trail and Snell Side Trail, and we hike on the Main Trail (Bruce Trail) in between. We cross several streams, and we seldom walk over as many bridges or board walk as this morning.

We come to an open field. The ski hills are now in a distant in a different direction.

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Fortunately we do not have to walk too long in the sun and we are back into the forest again. Tall trees and running water again.
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You may wonder if we take any breaks. Indeed we do for a hike of 13 to 14 Km like this morning. Besides a half hour lunch break, we take water breaks after walking up a hill, and quite often when we pause to examine unusual flora.

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This is the Indian Pipe, a native plant.

This is even more unusual. Nobody knows how it gets here in the first place.

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The grand finale is a panoramic view of the Valley and we can see the Hockley Valley Resort Hotel in the heart of the valley. We also notice a hint of red among the green leaves. We are counting our summer hikes before we begin to hike for the Fall colours.

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(My dear readers, I am away from home in Ottawa at the moment, and work has kept me too busy from blogging. I am glad I find the draft of this post, and surely I must publish this, because the colours of the trees are changing fast. Thank you for dropping by!)

Hendrie Valley Trails: An Ecological Haven

I had been wanting to go back to do a longer walk since my last visit to the trails in the Royal Botanical Gardens. I made it back at the end of the summer. This was what I found  when I entered the grounds from Valley Inn Road with my walking group. The Laking Garden, which normally attracted many bird watchers, seemed quiet.

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It gave us a serene start to our walk without the fowls fluttering on the surface of the water. We had the calming reflections all to ourselves.

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We entered  Grindstone Marshes Trail. It was unpaved, but footing was good. I think the trail is so named because there are thick marshes bordering the footpath.

The vegetation was so tall that anyone walking on the boardwalk and the bridge would find it hard to distinguish whether it was water or ground underneath the weeds and marshes.

One of us with a keen eye spotted a flattened patch and pointed out to us that probably a herd of deer had gone over this area.

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Grindstone Marsh Trail joined North Bridle Trail. We left the marshland and were now walking on narrow paths. We tried to look out for the much publicized bald eagles and their nest, but they were nowhere in sight. The Royal Botanical Garden was careful not to specify their exact location in view of public interests in this rare specie. The path took us to Creek Side Walk which ran along Grindstone Creek.

There was more uphill and downhill in this area but on a late summer day like this we were well protected from the sun. We emerged from Creek Side Walk to the residential area along Unsworth Avenue, where we could follow the city streets to end our walk.

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A Canal Hike on the Merritt Trail

My last encounter with the Welland Canal was on the Laura Secord Hike and only then did I learn that there were several canals in Welland, although not all of them were fully in operation. I therefore joined the Canal Hike of my local hiking club, -the Iroquoia Club of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, to find out more.

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We car-pooled and our starting point was at Port Robinson in St. Catharines. Ahead of us was a paved trail which ran beside the Canal. The lift bridge was in sight.

This is a big structure and I think it is interesting to have this industrial structure standing beside the green trail.

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At the lift bridge, we turned into a smaller trail which took us further up the canal and here we saw torrents of water raging downstream. Here we crossed over the bridge to the other side of the Canal.

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Back to paved roads and trail and we were heading in the direction of St. Catharines.

It was here that we discovered that the trail was closed due to reconstruction, and our hike leader had to change our plan to turn around and hike back. We passed the lock again with its rushing water.

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Once passed it, we were also able to enjoy again the calmness of the canal and the serenity of the trail.

You may have read about my fascination with lift bridges, and with this shot, we walked back to Point Robinson. We completed this hike  of 13 Km which was mostly paved trails. This is a leisurely hike recommend to anyone who does not want too much exertion.

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An Ecological Walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens

The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System is Canada’s newest urban ecopark. It is ‘urban’, because it is situated in a fast growing residential and re-developed area between Burlington and Hamilton in Ontario. It is an ‘ecopark’, because it is an area designed to preserve, restore and protect the natural lands in this western part of the province. It has taken seven years of planning and the Park has been open since June this year. Work is still continuing to reconnect the natural areas in this region that have been fragmented by roads, rail tracks that has come into existence as a result of urbanization.

