As some of you may recall from my last hike, I finally committed myself to trekking across every inch of the Bruce Trail, starting here in the Niagara Region, and then eventually, over an undetermined amount of time, hike the remainder of the trail all the way up to beautiful Tobermory.
Something else that happened on my last hike was that my progress was unexpectedly stalled by a washed out trail. Determined not to let this happen again, I realize that I need to go out and purchase some knee-high gaiters (the ones I have now are only ankle-high, designed to keep a minor amount of mud and water from entering inside and ruining my boots), which will allow me to wade through the majority of over-flowing creeks that are quite common, particularly in the springtime after the winter thaw.
I checked the map and drove out to Ninth Street just past Jordan Station where the Bruce Trail intersects pretty closely with Pelham Road. I parked at the Rockway Presbyterian Church, but instead of continuing on towards Effingham Street, I decided to backtrack to the exact spot where I ended off – the washed out trail.
Unlike previous sections throughout the Grimsby, Beamsville and Vineland areas, this whole section (keeping in mind that it was raining all day) was surprisingly hilly and ridiculously muddy, turning what might have been novice conditions on a dry day into an advanced hike with treacherous climbs and dangerous slides.
Along the way, I couldn’t help but to imagine what these trails would be like once the warmer weather arrives, particularly in the summer when all of the young, soft thorn branches grow in size and stiffness, waiting patiently for unsuspecting hikers to pass by in their shorts, lacerating their shins and ripping at their t-shirts.
When looking at the attached photos, please keep in mind that the aspects that seem to be lost are the proportions of the scenery. For better perspective on what you’re looking at, imagine that these trees, for the most part, are all full-grown. Some of the waterfalls are fairly large and some of them are much smaller. The best way to determine which one is which is to look at the size of the trunk and root systems. But of course, nothing beats seeing it all first-hand, so as usual, I am recommending that you drag your butts out onto these trails and remember to bring a friend, bring your kids, or just simply go out on your own (assuming you are confident in administering first-aid to yourself if necessary).
You’d be amazed at how therapeutic it can feel just to get a little fresh air and exercise, and connect with nature all at the same time – in silence or with your favourite music – it doesn’t really matter. Just get outside!
See you out there.