Bruce Trail Adventure #4 – Niagara 66.9 to 80 and Iroquoia 0 to 9.2

Beamsville to Grimsby

Hmmm…the days are getting shorter but we’re so addicted to the challenge of getting as much done as possible before the weather changes.   We decided we’d just have to leave home earlier but somehow ended up starting our hike at the exact same time as the previous adventure!  This hike was great!  I am finding that driving on the highway to get to where we’re going is coming to me easier and easier and I’m even mustering up the courage to drive home on the highway for parts of the trip (until I’m so freaked out by traffic or drivers that I decide to get off the highway and continue home on the side streets)!

My new hiking boots have been holding up well.  Very few blisters and no need to even change socks or shoes halfway through.  I’m so happy I found them on sale!  This hike marked the end of the first section and we were thrilled.  It was an awesome day and we were so glad we took the day off and decided to go hiking.  The trail was very rocky and slippery again.  We both almost twisted our ankles again by not seeing a hole in the path that was covered with leaves.  The leaves are very pretty however they cover up stuff so you have to be careful not to slip or get hurt.

My ankle that was twisted a few days before held up well however I find that by the end of the hike I have to be more careful with my back or ankles because they’re tired and I’m more likely to get hurt if I’m not.  It was not as sunny as our previous outing but it was warmer for the most part.  We didn’t break any time records however we did climb the equivalent of 164 flights of stairs.  Phew…I knew it felt like we were climbing a lot but I didn’t realize just how much!

We enjoyed the lovely scenery all along the trail again.  My favourite is to see the huge rocks that look like someone just dumped them there.  Those glaciers must have been powerful!  We loved seeing all the different types of waterfalls along the way too.

I’ve stopped relying on my husband’s photography and carried my own little point and click camera.  It was worth it!  I took a lot more pictures this time around.  I’ll post a link to an album soon.

By far the funniest thing that happened this time around was me ducking a few times thinking that we were being shot at.  It turns out that someone was shooting the equivalent of fireworks to keep birds away from their grapes.  Extremely funny to me after passing the winery in question and seeing that it was named Organized Crime Winery…hmmm.

I’m sad that winter will be here soon and I’m hoping that it will be mild enough to still allow us to have some hiking adventures.  We’ll really learning a lot about ourselves and how much we can endure.  In the past the most we’d hike was 4 hours so this is much longer than our usual.  In addition I’m noticing some increased core strength because I’m always maintaining T-Tapp stance as much as possible to protect my back. 

These hikes have been better than a winery tour for me.  I see a lot more beauty at my own pace and I’m not stuck in a bus!  I don’t care if I don’t taste any wine…I’m not much of a drinker anyway.

 Funniest thing – the “shooting” and ducking described above

Weirdest thing – Gibson house…not sure if it looked scary or not but it was odd to me AND all the fallen trees at one of the conservation areas we walked through (I’ll get the name once I check my map)

Coolest thing – The view of Grimsby up high


Continue Reading

Bruce Trail Adventure #3 – Niagara 45.1 to 66.9km

Rockway to Kinsmen Community Park

Well I can now appreciate flat trails to break up the rocky terrain of the hikes once in a while!  It feels like this whole section was rocky.  It certainly wasn’t a very fast hike considering the wet leaves, wet ground and rocks all over the place making for very interesting challenges.  The worst of it all was when I was trying to step on some tree branches to avoid a big puddle and it all ended up crashing down and causing me to bang my leg and twist my ankle.  Luckily I didn’t have anything major happen however it did slow us down.

I felt very empowered after this hike because we walked onwards even despite the fall and we climbed soooo much throughout the day that we ended up registering 146 flights of stairs!! Honestly, sometimes I’d like to have a word with whoever designed the trail because I think he/she has a sick sense of humour but I am loving the whole experience.  It certainly qualifies for some HIIT (high intensity interval training) at times.

On this trip we walked through more winery land and continued to hear the loud booms of the propane powered bird deterrents.  However we also did walk by the outside border of a shooting range so I’m sure at some point we may have heard gunshots but couldn’t tell the difference.  It was a stunning day and very sunny.

We did bump into a few people here and there who were hiking and much to my chagrin we also bumped into their dogs without a leash.  I’m afraid of dogs and this doesn’t help when I think they’re going to jump on me…hahaha.  My husband thinks I’m crazy and should stay calm however I prefer to play frozen tag until they walk by with their owners.