I enter from Cherry Hill Gate on Plains Road in Burlington, and I am in the grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

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In front of me is a downhill trail and I cannot believe that the air already breathes cleaner and fresher once I walk into the shades . A colony of chipmunks has been breeding in this area and they take no notice of people when they scurry across the trail and in and out of their burrows, with their dollar-size openings on the grounds.

Fallen trees are kept as long as they do not create an obstacle on the trail.

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I take an incline–unpaved, with exposed roots but firm footing–and turn into an area of marshland.

The water may look mirky, but the marshland is home to many species of insects and wild life. I feel pretty lucky to spot a muskrat and get a picture of it.

Crossing the boardwalk, I arrive at a big pond rich in vegetation, like the water lilies. Take a closer look and one can see many insects such as water roaches, dragon flies and many others that I wish I could give their names.

My walk today is short loop from Cherry Hill Gate, and take up part of the North Bridle Trail, and then Grindstone Marsh Trail to return to Hendrie Park of the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is an easy forty-five minutes’ reconnaissance stroll. I’ll be back for more.

Hiking on Toronto Islands

If you are looking for a place for a walk or hike in downtown Toronto, you should go to Toronto Islands. Toronto Islands are a group of small islands off Toronto Harbour. The islands are off-limits to public traffic and are accessible only by ferries from the pier at the base of Bay Street, south of Union Station.

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This is where our journey begin. My hiking group takes the vehicular ferry, which carries services vehicles and cyclists across to Hanlan’s Point. I look back at the city and get a good view of how the CN Tower dominates the skyline. The sky is blue and it is a beautiful day for a hike.

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We approach the Hanlan’s Point docking area and on landing, the statute of Edward Hanlan in his swimming trunk and holding his rowing paddle greets us to his home. (I have since looked up on who Hanlan was. He won five world sculling championships consecutively between 1880 and 1884 and therefore probably deserved to be remembered by this larger than life-size statue.)

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Our group head across the grass towards the sandy path which takes us to Hanlan’s Point Beach.

During this hike, we either walk on the beach on the south side Centre Island, the biggest of the islands or keep to any path that runs along the shore, which sadly has taken the toll of erosion due to its exposure. Slabs of stone are piled up on some beaches to break up the waves as a preventative measure.

When we reach the “clothing optional area” (aka the nudist section of Hanlan’s Point Beach), we hurry on so as not to disturb the naturists who are sunbathing on the beach. To be honest, I much prefer the view towards the horizon.

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We are back walking on the path (Lakeshore Avenue) and shortly after we pass Gilbraltar Point Lighthouse, the look-out pier is in sight with its stone dyke –another measure to protect the shoreline.

This is time for a break–we stroll on the viewing platform and enjoy our packed lunch by the ponds in the garden.

Then it is time to pick up the pace again. It is a pleasant walk on the Broadwalk, which leads us to Ward’s Island at the far eastern end of the islands. From this direction, I can see planes taking off and landing at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which is used by private aircraft and Porter’s Airline.

On Ward’s Island is one of the two residential areas–the other is on Algonquin Island–on Toronto Islands. It is disappointing to see some houses that badly need attention and repairs, but one has to look into the history of the governance of the properties on the Islands, an anomaly which will shock many people.

But don’t drag me into politics; let me enjoy and complete my hike. It does not take long to reach the ferry dock at Ward’s Island, and I can take a ferry for passengers. By now, the sky has changed and is clouding over. I am glad our group has completed our hike under the best condition one could hope for.

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Related Post for another city hike:
Hiking on City Trails in Oakville: http://opallaontrails.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/hiking-on-city-trails-in-oakville/

Walking in the Footsteps of Laura Secord: A Bicentennial Hike

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I usually think of chocolates when I think of Laura Secord. However, the Laura Secord hike organized by the Niagara Club of the Bruce Trail takes us back into Canadian history. The British and the Americans were fighting in the War of 1812. Laura Secord, neé Ingorsoll, was born in Massachusetts, U.S.A.  She moved with her Loyalist family (Americans who supported the British during the American Revolutionary War) to Upper Canada (now Ontario). She married James Secord and lived in the small village of Queenston in the Niagara Region.

