Now that the snow is finally starting to thaw and we’re getting some spring weather, I’ve been taking the opportunity to explore a little more of my local area. The Niagara Region is very lucky to have many wonderful wineries, the ever beautiful Niagara Falls, and many hiking trails… including the Bruce Trail. This trail runs from Tobermory all the way down to Queenston which is only a 20min drive from me. With yesterday being the warmest day in months, I decided to jump in my car and head for the Southern Terminus of the trail!
The Bruce Trail is one of thirteen UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada, and it runs along the Escarpment as it heads north to Tobermory. The entire trail is maintained by nine different associations that cover it from end to end. Niagara’s club covers over 130km of trails from Queenston to Grimsby. I only ventured a minuscule amount for this first trek, but trust me I’ll definitely be checking it out more! The trail is marked by white paint called blazes that can be found on trees, bridges, fence posts, hydro poles – you name it! They also indicate if there’s a turn in the trail to help keep you on track. Along the Bruce Trail you can also find side trails marked in blue.
As we’re still in the early stages of Spring the trail was quite wet and muddy, and the mid-afternoon rain didn’t help with this situation. However this didn’t stop me from checking out the trail, which had some pretty nice views overlooking vineyards and small bodies of water. I’m sure this will be another story once the leaves on the trees arrive. One thing I found very interesting for the first 2km or so was that you could hear the highway traffic despite being in the middle of a fairly dense forest. With the sun hidden behind the clouds, it made for an almost eerie sort of feeling. The juxtaposition brought me back to my fine arts roots as I pondered the clash between nature and human evolution. If anything I think it made me more apt to immerse myself within nature’s trail in order to get away from the hustle and bustle.
The trail winds around patches of trees as it follows the edge of the escarpment, occasionally passing some old work sites. You can get a look of them if you veer slightly off the Bruce Trail, but it’s not much to see in my opinion. For me, the highlight of the trek was where I decided to turn around. I came upon a little valley which had beautiful moss-covered rocks peeking out between fallen leaves and what’s left of our winter snowfall. Being me, I had to get down towards the bottom and snap a few photos. Don’t worry – no moss was disturbed in this endeavour!
So I’ve succeeded in completing the first approximately 3km of the Bruce Trail with only 882km to go! Anyone want to join me in doing the End to End trip? It’ll only take a month or two…