I have a
not-so-secret to share with you: it still feels weird to be back home. Despite that I’m often wanderlusting for the perpetual sunshine, döner, and black sand beaches, being home gives me an opportunity to explore what’s around me. Also, the extended summer we’ve been having here in Southern Ontario has been fabulous for it!
I rounded out the Labour Day weekend by dragging Robin (not literally, but pretty close considering he had me on a two week ban from taking him on hikes after Iceland) to the Beamer Memorial Conservation Area. Located in Grimsby, the area features some nice relaxing trails while also housing a part of the famous Bruce Trail. We consulted the map just past the small trail entrance to find there’s the Lookout Trail which converges with part of the Bruce Trail as well as one of its side trails, the Beamer Falls Access Trail. Since they were all connected, we set off to see what the lookouts were all about!
The Lookout Trail follows the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and features three lookout points that give you a great view of the city of Grimsby and Lake Ontario. The trail itself is comprised mainly of bedrock with no real change in elevation, making it a great hike for those (like Robin) who want a relaxed stroll.
Most of this trail follows along the Bruce Trail which is marked by white blazes (painted rectangles on trees). At one point about half way through the Lookout Trail, you’ll hit a fork in the road which is where the Beamer Falls Access Trail begins. You can also head down a set of stairs here to continue along the Bruce Trail as pictured below.
We continued along the windy trail until confusion got the better of us as we ended up connecting with a road. From here there are no markers, but if you follow the road towards the left you’ll find a bridge. Depending on the time of the year, peeking over the side might not tell you much as the water can be pretty stagnant. However if you keep following the road you’ll see a dirt parking lot with a pathway that leads further into the brush. There’s also a dirt pathway just past the bridge that you can take if you’d rather take the path less travelled! Just be careful as there’s a possibility of poison ivy along the trail.
Cross over the chain dividing them (don’t worry, it’s not private property!) and you’ll see the building for the Grimsby Scouts. To the left of it is a small pathway and it will take you to the shoreline. There’s a series of small pathways that lead along the edge, however if you keep heading towards the left this will take you down to the riverbed of Forty Mile Creek. If you keep following this then it’ll take you right to the base of Beamer Falls!
Southern Ontario has had a very hot summer, meaning there wasn’t much of a current as the water trickled down the cascades of Beamer Falls. It was still a perfect place for us to sit and relax before doing a little exploring of the area. Despite the lack of current there was still a refreshing breeze from the water!
One awesome thing about the weak current was that we could actually scale up the waterfall! The layers of bedrock made it easy to grip as we made our way back up towards Ridge Road. If you do decide to do this, be careful and take your time as the moss on the rocks can make certain areas slippery. Make sure you have solid footing before taking any big steps!
I’m curious to see what the water flow will be like later in fall or after the thaw in spring. Do you think the water will freeze in the winter or will there be enough current to keep it in motion? I might just have to check it out and report back!