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
It’s such a great time to be hiking the Toronto Section of the Bruce Trail. No, actually it’s just a great time of year to be hiking, period. I love this weather. Crisp, cold sunny mornings, the sound of dry leaves swooshing under your boots, a brilliant tapestry of colour underfoot, the now open canopy yielding glimpses of migrating birds, and the intrepid chickadees and cardinals and blue jays who will stay and bear the winter with us. The swamps have frozen over, and today we found snow for the first time! Days like these virtually guarantee an excellent time on the trail, and that sense of contentment follows me around for the duration of the weekend. There is no better time of year in my books.
We did the trail from Hilton Falls to Speyside a couple of weekends ago. It was a great walk, but the sky looked pretty much like the great yawning grey pit of Dufferin Aggregates Milton Quarry, so we didn’t take a lot of photos.
But even when the day is cloudy, the colours of autumn still brighten the day. Here are some of my favourite moments on this section of trail.
Today was brilliant and sunny, so we invited (ok, cajoled, bribed and ultimately forced) James and Emma to come along. It’s not easy to get a tween and a teen to get out of bed early on a Sunday morning and to cooperate when you ask them to be dressed for the weather and ready to go hiking with their parents. Telling them they’re going to enjoy it and the day is beautiful doesn’t sway them. “It’s great exercise and you’ll feel terrific after” draws only glares. And the promise of a big breakfast afterwards doesn’t cut it. So I did what any smart, modern mom would do in my boots — I swiped their cell phones and iPads when I woke them up, and told them they could only have them back if they were in the car in less than 20 minutes. Hey. It worked. We covered the section from Speyside to Limehouse Conservation Area, and they didn’t have such a bad time after all, it seemed.
The tree canopy is pretty much lying on the forest floor now.
But there’s a great, spooky section of sumac showing it’s twisted bare branches and brilliant catkins. I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland walking through there, and thought it’d be a great place for a night hike when the moon is full.
We were glad to see this old place again. It’s always been my landmark driving up Sixth Line to Limestone Conservation Area. Several years ago, this beautiful stone house was practically in ruins, but someone’s done a great job fixing her up.
And while not strictly on the Bruce Trail, I have to mention the novelty we stumbled upon on 15th Sideroad on the way up to Limehouse. This, is the Bicycle Tree. It’s creators made it to draw attention to a charitable project Pedalling Against Poverty a fundraising initiative for The Lending Journey which provides micro-enterprise loans to women in Nicaragua to help break the cycle of poverty. There were bikes of every size and colour, and tires and garlands of bicycle helmets, hanging from every available limb on the massive willow trees in their yard — what a brilliant installation to launch their ride through Nicaragua on November 9th!
Louise & Ian