After enduring another very slow and long drive up to the Collingwood area, we continued from where we left off in our last hike at the parking spot on Line 3. I’m beginning to tire of the long drive up and to make things more challenging, I forgot to bring along some water for the drive so I was starting off a little parched. Nonetheless, the hike — once it started — was off to a brilliant to start. It was very decent weather — not too hot and the bugs weren’t bothering us.
Since the trail took us immediately on to the road, we had the opportunity pass by a lot of friendly road cyclists who were all pedaling up (we were descending). What really made the descent enjoyable was the brilliant horizon and scenic view. We could see the escarpment and the vibrant blue of Georgian Bay.
Eventually, we were stumped by a trail closure sign. Apparently, there was a bridge that was heavily damaged and was unsafe to cross. We decided to check it out and if need be, we would simply take our boots off and cross the river. I wasn’t exactly keen on doing so but given that it would beat hiking the lengthy detour — I went along with the plan. To our surprise, not only was the water level very low — the bridge was actually in decent shape. Okay, not the safest to cross if you are carrying something heavy but we just crossed the bridge one at a time and we survived. I’m not condoning crossing unsafe bridges so I’ll leave it to one’s own discretion.
I expected that there would be hills to climb since we were in the Blue Mountain area but I didn’t anticipate the climb to be so lengthy. It felt good to tackle challenges like these in preparation of our hike up Kilimanjaro this coming December. The conditions were far better than what I experienced in mid-summer Japan tackling the Kumano Kodo when the humidity was crazy.
Initially the hike up was primarily made up of exposed tree roots and eventually evolved to large rocks that one would tip toe or scramble over.
We soon ended up in big fields of grass. I am always wary of tall grass (I have allergies) so I simply plowed through as quickly as I could. The really odd aspect of this situation is that someone had mowed certain parts of this field for pedestrian traffic for other nature trails — why not for the Bruce Trail?
The sun was pretty harsh and once we entered the forest, it was immediately a few degrees cooler.
I often love walking through the forest but what really enjoyed this time was a brilliantly-lit tree canopy. The trees were so tall and thin creating this tall ceiling of vibrant green. We followed the trail through the forest that took us past a decent lookout point (we saw lots of turkey vultures) and eventually into Blue Mountain’s main tourist area (i.e. their ‘hiking’ trails) and quite a volume of mountain bikers.
The great thing about Blue Mountain’s trails was that they were so very landscaped — I referred to them as luxury trails. In addition, we had the opportunity to enjoy grand views of Georgian Bay. The drawback was that we needed to pass through tourist central.
Once we got through ‘tourist central’ and descended down from Blue Mountain’s luxurious hiking trails, we made our way through more of the main Bruce Trail and encountered a nice shady area next to someone’s fenced home. This turned out to be one of the best lunch stops we’ve had for a while. It was breezy, shady, and we had a great view!
After a nice lunch break, we continued onwards and found ourselves trying to figure out which ski slope we were passing. I’m not sure where we were exactly but it was interesting to observe how the ski hills are treated in their off season. Surprisingly, some ski hills are composed of a lot of rock. I guess there must be a lot of snow that layers over this during the winter.
This soon took us up a second lengthy climb after which we found ourselves enjoying another nice lookout point with a makeshift bench made out of two stumps and a wooden board. There wasn’t a whole lot of shade here but it was quite a tranquil area.
The trail then took us back into the forest and eventually led to us encountering a family mountain biking. I was impressed with the kid’s enthusiasm and politeness. He was yelling, “excuse me!” from a quite afar.
Throughout this hike, the grass was consistently very tall and unfortunately, they were pollinating. There would be times when we would be crossing huge fields of tall grass — practically shoulder height — and I found myself sneezing uncontrollably. I certainly didn’t enjoy that section of this hike but I gradually recovered after obtaining the post-hike dinner.
While sneezing frequently, I found myself tackling the final major climb uphill. As much as I enjoy the challenge, I would have preferred not to have been dealing with a running nose and frequent sneezing fits.
Once we made it up that last hill, I was rewarded with more tall grass. Fortunately, I had some more space to stay away from this major allergen. More importantly, the view was very scenic with lush green rolling hills and vast fields amidst a wide blue sky. I love landscapes such as these — they always appear so tranquil.
We walked up to the end of the dirt road to a big ‘Stop’ sign and began leisurely strolling down the nice shady side road — a nice change from the sunny green fields that I just passed by. Some dirt bikers roared past us as we gradually made our way to the car.
This was an excellent hike and aside form my allergies, it was a beautiful day. After a bit of deliberation between ‘country kitchen’ or ‘Caribbean’ food — we decided to head over to Mylar and Loreta’s Restaurant. A wonderful old restaurant in the town of Stayner which made for delicious end to the hike.
Check out the full gallery of this hike.