Bruce Trail Part 7 – Woolverton to Felker’s Falls

It’s going to be a while before we continue on the Bruce Trail so my friends and I wanted to hit the trail one more time before a few of us are away.  We had anticipated a hot and humid day but mother nature had something different in mind for us.  We also didn’t anticipate so many cyclists on the road but they were all riding for a great cause to conquer cancer.  This slowed us down a little so we started the hike a little late.

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The start of the trail was overgrown but quite beautiful.  Wildflowers were numerous throughout this section of the trail.

It’s going to be a while before we continue on the Bruce Trail so my friends and I wanted to hit the trail one more time before a few of us are away.  We had anticipated a hot and humid day but mother nature had something different in mind for us.  We also didn’t anticipate so many cyclists on the road but they were all riding for a great cause to conquer cancer.  This slowed us down a little so we started the hike a little late.

Immediately I was impressed by the scenic environment as we hiked along the escarpment from Woolverton Road.  Everything was so lush and green and reminded me of worlds I’ve read of in fantasy fiction novels.  We simply stopped and took it all in.

Descending into a valleyThis section of the Bruce Trail had some stunningly lush and green.  Some parts reminded me of backdrops I had imagined from reading fantasy novels.

Along the way we encountered an incredibly large tree trunk — no roots or stump.  We’re not sure how it got there but we hypothesized that it could have rolled down the hill.  This tree must have had quite the stories to share in a manner of speaking.

We found an enormous tree trunk.  Where it came from we are not sure.  It appears to have rolled down the hill?A vibrant and green canopy

Much of this section of the trail we hiked this time were covered with a carpet of green.  I was surprised how it spread or at least grew so rapidly that it easily covered so much ground.  It does bring a sense of ‘magic’ to the trail though.

Checking the map.  Once we got into Hamilton, we were crossing a lot of these roads.Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Along the way, I spotted some peculiarities on this section of the trail.  I often wonder how people hike through entire sections of the trail — on occasion, I’ve noticed campfires.  Not sure if these are often permitted but this section had an awesome campsite.  That said, I don’t know how I feel about it being right next to the trail.

A great campsite location along the way.  I wonder how often this is used.

We had our own happy moment when we realized we had passed the 100km mark of the whole Bruce Trail since starting from Queenston.  What we were surprised to encounter as we trekked into Hamilton were fences set up right next to the trail.  I realize the property owners may be concerned about trespassers but it seems a bit extreme.  I have my doubts whether there are (or would be) trespassers but I admit anything is possible and am actually curious if these folks actually have had thru-hikers trespass deep into their properties.

After entering the Hamilton section of the trail, we began noticing a lot of fences.  I'm guessing a lot of folks are concerned with hikers trespassing into their backyard? A 1970s or 1980s vehicle remains.  Still puzzled how it made its way here.

Right before we got into the vicinity of the Devil’s Punchbowl, we encountered another old car wreck.  One day, it would be awesome to hear about the stories behind these car wrecks along the trail.  Perhaps they also served as a small home for animals at some point.

The stream running downwards is from the Devils Punchbowl waterfall.

It happened to start raining pretty hard but thankfully the tree canopy kept us pretty dry for the most part.  We took a little side trip to the Devil’s Punchbowl but there wasn’t really a lot of water coming down the falls.  It was getting pretty wet so we only spent a little time there and moved on.  Unfortunately despite us moving pretty quickly, my allergies were driving me nuts and I ended up getting separated from my friends.  Ended up walking up a steep hill twice trying to find my way back on to the right trail!

Interesting residential train crossing.Enjoying the graffiti along the tracks while passing under a bridge.

Passing through a section of the trail along the tracks — there was a lot of interesting graffiti.  More elaborate than the typical graffiti tags that I have encountered along the trail next to bridges or the random wall.  I realize there is a downside to graffiti but one has to acknowledge good artwork despite the medium that may on occasion be considered inappropriate.

Everything looks so different from the time we hiked in the spring.  Less muddy and darker greens.The final hike up hill is steep but a nice last real challenge (aside from the rain).

This section of the hike had some pretty steep climbs to tackle but the cool temperature that day made it a little easier.  We were really pushing the distance achieved this time around (20km rather than the average 15 to 18km) and not everyone had a good night of sleep (i.e. late night party) but everyone ultimately survived!

Passed by a treehouse in progress.  This looked pretty sophisticated.The final highlight, Felkner's Falls.

Near the end of the hike, we ended up finding an awesome treehouse in-progress.  It reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes — and how I often wished I had grown up with a cool treehouse.  It’s weird how no one I knew in Toronto actually had a treehouse.  Maybe it’s an urban neighbourhood thing.

We also enjoyed viewing Felkner’s Falls briefly but we ended up rushing to the car because the rain was really beginning to come down — and it was no longer too much fun to be a little ‘moist’.