One day in June 1913, Laura Secord overheard some American soldiers who came to her house talking about the plan of a surprise attack on the British soldiers in Beaver Dams. She set foot on a 32 Km (20 miles) journey, arriving at De Cew House on June 22, 1813 to warn Lieutenant Fitzgibbon about the American ploy.  Two days later, the British defeated the American at the Battle of Beaver Dams.

To commemorate Laura Secord’s walk, the Niagara Club of the Bruce Trail Conservancy organizes a Laura Secord hike every year. This year is the Bicentennial Hike.

My husband and I arrived at the meeting place–car park of the Niagara Region office–at 5:45 a.m. to board a bus which took us to Laura Secord’s Homestead in Queenston to start the hike. The town was asleep, but the sun was up, and the town was adorned with flags to mark the bicentennial occasion. Around the corner of the Homestead, General Brock Column came into view. We began our climb up the stairs beside the printing museum. It was a couple of kilometres of hills to reach the Queenston Park, where there was also monument to remember Laura Secord.

The Bruce Trail Main Trail began here. Our journey was to follow the white blazers of the Main Trail until we get to De Cew House in St. Catharines.

There were so much to see on this hike. The terrains were variable, hence providing interesting challenges. The part I liked the least were the muddy downhills. Otherwise, I enjoyed the occasional leap over a water puddle or a stream, and an incline when my hiking stick became an asset. We came to a hill where everybody had to climb down carefully, due to the muddy slipperiness. It was a relief to overcome this steep slope!

We continued by climbing over a stile to enter a private property, came out to walk on city roads, and walked over a bridge which crossed the highway. We hiked on narrow country paths, past a swamp,  on the edge of people’s backyard and through the vineyards of Niagara.

We looked out for historical features along our route. Besides Laura Secord’s homestead, 1-IMG_1413 General Brock Column and the Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum in Queenston, we walked through the Screaming Tunnel, which according to legend, a young girl died here and if you strike a match inside the tunnel, you’ll hear her screaming. The tunnel was dark and wet. There was such a eerie feel to it that we just hurried on.  For a few kilometres, we were walking along the banks of the Welland Canal. Only Canal #3 was in operation and to my delight, I came across a lift bridge, which had played a very important role in the industrial development of southern Ontario.

Our last lag was to hike around the campus of Brock University. When finally we saw the grounds of De Cew House of which only the relics of the foundation remained, we picked up our pace to cross the river, and were received by Laura Secord and her friend.

It was a long hike and it took us over six hours to complete the 32 Kilometres. The Niagara Bruce Trail Club provided the hikers with a wholesome lunch at De Cew House, and very hospitable reception on all the four check points. The greatest reward at the end of the day was the badge of the Laura Secord Bicentennial Hike to sew on my backpack.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: SPRING (River and Ruin Hike)

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Everything I saw on my hike on the River and Ruin Trail in the Lowville Park area in Halton Region, Ontario was a representation of Spring. I am therefore integrating this as my submission to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: SPRING. The moment we set out on our hike from the carpark, Spring was tangible. Photography could only capture what one could see. The green of the grass and the leaves is a Spring green, which looked so promising after the rain from the night before.  I could hear Spring from the birds’ singing and chirping, and the rustling of the wind, I could feel Spring from the cool, refreshing breeze, and I could smell Spring in the air. The flowering trees were starting to bloom and the open fields were covered with dandelions, bright yellow contrasting with bright new green.

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We also spotted the Garlic Mustard, an unwanted foreign specie because they would edge out the other plants.

We took the River and Ruin Side Trail, crossed a bridge to join the Bruce Trail Main Trail. We hiked to Kilbride, took a lunch break and hiked back, using a different arm of the side trail to see the ruin. The water level was high and we had Bronte Creek to our right for half of the hike. The ruin appeared as a surprise among the trees. It was the relics was a big farmhouse.

