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
We had the company of our eldest son on this hike through the Scotsdale Farm woodlot and the scarp above Silver Creek. Hiking on pace with a track and field athlete can keep you on your toes, so there aren’t many photos to share this time around. But one of the great things about hiking a trail you’ve never been on before is that no matter what time of year it is, no matter what the weather or season, you are bound to find something that will surprise you.
It wasn’t far into our hike last week that we looked up to find this epic beast in the forest. You cannot walk this trail and ignore this tree. It sits right on the trail. You can walk around it. You can even be polite and pretend you didn’t notice it. Or you can do what most of us with a sense of humour do and take a picture while you try not to take the jokes too far. We’re all adults here. I think.
Silver Creek still babbled and trickled through the ice and under bridges. The fresh layer of snow made it easy to find tracks like those left behind by a racoon on a fallen tree.
I needed toe warmers in my boots as we started out from the house at sunrise for the hour drive up to Terra Cotta. It was cold, but we were determined to get out and finish Toronto Section before the end of the year. As we stepped out on the trail and crossed the wide wooden bridge into the conservation area, the frozen wood planks protested with a cracking sound like gunfire under my feet. The light snow cover from last night showed us no tracks before us — we were alone on the trail — that cherished status of the first to pass.
It was quiet in the woods for most of our walk, but we did catch glimpses of several deer, little nuthatches, a hoary woodpecker, a blue jay, and a pair of ruffed grouse that abandoned the bushes next to Kelso and I with an unexpected copter-like whirring that startled us just as much as we must have startled them.
Once again our hiking ended with a delightful tourism discovery. After 3 hours in the cold, we were thrilled to find the Spirit Tree Cidery and local food shop on Boston Mills Road. We stepped up the pace for the last kilometre of our hike, took the requisite end of section photos at the Cheltenham Badlands stile on Creditview Road, then hopped in the car and headed right back to Spirit Tree. We enjoyed glasses of the Draught Cider, and warmed up with a steaming, delicious bowl of cream of leek soup and a cheese platter. What a great way to finish a winter day hike. Don’t miss Spirit Tree Cidery if you’re out there!
We’re looking forward to the New Year, and the next section of the trail maintained by the Caledon Hills Club. And it’s time to write away for a new Section End to End badge! Thanks for the trail memories, and all the maintenance you do, Toronto Club!
Until next time,
Louise & Ian