After yesterday’s spectacular weather, we were a bit despondent to see gray skies and rain this morning. But… this would not be our first hike in inclement weather. So, the ladies did what the ladies always do; put on a raincoat, a smile and boldly venture forth!
This hike was about two things: roads and crevices. When we looked at the maps for today’s route, we were disheartened to see how much of the trail is on roads. There would be some brief off-road interludes, but we assumed they would be flat and boring! Wrong! Between the roads, we found some of the most interesting hiking along the trail so far.
After leaving the highway, we entered into a magical hidden world of deep crevices and rocky outcrops and secret passageways.
The trail was winding, rugged, narrow in places, and full of surprises.
Even the plants and trees took on magical, mysterious, twisted forms.
We reached what is definitely one of my favourite places along the entire trail so far: the Lloyd Laycock Cave Side Trail. This trail is the coolest place to explore if you like scrambling, climbing and slithering.
We eventually had to leave the magical place and return to regular hiking.
We enjoyed the woodland spring flowers yesterday, but today we had an extra-special treat: we encountered a patch of red trilliums, known as “wake-robins,” which were in full bloom. These are exquisite little flowers.
There were several other horticultural treats in store for us: we passed through a beautiful wetland filled with towering bulrushes. No Phragmites in sight! The red-wing blackbirds were ecstatic!
Here’s another rugged, knotty and gnarled old fella that we met along the trail:
We were still in the zone of “really cool things that grow.” Next up was the “groovy fungus zone.”
It wouldn’t be a spring hike without a serious dose of….. mud! The last stretch of the day’s walking was on a squelching, sucking, oozing forest floor.
Just before we reached the cars at Clearview Crescent, we encountered the famous “Polish Soldier Tree.” The words were carved into the trunk by a Polish soldier who was training in the Owen Sound area in 1942. The first line says: “Poland has not yet perished.”
Next hike: June! Sweet dreams of Bruce til we meet again!