Bruce Trail Part 8 – Felker’s Falls to Scenic Drive

The weekend right after I returned from Japan — a mere three days after I landed — my friends and I were eager to continue our Bruce Trail hike. They had been away for some time and I was away in Japan for quite a while so it was perfect timing regardless of my slight jet lag. This part of the hike was very much an urban hike.

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It was a while since the last Bruce Trail hike.  The weekend right after I returned from Japan — a mere three days after I landed — my friends and I were eager to continue our Bruce Trail hike. They had been away for some time and I was away in Japan for quite a while so it was perfect timing regardless of my slight jet lag. This part of the hike was very much an urban hike.  A lot of road and urban park paths but there are always some interesting things to see.

Looking down at a small stream or brook along the Bruce Trail

Although quite humid, the initial part of the hike was great — having to visit Albion Falls.  It’s quite fun to see how people interact with the falls.  Some try to climb it, others just swim at the bottom.  We saw one family dog who got stuck on a rock at the bottom of the waterfall, refusing to leave or wade into the water.

Albion Falls

One of the peculiar things we encountered was that this section of the trail had so many stairs.  In fact, there were so many people who were making use of these staircases to train or keep in shape.  It was actually quite inspiring to see all these people keeping active regardless of who they were.

Encountered a lot of these staircases along this section of the route.

Every so often along the Bruce Trail, you notice something that just is so out of the blue or has been touched by someone I do not know, but that person has likely amused or brightened up many other Bruce Trail hikers.

Someone drew a cupcake on a fence.

Sections of the trail were a popular walking and bicycle path through Hamilton led us to small lookouts right over a brick factory.  It’s so bizarre to see something like this right next to a residential area but I imagine in the earlier years of the city, this was pretty typical.

Brick making factory

One of the definitive trademarks (in a manner of speaking) of this section of the trail was the incredibly tall staircase.  We saw so many people running up and down sections of it or going all the way up.  Some friends weren’t so keen on the stairs but we conquered it!

This looks like a normal trail but just a couple metres on either side of us are highways.

One of the awesome aspects about this section of the trail that goes through Hamilton is that you get some awesome views of the city after going up the staircases.  Too bad the trail is all sidewalk.

Some nice views of the city to the right.

Where there aren’t good views, sometimes you find some urban art to enjoy.

We get to enjoy some graffiti as we pass by highways or major city roads that are fenced off.

The trail finally veers off of the roads and takes us to a very nice tranquil area where we get to walk right next to this amazing natural wall or “mini escarpment”.

Enjoying the walk next to the geological formation

As we got closer to the end of the trail, we sort of got lost and ended up walking along a road parallel to the trail but we still made it to the right destination point.  Some of the fascinating encounters along the way were these signs with QR codes and instructions on doing push ups or jumping jacks.  I think there must be a neat health program somewhere in the community.

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Still catching up since Japan but keep looking out for more updates!

For now, check out the full gallery for this section of the hike.

Transitioning to an EveryTrail Alternative

Over the past month or so, I’ve found that EveryTrail’s maps — which I’ve embedded quite often in my blog posts — have appeared to be unable to load and I have had issues uploading GPS tracks.  It even appears that EveryTrail’s community is gradually leaving given that the site does not seem to be fully operational.  It’s rather sad since I had been using EveryTrail for quite some time. After searching around for a solution, I finally came across a worthwhile and brilliant solution.  Rather than uploading it on to EveryTrail, I’ll simply host the GPX file on my own site with the WordPress plugin, Google Maps GPX Viewer.  I have to express my thanks to ATLsoft for creating and providing this free version.

You’ll begin noticing that for any new blog posts, I’ll be using this GPX viewer to map out the hike.  I will eventually get around to changing the maps for other blog posts to the new GPX viewer.

Update [Oct. 4 2015]:  Karol Szklarski of TripTrack approached me to try out their embed capability out.  Now that I’ve migrated away from WordPress, I’ve begun introducing embedded maps via TripTrack.  Generally speaking, TripTrack’s embed functionality is pretty simple and straight forward, although I wouldn’t mind a way to extract embed codes in bulk rather than going to each map.  TripTrack’s done a great job presenting itself as a new alternative to EveryTrail and I look forward to and hope for the addition of features to embeds such as altitude and speed.

Update [Nov 25 2015]: TripTrack is now charging a fee of about 5 dollars a month ($50 per year) if you require uploading more than 10 trips or GPS tracks.  I’m currently looking into some additional alternatives should someone not want to or can’t afford the fee.

Update [Nov 29 2015]: Did some further research on more EveryTrail alternatives.  Read on!