Bruce Trail Part 24 – Duntroon Highway 91 to Line 3

We took a short break from hiking because of vacation time and the Ride for Heart but on our return just a few weeks later — everything was so much greener and in some cases, taller!  It’s now the first weekend in June and we were anticipating lots of mosquitoes and black flies.  Even the bug reports from the Weather Network were reporting high levels of these pests.

Advertisements

We stopped hiking for a few weeks and the grass has grown dramatically!

We took a short break from hiking because of vacation time and the Ride for Heart but on our return just a few weeks later — everything was so much greener and in some cases, taller!  It’s now the first weekend in June and we were anticipating lots of mosquitoes and black flies.  Even the bug reports from the Weather Network were reporting high levels of these pests.  Fortunately, luck has been on our side again and there were very few mosquitoes and black flies.

This is one of my favourite photos from this hike.  Taken while crossing an expansive field.

Soon after we started hiking, there were great encounters.  Beautiful photo opportunities and mysterious crevices presented themselves.  My friends and I agreed that it was unfortunate that time didn’t allow us to explore these crevices — I guess it will have to be a different adventure.

The trail crosses paths with a lot of crevices.  It's too bad that the trail doesn't actually take us through part of the crevice network but I guess the traffic would damage this sensitive area.The trail was actually pretty dry this time around.Look out into the valley.

It was a pretty comfortable hike so far — not too hot and not cold either.  What I really enjoyed most was the part this hike that took us through a narrow piece of land where electrical poles were set up.  It’s sort of off the beaten path.  Who goes around following the hydro poles and where the electrical lines lead?  I assume that aside from hydro workers, there are very few that do, so this gives a small glimpse into their world.

One of my favourite parts of this hike. We hiked along a sliver of land that was cleared for hydro poles.There were caterpillars everywhere!  Many of them clumped together on trees.

A really peculiar thing that was occurring during the hike was our constant encounter with caterpillars — in fact a few of them fell on me.  It must be that time of year but these critters were on every tree and leaf — some of them even hitched a ride on our pants.  We found quite a few of them clumped together on trees too.  I’m not sure why this was the case but I’m sure birds and other animals would see this as if it were an all-you-can-eat buffet!

We’ve been talking about tackling the Bruce Trail with an overnight or multi-day trek — but I’ve rarely seen a decent campsite — until this hike.  Actually this hike had one of the most appealing campsites I’ve encountered on the trail.  River running along the side with lots of shade and quite spacious too.  The green ferns on the ground made the area feel quite tranquil.

A really pretty area along the trail.  We passed by a campsite here that would be quite nice to stay overnight at.  It was right next to a small river.Lots of uphill this time around.Coming across more crevice areas.

Similar to our previous hike, there was a lot of uphill climbing and crevices.  In fact, we were stopped by some fellow hikers who suggested we venture into some of them.

Long parts of this section involved trekking through these peculiar bare wooded areas.Passing by lush green crop fields.  Not sure what they were growing.Enjoying a nice lookout area.

We also noticed along this part of the trail as we cut through Pretty River Provincial Park, that there were quite a few people mountain biking.  It’s a pretty tough section of the trail to mountain bike on so I was pretty impressed but sometimes it is startling to suddenly have cyclists rushing downhill with their dogs running after them.

As we were nearing the last few kilometres of our hike, this last bit was actually quite rocky and challenging.  This was actually quite fun although due to the characteristics of this natural environment — it felt quite damp and humid.  My friend commented that this may have been a newer section of the trail but either way, the best way to describe it would be that it’s a bit of “rock scrambling”.

As we got closer to the end of our hike, there was a particularly rocky section.  Challenging at times because of the mossy rocks but fortunately it wasn't a wet day.Hiking past a marsh-like or swampy area towards the car.  The end of another hike!

I enjoyed this hike despite the slightly muggy weather and we had the good fortune of experiencing very few mosquitoes and black flies.  I hope the next hike will be just as bug free!  We were also lucky in that it only started raining when we were heading back to Toronto — after stopping by Barrie for some Thai food.  The Thai food there was so-so.  Unfortunately, we were having some problems finding places to eat so note to self:  plan out the post-hike restaurant before hand!

Check out the full gallery from this hike here.

Bruce Trail Part 23 – Nottawasaga to Duntroon Highway 91

We even encountered trilliums blooming everywhere.  The funny story about this flower is that aside from it being Ontario’s official flower and it being a part of the province of Ontario logo — I actually rare ever saw a trillium until I started hiking the Bruce Trail.

