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

Bruce Trail Adventure #1 – Niagara 0 to 21.9

After so many years of enjoying hiking and having enjoyed some of the bruce trail we FINALLY decided to make it official and hike the trail end to end. It’s going to take us a while and we have no set deadline but we’re excited about it and at almost 900 km it’ll probably take us around 50 hikes in total. For some general information you can check this out here.

We decided to start in Niagara Falls and finish in Tobermory. On September 21st we ventured out. I was excited to start however the weather forecast was calling for rain and I didn’t think it was going to be such a good idea. But my husband thought it was going to stop by noon and that we’d be ok so with ponchos and umbrellas we set out on our adventure.

These hikes are more than just exercise. Getting there with two cars means driving on the highway and that’s HUGE for me. I have serious issues and anxiety with big highways so getting there was already a big step. It rained through the whole drive there but since it was pretty early traffic wasn’t so bad. I thanked God and the angels while driving and we got there ok. Phew…what a relief!

We parked one car at the end of our planned hike and drive to the start. Queenston Heights park was pretty easy to find and we stopped at the South Terminus cairn for photos in the rain but we were excited to get going. Honestly if I knew how awful the day was going to be I probably would never have left home.

We easily found the trail and it was raining…actually it rained the whole time…all seven hours and 40 minutes of our hike…yes…we walked all day. The only time I stopped was to take off my very wet socks, wring them out and keep going. There really wasn’t anywhere lovely to sit anyway so we kept going. We only had one wrong turn but we recovered very quickly. Most of the trail was very well marked but the wrong turn resulted in us seeing the entrance to a cave under some rocks and a fire pit so I’m sure some kids are enjoying that part of nature.

In the first hour our feet were soaked. Water everywhere and slippery mud made it very difficult. The trails go up and down. We walked the equivalent of 89 flights of stairs and it was over 40,000 steps that day. It was slow and by ten kilometres I was really miserable. It wasn’t really pleasant at all but we had no choice but to keep going. We were muddy and dripping. I doubt any taxi would even consider giving us a drive.

My legs were hurting, my heel didn’t like any pressure and I could feel blisters forming. By the time we got to the car I was thinking that I’d crawl faster. Being hunched over due to the rain didn’t help my neck and shoulders feel good either. We finished the hike very cold and wet but with some warm food at the end of the hike and a warm car we took the long way home and enjoyed a hot bath when we got home.

Coolest thing on the trail: The little ladder things they have for you to climb over private fences in the trail and a tunnel we had to go under that is called the screaming tunnel…I was relieved that it wasn’t very long.
Weirdest thing on the trail: A pair of red boxer shorts on part of the trail that ran through a golf course.
Funniest thing on the trail: Almost slipping down the trail and thinking I was going to slide down the darned thing.

Continue Reading