Bruce Trail Part 28 – Eugenia Falls to Concession 12A

Last time, it was very hot and humid and our water shortage left us needing to take a short cut to the parking lot so we made our way back to the waterfalls, climbed over the wall and hopped across the water and got back on the trail.  I was quite happy that we were going to finish the part of the Bruce Trail that was leading us south so that we’d be heading in the right direction once again — north!

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It’s been a while since I’ve had time to post about our hikes but don’t worry, they’re coming fast and furious soon.  With the big site migration, I’ve had little chance to focus on writing but that’s for another post so here we are during the last week of August with the intention of making some major distance on the Bruce Trail.  We managed to get a week off work to make this happen.

After a very very very very long drive up to the vicinty of Eugenia Falls, we resumed where we left off.  Last time, it was very hot and humid and our water shortage left us needing to take a short cut to the parking lot so we made our way back to the waterfalls, climbed over the wall and hopped across the water and got back on the trail.  I was quite happy that we were going to finish the part of the Bruce Trail that was leading us south so that we’d be heading in the right direction once again — north!

Hiking on the Bruce TrailHiking on the Bruce Trail

The funny part about this bit of the trail is that it really just takes us in this loop around the river that becomes Eugenia Falls.  It was a pretty area and with the relatively cool temperature and lack of bugs, the hike was off to a pretty decent start.

We even ran across some nice graffiti as we passed by what looked to be an old shelter or building.  It definitely looked like it was being used as a shelter nowadays.

Hiking on the Bruce TrailHiking on the Bruce Trail

Once we got around the loop, we were provided with some glimpses of Eugenia Falls from a distance.  Not very impressive during the summer time but I can imagine it’d be quite a sight in the wetter months with water levels significantly higher.

As we progressed along the trail, we found ourselves with some pretty lookout areas.  While we were all grumbling about the fact that over the past few hikes, we’d be trekking in the wrong direction (i.e. Tobermory is north, not south) — it can’t be denied that the Beaver Valley section is a beautiful and lesser trekked portion of the trail.  There are places that I’d imagine would be stunning during the autumn time.  I still don’t like the amount of overgrowth on the trail — drives me nuts.

Hiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail

Speaking of overgrowth along the trail, we got to wade through a whole lot more tall grass.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a problem with it — it’s just not that much fun when everything is triggering your allergies.  My friends were even commenting on how strong of a scent the flowers and tall grass pollen gave off.

I should stop dwelling on and on about tall grass but it is a recurring issue from my perspective.  Regardless, I was always happy once we entered the woods.  This section of the trail has always provided some really great portions of challenging descents and ascents in the woods because of the valley and the ups and downs of the escarpment.

Hiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail

Eventually we reached the beautiful Hoggs Falls that the Boyne River ran through.  There were actually quite a few people either passing through or just stopping by (there was a parking lot very close by).  We sat down along the side of the river for lunch and just enjoyed the sounds of the river and the falls.

I love moments like these on hikes.  Nothing but you, your friends, and the waterfall … and may be the occasional stranger or fellow hiker.

Hiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail

Another really neat feature along the hike that we stumbled upon was a stream with incredibly smooth rocks.  Waterfalls are almost always quite a sight (even the dry ones), but streams always intrigue me because I just have to wonder how long they’ve been running that way and how did it begin?

Hiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail

Soon we made our way past another lookout point although it wasn’t as impressive as the other ones we encountered along the way.  It seemed like this was the point where we were finally leaving the actual valley.  The terrain seemed to be flattening out a little with fewer lookout areas and cliffsides.

Eventually the trail led us to more fields to cross and we even encountered someone’s treehouse! A little creepy though to have one right next to the trail. Perhaps there should be treehouses sparsely set up along the whole Bruce Trail — that’d make for a very unique experience, wouldn’t it?

Hiking on the Bruce TrailHiking on the Bruce Trail
Hiking on the Bruce Trail

As we got further along the trail, despite the cool temperature it felt quite humid so we were happy to stay at the Eugenia Falls Bed and Breakfast for our first night.  We stopped at the road and head off to get some dinner and prepare for the next day.

>> View the full gallery from this part of the Bruce Trail.