After a brief hiatus from hiking in late April, we continued from where we left off. At this point, it is mid-May and we were definitely anticipating lots of bugs. Surprisingly and thankfully, we were wrong … yet again.  We were puzzled. The 2 hour drive up from Toronto to tackle the hike has been taking its toll but at least gas prices were a little lower at this point making it a bit less painful.  As soon as we started, we encountered a man who was preparing for the End-to-End event for Blue Mountains section of the Bruce Trail — he encouraged us to tackle it but unfortunately we already had our weekend booked up and were on a tight schedule.

Enjoying the mid-late May green along the trail.Great lookout spot. It's pretty amazing that only a handful of weeks ago, this would have been a pretty bare landscape.

One of the things I enjoy most about springtime on the Bruce Trail are the light and vibrant greens.  The leaves haven’t fully developed yet so they’ve yet to mature into the darker shades of green so the wooded areas are often filled with light.

Spring time still allows for sunlight to shine through much of the woods, providing some really nice backlighting for individual leaves.The trilliums are in full bloom.  They were all over the trail.

We even encountered trilliums blooming everywhere.  The funny story about this flower is that aside from it being Ontario’s official flower and it being a part of the province of Ontario logo — I actually rare ever saw a trillium until I started hiking the Bruce Trail.

Sometimes while hiking along in silence with my friends, I let my mind drift.  It is during these moments that I’ll abruptly check back into reality and onto the Bruce Trail to observe beauty on the trail.  It’s like an odd surprise that just keeps recurring.

I'm not sure what it is about this shot but there is something about it that draws me in.Just as we were about to walk out into an empty crop field, we noticed a lookout spot.  Not quite sure for what though.

Speaking of surprises, just as we were passing through a small wooded area and into an empty crop field — we stumbled upon peculiar objects.  There was an lookout without any ladder (I wondered if people simply clamored up the tree) and then we came across some Christmas decorations abandoned along the trail.  I’m so curious about their stories.

Remnants of Christmas decorations along the trail.The trail takes us along the edge of the empty crop field.I'm not sure who laid down all those planks and logs but they were helpful against the mud!

We kept trying to determine how the muddy the trail would be and this time we took a gamble on not using gators.  Oops, that was a mistake!  There were large sections of muddy trail that we had to tip toe or navigate through.  It was pretty warm that day so gators would have made it feel warmer but it would have saved my hiking pants from getting covered with mud!

Not all of the trail was muddy though.  This was the good thing about hiking through this section of the Bruce Trail.  The “mountains” in the area meant that there would often be large sections of dry trail after passing through a valley.  It also meant for some steep climbs in certain parts of this hike.

I didn’t mind given that we’re training to tackle Kilimanjaro later in the year but it certainly reminded me of a number of sections along the Kumano Kodo in Japan!  A steep and continuous climb.  The reward would be signage at the very top to take a breather and read.

A long and steep climb up Devil's GlenThe sign at the top of the climb up Devil's Glen.Passing by a funky looking rickety carport-like structure.

Once the trail took us out of Devil’s Glen Provincial Park, we found ourselves on an odd path that would lead us to passing through places with ‘character’.  Sometimes, I don’t know what to make of certain things but I simply enjoy and appreciate them.  Without them, I’m confident the Bruce Trail just wouldn’t be the same.

Some places seem like they have a mysterious history while other places just makes you want to sit and ponder how wonderful it’d be to rest or live there (or at least close by).  Then there are places that simply make you scratch or shake your head.

This looked like a scene out of a fairytale.A rather odd section of the trail that was parallel and right next to the road.Passing through another field.

Passing through farms or crop fields are some of the moments I really enjoy along the trail.  Living in Toronto, it’s not as if I step across farms very often nor do I pay close attention to agriculture — but being on the Bruce Trail at least sheds some light on the state of agriculture in Ontario as I walk through a fraction of the farmland in this province and have a tiny glimpse into the agricultural landscape.

Times when I really want to scratch my head are when bits of the trail lead on and off the road again with a few metres.  I simply wonder — what’s the point?  Other than having a slightly better workout that is.

Sometimes, the trail is rather peculiar.  We walked off the road and into this tiny forested section that lasted a mere 2 or 3 minutes before we were back on the same road we were originally on.The end of this hike!

It was a muddy hike but an amazing day with great weather.  After the hike, we ended up driving back to Toronto and enjoying barbeque!  A rare treat after a hike.  You can check out the full gallery from this hike here.