We’ve had some part timers unable to join us and with Nuit Blanche fast approaching, my friends and I decided to push to hike a greater distance than normal, and complete the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail.
Starting off where we ended last week near Limehouse Conservation Area, we immediately noticed that autumn certainly was making an entrance on certain parts of the trail. This certainly made the anticipated-lengthy hike more enjoyable.
After walking on a side road for a while, the trail takes us along the escarpment wall and deeper into the forest. Eventually, we make our way past some farmland and some beautiful grass fields — where we encountered some beautiful and vibrant autumn colours, primarily golds and oranges. During the past few hikes, I’ve noticed quite a few tunnels formed by trees and bush. With the autumn colours coming through, these tunnels look that much more appealing.
During this section of the hike, we were surprised to find out that lengthy parts of this hike involved boardwalks. I’m guessing that these areas required more protection (or there were too many wet areas). We were expecting a rough hike but we didn’t mind. This made a for a pretty glamourous and comfortable hike and it definitely helped us speed up our overall pace.
Once we made our way through one-third of the hike today, we found ourselves hiking against the direction of much traffic. Apparently there was a Toronto Bruce Trail Club End-to-End event this weekend. Everyone we encountered seemed to think we were hiking the wrong way! I think I even came across a couple of folks I’ve seen on twitter.
The rocky terrain was pretty challenging this time around and although those parts of this hike weren’t too lengthy, it could pose a pretty major challenge for anyone not accustomed to this type of terrain — particularly if there is a lot of trail traffic. It definitely seemed like a very busy day on the trail with so many folks enjoying time outdoors. We even noticed a large group of Korean hikers sitting around enjoying lunch who had some sort of group sing-a-long. That said, I didn’t really understand what they were singing other than the fact that it seemed opera-related.
There were definitely some stunning and beautiful landscapes that we passed during this hike. Autumn may have been showing itself through the colours but the temperature and weather sure didn’t seem like it — felt more like summer!
The Bruce Trail running through Terra Cotta was a little disappointing. My friends were all joking about how I would be taking lots of photographs and slowing down the hike once we got to Terra Cotta Conservation Area, but I only ended up with a few photos. This part of the hike simply ran through a pretty bland forested area of the conservation area. Wish they had routed the Bruce Trail through the more interesting parts of the park.
There were definitely some big surprises along the way. One of the best ones was stumbling upon an apple orchard and bakery as we hiked along the last part of this section along the road. I kept noticing a lot of city slickers driving by looking at us oddly (was it our gear?), and when I saw the busy parking lot at the Spirit Tree Cidery, it all made sense. We were tempted to stop in for some cider and apples but none of us really felt like carrying everything to the end of the hike.
After some debate and pondering, we ended up returning to the Spirit Tree — perfect opportunity to pick up some pie and cider as a treat to take home. Unfortunately they seemed to have run out of apple pie, so we picked up some blueberry and pumpkin pie.
After trudging along slowly on the last bit of this hike (it was surprisingly hot at the time), we finally arrived at the end of the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail and the beginning of the Caledon section. The Toronto section is surprisingly short but it provided a very nice variety of scenery and had some pretty challenging technical sections.
We’ll be on a bit of hiatus for the month of October with the core group taking off on some autumn road trips or spending time with family. I anticipate we’ll resume sometime in November — I think it’ll be quite a bit colder then!
For now, check out the full gallery of this hike.