Today we tackled Hike #3 and were blessed us with something special: sunshine! After the endless rain and discouraging grayness of our first two hikes, we were astonished to see a bright orb in the sky! Could it be? Yes, the sun, shining on our little band of hardy hikers.
We were excited to welcome some new faces to the group:
The first part of the hike took us through a beautiful forest of mixed hardwood. We were awed by the age and size of some of the trees. It is rare to see such giants anymore as they don’t fit onto a suburban lot in a subdivision.
Little did we realize that we were entering the Land of the Frozen Waterfalls, a magical place where water stands still. The first silent cascade we came to was Terrace Creek Falls.
Up close, it was more like a grizzly old hermit’s beard!
Fun thing we encountered along the way: Some energetic person had hung Christmas ornaments on a pine tree in the middle of a large meadow. This person had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to create an unexpected piece of whimsey. It had the intended effect: we were delighted!
Oh, look! Another frozen waterfall!
Growing tired of waterfalls, we stopped for lunch. Memo to all winter hikers: bring a good-quality thermos. Nothing like a hot drink on a cold day. Second memo to hikers: hot toddy?
One thing I love about the Bruce Trail is that the humble stile is alive and well. In this day of escalators and elevators, there is something so satisfying about climbing over a stile. It’s the stuff of nursery rhymes….
Most people would not expect to encounter a herd of llamas along the Bruce Trail, but we did!
The trail started to get more rugged and challenging and we had to pay more attention to footing on the mossy rocks and frozen stream crossings.
Unfortunately, some people just didn’t seem to be taking the hike very seriously!
Next up was the stunning (frozen) Fifteen Mile Creek Falls. Note the karst topography, with water seeping through dissolved channels in the soluble rock.
We passed by a shooting range which was well- marked by about 100 threatening signs – in case the sound of repeated gunfire didn’t deter you!
After this the trail got quite gnarly, with challenging ascents and descents, made more treacherous by the slippery skiff of snow.
Everyone was all smiles at the top!
One more frozen waterfall…..
And another climb…
And then we arrived at the parking lot at Louth conservation Area, waiting for the car shuttle.
What a great day! 16.3 km! Congratulations everyone. You deserve to smile….
See y’all in March!