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We had to use our imagination to think back two hundred years ago when this part was farmland and the residents were using out hiking trail to go to their general store in Lowville. What kind of bridge did they have back then?

Hiking in Bronte in the Spring

After my recent icy and treacherous Spring hike, I decided to join an easier hike closer to the city by the Lake Ontario. We met at Corontation Park in Oakville and hike east towards Bronte.

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Our path followed the shore of Lake Ontario, passed through a quiet residential street and we went along Bronte Harbourfront. There are always interesting sightings on our hike, and for this morning,  two waterbirds have built their nest within the docking area.

After hiking along Lakeshore Road westbound, we turned north into Shell Park. It was still early spring and the flower beds were still bare. However, we saw a gorgeous sea of blue and it turned out the psilias were already in bloom!

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We got excited again when we spotted budding trilliums.

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The meandering trails in Shell Park took us through some plots leased out by the City to residents who wanted to grow their own vegetable gardens, and we saw some people already out to prepare the ground. There was an unusual object that we did not know what it was used for except that it had something to do with the pipeline for the gas to be sent to the Petro Canada Plant further down. We were essentially walking over the pipeline.

We made a turn towards Bronte Creek. The water level was high. When the Bronte Harbour came in sight again, it was almost close to returning to Coroation Park.  After all, It was an easy hike of 14 Km over flat terrain.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Walks Indoors or Outdoors

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The paved walk in the city centre of Sydney Australia opens my post today for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Walks Indoors or Outdoors. I love to travel on foot, because I can see more at my own pace.

Here is a side walk by Sydney Harbour.

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The the sidewalk on York Boulevard in  Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

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Country trails are my favourite, be it in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

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And back to Austrlia, to the almost unwalkable trail in King’s Canyon

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Surprises On A Spring Hike: Silver Creek Conservation Area

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Our hike today was in the Silver Creek Conservation Area. None of us going on the hike had expected that there was a snow bank by Fallbrook Trail, where we parked our cars.

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Our experienced hike leader immediately checked to see if anyone of us had our icers/tracks with us. Well, none of us did, except him. He put his on and he had a spare pair that he offered to our “sweep”, the person who stayed at the back to make sure nobody got lost.

We began our hike by walking less than 200 metres of the Irwin Quarry Side Trail, which joined the Main Trail of the Bruce Trail and we started our climb of the Niagara Escarpment. No sooner had we entered the wood than we realized that surprises were waiting for us. The trail was in parts still covered with snow and shiny icy patches were visible. We landed our feet as carefully as possible, but the slipperiness could not be easily ignored.

As we continued, we tried to develop strategies to avoid slipping. One hiker suggested walking on the crystalline snow, which crumbled under our feet; at least the footing was better than ice. However, there were sections where we had no choice. All we could do was to slow down, use our hiking pole to anchor before landing. At times, we latched onto tress and swung our bodies forward. There was one narrow strip which was covered by ice and in the absence of an alternative path,  the only way to get pass was to hang on to the rocks, aimed for a tree ahead and grabbed it to come to a stop. It was treacherous!

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However, I was excited that I was hiking in an area that I had never hiked before. The rushing of the Silver Creek could be heard for a good distance even though it was not in sight. Then it appeared, with snow banks in parts, and we crossed this creek, which was a feeder stream into the Credit River a couple of times.

The hike took longer than anticipated, because we had to slow down frequently. It was incredible that within a short span of time, we were treading on ice, snow, water, mud and dry grounds.

The hike took us on part of the Bruce Trail Main Trail, the Great Esker (side) Trail and the Bennett Heritage (side) Trail. We passed en route Scotdale Farm and crossed also the Snow Creek. This section of the Bruce Trail was under the stewardship of the Toronto Club.

Two hikers fell, but fortunately nobody was injured. The experience was unique, and we were all relieved to be eventually out of the woods.

Map Reference: Bruce Trial Reference Map and Trail Guide Edition 27, p. 13.