Bruce Trail Part 27 – 9th Sideroad to Eugenia Falls

Walking further down the road, we walked through Duncan, what seemed to be a very small village.  If this was main street, it definitely didn’t feel like it because all we encountered was an old refitted schoolhouse and a couple of houses.  A couple of residents enjoying the morning on their porch waved to us.

After the last hike’s rather wet experience, I had my fingers crossed for a drier day and perhaps less tall grass to deal with.  The weather seemed to be going our way but it definitely felt hot and humid as soon as we started the this trek. This part of the Bruce Trail kept us on a small country road for a while but we were amused as we passed by a yard sale.  It was a pretty elaborate and diverse sale and there was very little traffic on the road but I do hope there are more prospective customers in the latter part of the day!

Passing by a yard sale.  A very quiet yard sale.Entering the hamlet or village of Duncan. Seemed pretty quaint but really interesting.

Walking further down the road, we walked through Duncan, what seemed to be a very small village.  If this was main street, it definitely didn’t feel like it because all we encountered was an old refitted schoolhouse and a couple of houses.  A couple of residents enjoying the morning on their porch waved to us.

A beautiful yellow-green green crop field we passed.Bumped into some fellow hikers who were trekking for a cause.  A Walk of Kindness to fundraise for ALS.

As we weaved in and out of the woods and back on to another country side road, we noticed some folks on the road and a woman approached us and explained that they’ve been hiking the Bruce Trail since July 4th raising money for ALS and for the Brain Injury Association as a Walk of Kindness.  Visit the link to read about Marie’s very inspirational story and her effort to walk the Bruce Trail for her sister.  She provided us with a card which I took a picture of above.

It's a steep hike down parts of the escarpment.... and a steep hike up the escarpment through a large crevice.

There a number of sections that were quite steep and after some climbs and descents, this hike took us further up the escarpment that led us through a hauntingly beautiful crevice section.  I wondered what it’d be like a night but this eventually took us into the Grey County Conservation Area where lookout points were quite plentiful.  We encountered quite a few young Mennonites who were enjoying the view as we hiked further up past where they were taking a break.  It’s interesting to see them dressed so formally on a rather hot day and hiking.  We would later see a number of them speeding by along the road on their bicycles.

A great little lookout area with a bench.Hiking through another field of tall grass filled with flowers.Along the hike further up the escarpment.

As we hiked up and down along the escarpment, we began to encounter small groups fellow hikers, as well as one large group — particularly where there were major lookouts.  The lookout points were fantastic places for lunch but unfortunately my friends weren’t really in lunching mood so we pushed onwards.  We would end up lunching in a rather plain area on a dirt path.

The grand view of the valley from a high lookout point on the escarpment.

There were a number of road sections along this hike and thought we initially were quite cheerful about the lack of bugs, we eventually found ourselves hounded by flying pests who refused to leave us alone.  There were as many bugs as there was plenty of blazing sun that day.  We either had to endure the thirsty bugs or the crazy hot sun.

It was rather surprising given that areas were so dry even some of the streams we passed over were completely dried out.  One crossing point that would made for a very pretty little waterfall.

On a bridge with no stream running beneath it.Looking at the stream from the bridge, it's completely dry.So many ferns...The remnant of an old bridge.

Unfortunately for my friends and myself, we were running low on water.  One of my friends had been experiencing a leaky water bladder but the hot day and tough climbs meant our water consumption rate was higher than normal so as we got to the last two kilometres of our hike, everyone was pretty much out of water.

We kept pushing forward until we got to Eugenia Falls at which we made the call to cross over to the other side of the Falls (since the water level was really low) and call it a day.  At least we had the opportunity to take a few neat photographs of the waterfall, albeit we’ll be back.

Looking down from the top of Eugenia Falls, there are a few guys starting up a campfire.A view of Eugenia Falls from the side.We ran out of water for the day so we had to find a shortcut across the waterfall and back to the parking lot.

It was a long hard day on the Bruce Trail.  It was hot (and humid at times) with plenty of bugs bothering us.  Initially, we thought we might head back to my friend’s place for some barbeque but once we go to the highway 400 — there was some crazy cottage country traffic.  So after some discussion over the cell phone in bad traffic, we decided to stop in Barrie and visit a Montana’s.  I splurged on a taco salad and poutine, which was very satisfying after such a tiring day.

We’ve got plans to hit up the Bruce Trail for a full 5 days later in August, but in the meantime, take a look at the full gallery from this hike.