A writer's journal and photography blog documenting 900km of hiking End-to-End on the Bruce Trail from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Tobermory, Canada
Another early start on a day that began 5 degrees hotter, but not quite as humid as the weekend. There were strong and steady breezes for most of the day. The heavy, blue-grey blanket haze of dawn eventually cleared to a comfortable if overcast morning. This was my favourite ‘physical’ hike of the Niagara trail section. The exposed and mossy capstone on the escarpment sections was cracked and weathered with ancient fissures. This demanded some hopping and a sure foot. We spent a lot of the first hour with our heads down, but so many kinds of moss and lichens and miniature ferns hugged the cracks and surfaces of the rocks that the view was enchanting. There were plenty of things to climb over and lots of rolling ups and downs through the gullies and ravines. It was one of the more technical walks so far but with the help of pleasant winds, the exercise was fun. I recommend poles, a high top boot for ankle support and a good tread to prevent slipping on this route as well as the previous trail section from Moyer Road to Mountain View Conservation area .
The most remarkable moment of the hike came early. After a short but steep climb to the top of the ridge behind the Mountain View parking lot, we descended into an eerie amphitheatre of destruction. Shattered trees lay everywhere, some with their entire root systems ripped from shallow footings in the capstone. These once tall Carolinian sentinels had been brought to their knees by what must have been a formidable gale.
On the subject of flora and fauna, I’ve not much to say. We saw tracks, but no animals. There were few blooms to record, and my knowledge of fungi is miserable. If you’re keen to help out with captions, leave a comment below.
We were disappointed to find that a long term trail closure pushed us up to a road walk towards the end of our hike because the forest along the escarpment above Grimsby is very pretty. From other hikers on the trail we learned that the area had been washed out by poor grading and drainage off a large estate property (not the home you see here). We decided that we needed to get a more recent copy of the trail maps to replace our 14 year old edition. I’ll have a bit of blog admin to do afterward, to update our kilometre claims. I hope they turn out more impressive than they are! I think you can see from the colour of my face in this picture of us on the bridge on 40 mile creek that our hike was a good workout on Tuesday.
I hope that you can also see the sense of accomplishment we had at having completed our end-to-end hike in Niagara Section, and the genuine regret that we have to leave this lovely area behind and keep moving forward. We decided to celebrate with a visit to the wine shop at Hidden Bench winery to pick up a bottle of Reisling to toast our Canada Day success at dinner that evening. Niagara – end to end – was such a great time and I know we’ll be back. Sipping by Cycle sounds like an awfully good sequel!
Happy Canada Day! Happy Trails!
Louise & Ian