Bruce Trail 9 – Scenic Drive to Sydenham Road

This part of the trail that passes through Hamilton is quite interesting because it weaves its way through a number of conservation areas in the city.  This meant that the trails were often quite wide and very well developed — some of which were even accommodating to horses and mountain bikes.

The previous section of the trail was a tad dry (lots of straight paved paths) so I was hoping that this section would be a little more exciting. Thankfully, it was an excellent section to hike through.  The timing was impeccable as there were many surprises along the way that made the whole journey so memorable. Right off the bat as we drove into the city of Hamilton to continue from Scenic Road, we encountered road blocks.  We weren’t sure what was going on but we simply assumed that it was construction.  It definitely delayed our start a little.  This time our group grew back to four people!

Apparently someone lost a book.  Good reading on the trail?

When isn’t it a good time to read?  I’ve never actually read while on the trail before but I suppose anything can happen.  I hope the book gets returned to its owner … unless it isn’t worth reading of course.

This part of the trail that passes through Hamilton is quite interesting because it weaves its way through a number of conservation areas in the city.  This meant that the trails were often quite wide and very well developed — some of which were even accommodating to horses and mountain bikes.

Along the trailSome beautiful and lush areas along the trail.

There are always little parts of the trail that you have to stop and take in.  For whatever reason, they always remind me of magical forests in fantasy novels and movies.  At a certain point, the group gets a little silly so we decide that we should greet fellow hikers along the way in different languages — each of us speaking a language that would not match up with our appearance.  As much as we laughed at our ridiculous idea, the action failed to take hold.  Perhaps later into the hike!

Deer!  This was the second one we encountered as we were hiking.

Along the way, we were surprised to encounter a number of deer.  It astounded me that they were literally metres away from the road behind the trees.  Makes me really appreciate how much takes place in the forest without drivers noticing anything whatsoever — not that they should anyways — for safety’s sake.

The deer spotting had us in a great mood but what made the day even better was stumbling upon Sherman Falls.  We didn’t notice it on the map so it was completely unexpected and it was a very pretty waterfall — one that you could walk right up to.  No one was around at this time which was quite surprising but later in the afternoon when I was driving home, I saw so many cars parked nearby.  What made this waterfall even more interesting is that it is technically private land.  The family who owns this piece of land with such a beautiful waterfall are very lucky but I’m also appreciative of the fact that they are sharing it with us all on the Bruce Trail.

What an unexpected treat to pass by Sherman's Falls.Someone had too much fun and forgot their sock.Enjoying a view of the forest along the escarpment.

Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any more interesting, we came across the remains of an old summer cottage in the Dundas Valley Conservation area.  I have to admit, people and their ideas of cottages haven’t really changed much — they are still large houses in what is supposed to be an “isolated” area.

The remains of a summer cottage.Dundas Valley Conservation area is a fascinating place.  We saw a runner who literally blazed by us.

Because we were passing through a relatively urban park, it is always interesting to see who you encounter along the way.  We saw people on horseback, mountain bikers, people simply out for a stroll, other hikers, and most surprisingly — one of the fastest runners I have ever seen.  He literally bolted up and over hills without slowing down even a bit.

What do we have here?  Pollen Central?

Once we passed through the major conservation areas, we came across a still water pond covered entirely with what I believe to be pollen.  Of course hikers just have to have a little bit of fun with this and so some of us began to try and skip stones across the water or in one case, just make a big splash to disperse the pollen on the water.  I suggested a skilled attempt at creating a happy face…

Quirky bakery

Along the way we decided to take a small detour because we noticed all these signs about the Dundas Cactus Festival.  We had no idea what this was about but it seemed like fun to check out. We also barely saw anyone with cacti (although it could be because of the rain).  I think I saw more chiropractors offering free spinal examinations than food joints.  Some food was pretty tempting … poutine along the hike?  Why not?

Strolling through the Dundas Cactus FestivalSome funky graffiti on the way to our destination point

After passing through a chunk of the festival, we joined back up with the trail and hiked towards our destination point on Sydenham.  It’s a pretty long uphill climb, but the views are nice and the weather wasn’t too bad that day, although it did get a lot warmer and more humid into the afternoon that day.

Unfortunately, my GPS for whatever reason decided not to record the track so I have no map data to provide this time around!

For now, check out the full gallery here and keep an eye out for the next Bruce Trail update!

Author: Ehren Cheung

An explorer of life and data. Reluctantly philosophical. A seeker of the ultimate cookie. Another tree-friendly soul with an affinity for hiking and sketching.

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