Chasing The Waves On An Urban Hike

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I never expected my first hike this season would turn out to be so exciting and dramatic. Yes, it was meant to be an easy warm-up hike from downtown Burlington to the Lift Bridge and looping back. But surprise was awaiting…

We started off as planned from the car park of the Burlington Central Library, headed out on Seneca Street through a quiet residential neighbourhood and turned into the Centennial (Bike) Trail. We headed west towards Brant Street and turned towards the boardwalk along Spencer Smith Park. When we were nearing the lake, we could hear the sounds of waves, but  it was only when  we reached the boardwalk that we realized the impact of the waves fueled by the east wind which was blowing in full force.

When a couple of us saw the waves rushing on shore and making huge splashes over the boardwalk, we were ecstatic. I took out my cell phone and starting clicking frantically away.

The white crested walls started to swell one after another across the bay and approached the shore. The roar got louder and louder, and the waves hit the rocks making a serious of deafening cracks as they broke. The water splashes rose about five feet above the guard rail. It was spectacular! Had it not been for our hike leader urging us to move on, we would have stayed there moving back and forth the boardwalk chasing the waves.

Walking along the  Waterfront Trail bordering the Beachway Park we saw the marks left by the wind and sand on the shoreline.

The Lift Bridge was finally in sight, and I took another picture here contrasting the old and the new bridges that had grown up with the City of Burlington.

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It simply was too windy and dangerous to work out to the pier and the lighthouse. We bid farewell to Burlington Bay and made our way back along the beach.

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The waves were rolling onto shore relentlessly, while we left our footprints on the sand.

The wind and waves continued to howl  when we were back at the boardwalk. The sky had cleared.  I could not resist the temptation to record again this powerful display of nature’s might. Now I wish I had a video to record this sight as well as the symphony of the waves and wind.

Leaving the boardwalk, we stopped briefly to examine the bronze statue commemorating the local servicemen who perished, and navy and merchant fleets sunken and lost at sea in the Second World War. Having witnessed the force of the wind and waves this morning, I could only imagine the perils that our servicemen had experienced when they sacrificed their lives  .

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Hiking On City Trails in Oakville

Hiking in in winter can take on different forms. In areas where there is a lot of snow, hikers go snow shoeing or cross-country skiing. I live in southern Ontario and there has not been that much snow around, and I usually do not have the time to spend an entire day with a group to be bused north for the snow. When I hike closer to home, I am still new to hiking and I have yet to try the challenging terrain where “icers” and trekkers are mandatory for safety. My recent hike is around the city trails of Oakville, Ontario.

We entered the trail near the Glen Abbey Recreation Centre on Third Line. We hiked along an interconnected and labyrinthine system of trails which looped around residential areas and at times close the main roads. We were first on the McCraeney Creek Trail. While we had trees and a creek on one side, the other side actually backed onto a school and residential area. I thought how fortunate the people who lived here were, because they had beautiful nature in their backyard.

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Passing the residential area, we found ourselves walking not far from the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) along Indian Ridge Trail. The industrial buildings and the highway would be hidden behind the tress in the summer and one could only tell one’s proximity to the city by the road noise. However, on this winter day, the buildings and roads were revealed through the lattice formed by the branches.

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At one point, on Fourth Line, we had to cross the intersection near the ramp to go on the highway to continue the hike.

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The trails linked up with one another and I tried to remember the trail signs: Glen Abbey Trail, Old Abbey Trail, Abbey Creek Trail and I lost count.

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However, the advantage of hiking on city trails was the convenient exit (in case one got lost) to the road by finding a lamp. By design, we made an exit onto Monastery Drive and visited the legendary Monastery Bakery where freshly baked bread, rolls, bagels, cheese sticks, and the list went on tempted our palate. We bought our snacks and carried on.

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I may have written before that there is always something new to learn from a hike, be it a bird sighting, or a rare plant.This time I found out that the trails were being maintained by clearing some trees and they were chopped into wood chips, which were then used to repair the slopes and to pave the trail. What a great way to return to the Earth what has come from the Earth!

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