Following our last trek on the first part of the Bruce Trail, there was a slight delay for a few weeks in tackling the next part because my friends were either busy or I was sick (caught the flu two times, not fun). We nevertheless finally found a good day to the Niagara region and continue our trek. I tried to carry a heavier pack this time as part of my training.
Continuing where we left off at Woodends Conservation Area, we immediately noticed how wet it had gotten. No longer were we faced with icy conditions — it was all slush! This made for splashy and slippery situations.
Along the way we did encounter a 30-person group which was a first. I never thought I’d see so many people together on a trail before in the winter. Lots of nice people from the local chapter of the Bruce Trail Association (I think). The closest situation I’ve encountered was a Chinese tour group taking a rather large group of folks hiking in the early sections of Bon Echo’s Abes and Essens Trail.
As typical of a Bruce Trail experience, we always end up walking by some interesting places. I wasn’t sure if this has historical significance but the house looked quite nice and had a nice view positioned along the escarpment ridge.
Somehow we end up hiking through and past parts of a golf course. It was seriously wet and slushy in these areas. While stomping through the slush, my entire foot took a dunk in water that was quite a few inches higher than my ankle. Thank goodness for waterproof pants and wool socks because there was some water that definitely seeped through into my hiking boots.
We finally get past the golf course and end up finding ourselves passing by remnants of an old mill perhaps?
Looking ahead, we noticed a rusty frame of a car sitting on the side of the stream. You have to begin to wonder why someone decided to push or drive that car there or rather, how it got there in the first place.
It was a relatively pleasant day although it seemed to get windier (and thus colder) as we progressed on the trail due to the gradually decline in the number of trees surrounding the trail. We also ended up walking on the side of small highways which made for some interesting photographs but it’s not what I’d consider ideal if you want to feel closer to nature!
Eventually we found ourselves on a local road and even passed by a diner. We were pretty tempted to pick something up or even stop for a nice hot brunch! Nonetheless we pushed on despite some pretty serious wind chill until we found a great spot for lunch.
Last time we stopped for lunch near the train tracks, but this time we stopped right next to a vertical lift bridge along a canal water route! Can’t wait to see where we end up next time for lunch!
It’s always fun to observe the local surroundings for peculiarities or just things that you just rarely notice on daily basis. This is what I appreciate most about doing the Bruce Trail hike … it provides that opportunity to hike a long distance but also forces us to focus let go of expecting the sexiness of really stunning views we see in travel magazines and focus more on the local surroundings and just ponder about it.
We continue hiking on pavement for a while until we encounter a lock, but that’s when we take a turn and head back into more wooded area. A nice mix of technological wonder and nature perhaps?
We would walk by a lot of suburban houses and sometimes they would be very close to these industrial or commercial areas. It really triggers you to think about how that ended up to be. “No trespassing signs” are probably the most frequent sign you encounter along the Bruce Trail.
It wouldn’t be the Bruce Trail if we weren’t to end up on a residential street. The interesting thing about it is that as we were walking down a residential street, we could hear a stream rushing through even though it was underground. We suspected that there used to be an old mill built along the right side of the street you see in the photograph above but the land has now been converted.
I had anticipated suburban streets but never did I think we would be walking down main street where all the malls and plazas were. We were amusingly so out of place, I wasn’t sure who was laughing at the situation more. Us or the folks driving by.
We knew that there would be a large hill to hike near the end of this section of the trail we wanted to complete. Originally thinking that it would be slushy and wet, we weren’t sure how that would work out but it turns out we didn’t even need to worry because the trail took us up the large hill (dare I say mountain?) via the classic suburban residential route.
Of course once we got to the end of the street (seriously, the very end), we found ourselves slipping and sliding down this slushy and partially icy hill. We were trying to find all sorts of alternative ways to get down the hill — sometimes snow is better than no snow! Even when trekking up hill.
The last chunk of the trail leading to the next section was just sidewalk. Not exciting but I can’t say I expect anything less (or more) from the Bruce Trail!
While there were some interesting parts to the trail, I didn’t like this section as much as the first. There wasn’t as much to enjoy and the trek through a commercial strip wasn’t ideal although it made for lots of wisecracks and funny moments. Nonetheless it is still something that we need to work through to tackle the full Bruce Trail. Hopefully next time, I’ll be able to bring more people along.
While waiting for the next section of the Bruce Trail, you can take a look at the full gallery for the Woodends to Glendridge section.