Postcards from the Bruce Trail

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

Ten Terrific Things you can do on an Urban Hike in #HamOnt – Postcards from the Bruce Trail 9

Saturday July 12, 2014 and Wednesday July 16, 2014.  Clear, sun and cloud, 32-23°C
Fifty Road (9.2km) to Paramount Drive (km 24.5)- 5h20m over two evening hikes (Total to date 104.7km)

IMG_1767We completed this hike over two days in shorter evening hikes, enjoying the cool breezes and spectacular sunsets, and focusing on improving our pace and getting some good exercise. There are so many great reasons to hike, and so many things to do while you’re doing it! I was listing some off in my head — from the sublime to the silly – as we made our way along the escarpment into Hamilton, Ontario.

 

  1. Food is usually first on my list no matter what I’m doing. At the beginning, the middle or the end of your hike, don’t miss stopping at the Punch Bowl Market & Bakery. Their pies are out of this world, and there’s plenty of other local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, honey and baked goods to take on a picnic or home for later.IMG_1215
  2. Exercise. Get your shoes on and go. There is no better, easier way to exercise than a vigorous walk in the woods. If you’ve got trekking poles, even better – you’ll get twice as much out of it. Walk, climb, run. Over logs, rocks and roots, up hills and down through the prettiest forests Southern Ontario offers. In the winter, strap on some snowshoes. If you get a warm summer rain, skip the raincoat and enjoy the feeling of warm rain on your skin. No matter where you are on the Bruce Trail in Hamilton, you’re never far from shelter. After all Tim Horton’s was born here.IMG_1224
  3. Dance like no one’s looking. Hiking through the natural areas and forested parklands in and around an urban area is one of the few places outside of your bedroom where you can still enjoy blissful solitude. Take advantage of it. You’d be amazed at how great it feels to twirl around or whoop it up without embarrassment after a long day in the office. And we noticed at several points between Fifty Road and Centennial Parkway, where the trail hugs the middle of the escarpment, you can’t hear the traffic. Did you hear that? Not even the highway.IMG_1217
  4. Go train spotting. The trail leads you under the bridge at Centennial Parkway. We got there just in time to watch a long line of tankers snaking through.

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  5. Do an urban chic photo shoot. Graffiti abounds under the bridge, and it’s colourful gritty backdrop makes for some nice shots when the sun is low.IMG_1247
  6. Look for wildflowers. And take their pictures no matter what the light conditions are. They’ll be gone by the next time you pass this way.
  7. Check out the local architecture, and get some tips for your next tree house.IMG_1274
  8. Slow right down when you get to Felker’s Falls and enjoy the sight of this ribbon style waterfall and the colourful hues of the sedimentary layers in the cliff face, which were carved out and left behind over millions of years by no less than four ice ages. At the upper Davis Creek, nature meets style as the water flows slowly over solid flat capstone, mirroring the meters-high cliff of layered limestone, which forms the opposite bank.
  9. When you’re done go back and watch the sunset from Devil’s Punchbowl, and look out over the entire Greater Hamilton and Toronto Area. Kissing is optional but highly recommended.
  10. Finally, if you’re so inclined, turn around, and look up at the William Sinclair’s lighted cross, then say a prayer of thanks for the institutions and organizations, like the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and the Bruce Trail Conservancy, who made this all possible for you (then maybe go to their web page, and make a donation to keep it that way).IMG_1300

 

More urban hiking ahead in the City of 100 Waterfalls. Stay tuned!

 

Until next time, Happy Trails!   Louise & Ian

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