We really liked the Ball’s Falls area and I’d definitely go back to check it out.  There was a very long set of steps in the escarpment that we used to get up to the top…that was a big surprise but I guess it’s better than having to walk back and forth along the side of the hill to get to the top.  We also slid down one area earlier in the day because there were no steps to get down but just a rope to hang onto.

We saw some wild turkeys and the back of a coyote too!

It was such a clear day that we could actually see the Toronto skyline, the CN tower and the Roger’s Centre all the way from our hiking path at one point.

All in all it was a great day.  We ended up taking an early turn off the path for fear that we might miss our parking spot but luckily the park trail did lead to it.  Next time we’ll just have to remember to take that little path back onto the Bruce Trail so we can continue where we left off.

Weirdest thing on the trail: Lots of blood on the road and a dead deer in the ditch…not weird..maybe just “ugh”.

Coolest thing on the trail: Seeing Toronto from so far away.

Funniest thing on the trail: My husband’s backpack was “taken” by a tree.  He walked under the tree and his backpack got stuck by the handle on the branch of a tree so perfectly that when he came out the other end he had no backpack!

Continue Reading

Bruce Trail Adventure #2 – Niagara 21.9 to 45.1

Well after thinking that 22 km was too much and being really sore the next day it was quite surprising that we decided to hike 23 km but when looking at the maps and planning subsequent hikes it made the most sense. The weather forecast was looking good and since the trail seemed quite varied with some flat parts I thought it was going to be ok.

I’m so glad we did it. It was an awesome day. It was so warm and lovely. We were hot and sweaty pretty quick and I wished I’d brought along a t-shirt. We enjoyed seeing some of the houses in the area before making our way into the trail behind Brock University. We bumped into a runner on the trail early on and he warned us that there were about 60 runners behind him and that he was the first one. I guess races are pretty popular. Last week we stumbled upon a person who was working on a race and she warned us that we’d probably come upon one or two racers. We did…one poor guy who was walking but at least he didn’t give up.

This week we did come upon pretty much everyone and we had to stop and let them go by…we bumped into some twice which was pretty funny because they looped around and we could see them coming at us as they finished. I have never said good morning so much in my life in such a short period of time. It was pretty nice.

We came upon lots of people because the weather was so nice. I didn’t really appreciate the dogs we came across with no leashes. I’m afraid of dogs and when I see a dog alone on the trail I have no idea what to expect but thankfully their owners came along rather quickly and there were no incidents.

There was lots of climbing up the hills too. We climbed the equivalent of 107 flights of stairs this time. Talk about high intensity interval training! There were no major areas where we got lost but at some points we had to wonder if we were on the right trail because it wasn’t always very clear but all in all I really appreciate all the markers along the way.

In the Short Hills conservation area we came across lots of horse poop…no so fun but I was happy to finally come across someone walking a horse with a child on it. I think it would be nice to ride a horse through there. We came across cyclists and other hikers too. Lots of chipmunks and a few tiny little snakes…so adorable. Honestly they were like big worms.

We stopped at the end of the part of the trail that goes around lake Moodie for 15 minutes to switch shoes and eat a bit. It was nice but I didn’t want to lose momentum. My heel started bothering me about half way but it wasn’t so bad because I had no blisters forming and the ground wasn’t slippery. It only bothered me a lot at the beginning of the Short Hills trail because of the larger gravel they put on the trail…some of the rocks were jagged and big.

All in all we got to our car very happy with the accomplishment of 23 km in 7 hours (not including the break). Now there won’t be any hiking for the next two weekends but we’re already looking forward to our next outing!

Weirdest thing on the trail: We heard this last week and this week…BOOM BOOM BOOM…it seems that vineyards have speakers playing a loud boom sound to scare away birds. It’s kind of weird to hear but I guess it works for them.
Coolest thing on the trail: The DeCew house ruins…I can’t imagine Laura Secord walking from the Queenston area (where we started) all the way to the DeCew house 200 years ago. We walk on trails and it isn’t always easy. It took lots of courage for her to do what she did.
Funniest thing on the trail: When my husband threw a black walnut fruit in the air and I thought it fell out of a tree. It provided quite a laugh

Continue Reading