Bruce Trail Part 13 – Hilton Falls to Limehouse

Starting off the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail was quite exciting.  I was looking forward to seeing what this part of the trail had in store for us.  Although some of the trail did seem a bit bland earlier on, it was technically challenging and we were eventually rewarded with some pretty cool and interesting things to see and experience in the latter part of this hike.

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The rain gear everyone was wearing initially was short-lived.  We shed that layer rather soon after starting the hike.

We had thought it would rain all day and taking that into consideration, I decided to bring out my waterproof Canon D20 for use on this hike. Fortunately it stopped raining but I decided to use this small compact handheld camera for the whole hike rather than use my typical camera to see how I felt about it.

Starting off the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail was quite exciting.  I was looking forward to seeing what this part of the trail had in store for us.  Although some of the trail did seem a bit bland earlier on, it was technically challenging and we were eventually rewarded with some pretty cool and interesting things to see and experience in the latter part of this hike.

Getting a nice view of the escarpment, and the rain stopped just in time for us to shed the rain gear.

When we started the hike, it was pouring rain but we soon found that we didn’t need the rain gear and it was significantly warmer than we anticipated so off went the rain gear.  Of course, throw in some sunshine after the rain and you get some pretty warm and humid climate.

Three words:  Perfect mosquito conditions.

We ended up squeezing in between these columns.The view from the road of the escarpment was rather pretty.

After taking us through a small chunk of forest and through some stone formations, we found ourselves on a bridge overlooking a large quarry.  What is fascinating about this is the fact that we drove by the escarpment later and saw the bridge from a distant country side road.  If we hadn’t hiked across that bridge, we would never have known it even existed.

After a bit of climbing we found ourselves on a bridge with a view looking at a rather large quarry.This part of the hike takes us through some marsh areas, and of course the mosquitoes were out in force.

This hike like the previous hike had a lot of overgrowth with less maintained parts of the trail.  As much as I enjoy the wildflowers and all, walking through tall and vast fields of them and into lots of shrubbery isn’t that pleasant and there isn’t much to look around at either other than your footwork — ensuring you don’t trip on a root or stone.

In the latter part of this hike, we began encountering entire chunks of the trail that were all uneven rock or stone.  This slowed us down greatly but we got accustomed to it after some practice.  It didn’t help that the rain over the past week made everything moist and muddy, making navigating over the not-so-flat or stable rocks and moss-covered stones more challenging.  It was a nice technical challenge for us but it would get tiring for anyone who isn’t accustomed to hiking or haven’t strengthened their leg and ankle muscles.

The hike gets challenging from a technical perspective because of all the uneven rocks and mossy rocks that served as the trail path.A brief break from hiking on the rocks.  A random lawn chair?If only we had cash on us.  We could have enjoyed some poutine along this hike!

Eventually, we made our way on to the road and ended up passing by an interesting little food joint.  We were hoping to try out the poutine but unfortunately we used up all our cash available to us in order to pay for parking at these Conservation areas.  There’s a bit of irony there.

The next part of this hike was by far one of my favourite encounters.  We ended up hiking through a small strip of land in between two large corn fields.  Aside from wondering if this corn was meant for humans or for animal feed, we traversed through some very interesting terrain.  The trail weaved between and around trees or vines with so much character and colour — then ended up finding ourselves forced to hike through columns of corn, with husks and leaves constantly flapping into our face.  Annoying but fun for a brief amount of time.

It's amazing to think that this is a mere thin strip of land between two fields of harvest and crops.  Practically a tunnel made up of all sorts of trees and brush.A view of what's outside the natural tunnel.  Notice the corn fields on both sides.Enjoying the rather colourful experience whilst walking through this path.Passing through more farmland.

Eventually, after making our way through some large acres of farmland, we find ourselves in Limehouse Conservation Area.  There we make our way through the “Hole in the Wall”, a fun section of the trail in this park.  We tried to hang around here for a while to take some photos but it seemed like a pretty busy part of the trail so we had to depart to let some other folks have some fun.

The Limehouse Conservation Area also contains some pretty nifty historical remnants of the old industry from the 1800s.  My inner historian would love to spend hours comparing photos of then and now.

The remnants of the Lime industry of the 1800s.Autumn has been revealing its splendid colours.

The latter part of this hike was by far one of the most interesting bits of the Bruce Trail.  It was tiny but thoroughly enjoyable.  The funny thing about the Bruce Trail that I’ve discovered thus far is that it takes you through large number of beautiful areas but it doesn’t necessarily take you through the best parts of these areas nor does it force you to spend more time in these areas.  It sort of forces you to choose distance vs. depth.  At the end of the day, we were surprised to see a beautiful multi-coloured tree.  We had parked on the side of the road earlier in the morning when it was pouring rain — with the sun out, everything looked completely different.

Check out the full gallery from this hike.  As much as I liked the fact that I was better able to respond to situations with the Canon D20 camera, and that it was waterproof — I still preferred using my go-to Fuji X100.  That said, I didn’t mind that with the Canon D20, the amount of time spent dealing with post-processing RAW files and uploading large image files was reduced dramatically!

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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