At last!  Arrived at the Felkner's Falls Conservation Area parking lot in the rain.

This is the last Bruce Trail hike for some time as there are a number of travel plans in place so the core Bruce Trail hiking group won’t be around to make any progress.  Check out the full gallery from this hike but in the meantime, I’ll be training for Japan.

Bruce Trail Part 6 – Mountainview to Woolverton

It was pretty astonishing how much damage was done by the ice storm this past winter.  So many trees had fallen.  It was quite the beautiful sight to some extent because it dramatically changed how nature adapted and how everything was growing over the fallen.  In addition, it was also nice to return to Ontario and see the trilliums in full bloom.  Many of them white, or a blend of white and purple.

It is stunning how much damage the recent ice storm this past winter has done to the forest.

Between other road trips and the Ride for Heart event in Toronto, it’s been a while since our last Bruce Trail hike. We didn’t have enough time to hike more mountains while we were in the Adirondacks so we drove overnight back to my friend’s place, and then went straight for the next section of the Bruce Trail the next morning!

As soon as we started, we immediately noticed an escalated level of flying bugs around us.  It was that time of year … they just kept hovering around our faces, buzzing around our ears — pure annoyance!  Not many mosquitoes surprisingly but quite a few black flies.  I did try a new insect repellent that was based on oil of lemon and eucalyptus and while it seems to have helped against the black flies, I’m going to test it again on the next hike.

Even with the damage we can see done by the ice storm, it was a beautiful sight to see all the green in this valley.

It was pretty astonishing how much damage was done by the ice storm this past winter.  So many trees had fallen.  It was quite the beautiful sight to some extent because it dramatically changed how nature adapted and how everything was growing over the fallen.  In addition, it was also nice to return to Ontario and see the trilliums in full bloom.  Many of them white, or a blend of white and purple.

Trilliums were out in full bloom.Amusing signs along the Bruce Trail

Every so often, we get to stumble across an amusing sign, and sometimes peculiar scenes as well.  Of course, I’m looking at all of these from a hiker/passerby perspective.  I’m guessing that this guy got lots of lumber from all the trees that fell during the winter.

How much timber does one need?  Answer:  A lotThe trail in late spring is surprisingly pretty.  The various shades of green are so vibrant.

A part of the section of the trail involved a peculiar detour.  We were walking in the forest and then suddenly had to re-route out and on to a small road with lots of houses.  We had fun with it nonetheless and ended up discovering why the trail had to detour.  Apparently an estate was being sold off and I am guessing that the Bruce Trail Association no longer had an agreement to have hikers pass through a part of that property that was purely forest.  Unfortunate but we got to see some other interesting or peculiar things along the way.

Unfortunately, this estate has been listed for sale which meant that Bruce Trail had to be re-routed.  The trail had originally passed through a section of forest that is part of this property.Lots of creeks and waterfalls along this section of the Bruce Trail

Once we passed some really nice looking properties, we descended from the escarpment and into a valley where we encountered quite a few beautiful creeks and waterfalls.  We all typically agreed that the location of the bridges for most of the trail seemed counterproductive.  We would see a creek or waterfall like the one above but the bridge always was built above the waterfall rather than below where folks would be able to view the waterfall nicely.  Perhaps there are good reasons for this but it is unfortunate.

Didn't know that people would start naming bridges...A little waterfall running under the bridge.

It briefly started raining but it was nothing major that got in our way aside from temporarily hiding my camera from the rain.  Even other people we came across were too cheerful to be put off by the rain.  As we got into the area around Grimsby mountain and Beamer Conservation area, we found a lot of people enjoying the day off on the long weekend.  It appeared to be a pretty popular area for quick hikes to enjoy a view looking out over the city.  There were some nice looking streams that side trails would lead to but we were eager to keep going.

A view from Grimsby MountainNeat to see rows of dandelions in this vinyard.

Once we left the Beamer Conservation area, we found ourselves walking past many vinyards again.  In fact, the walk on the road was a pretty long one — and of all places, I got bitten by a black fly while walking on the road.  Go figure.

Random mailbox

Although not most scenic of routes and pretty bland to be honest, these small rural roads that the Bruce Trail takes us through can sometimes lead us to some curious findings.  You just have to wonder what the story is behind some of these things.

Dangling trunk by power line?The last portion of the trail was mostly road but there were some interesting things to see.

Out of this section, I really enjoyed Mountainview Conservation area the most (despite the obnoxious black flies) and the recent winter definitely made quite the impactful change on the environment.  I knew a lot of trees had fallen due to the storm but it’s very different to actually walk through and see the damage.

The end -- and the beginning of the next section of the trail

The awesome news is that the end of this section of the trail means we’ve also completed the Niagara section of the Bruce Trail! We’ll see if there’s another opportunity to tackle the next section of the Bruce Trail before other travels takeover. In the meantime, check out the full gallery from this hike.