Sunday, May 17 – 2009
09:00 – 18:00
Roads: Dry / Clear
Area: Bruce Trail
Km Start: 0
Km Finish: 16
Vehicle: Blue GMC Suburban / Black Sunfire
Weather: Windy, but sunny
Trail Conditions: Dry
Hikers: Wolfmaan, Tori, Chuck, Luka, Merlin, Morgana
Plan: Hike the Bruce Trail from KM 0 to KM 16
09:00 Chuck arrives & we take the truck to km 0 of the Bruce Trail, and put his Sunfire at Woodend, km 16 after stopping home to pick everyone up.
10:00 Hit the trails, Wolfmaan & Tori barefoot. We made our way through Woodend on a beautiful but useless circle around the small park and back to the parking lot, past the house and some scenic views. We passed a trio in the park who were quite indignant about Merlin and Morgana being loose and said “Dogs are supposed to be leashed in this park” as they passed by us quite smugly. The smooth compacted ground felt so soft and nice under our feet, with small exposed polished rock that was so nice and smooth. We headed away from Woodend southbound across some nice trail to come out near a house with a beautiful pond and dock. We headed east on Werner road and stopped for Tori to rest for a brief time.
We saw the new G4S security car 10 go by, a company I used to work for from 2002 to 2006. The small sharp stones on the road were a challenge for Tori and I but we kept going at a slow pace. We passed through a tunnel which was very wet known as the “screaming tunnel” and hooked left over more sharp rocks to head over the new Bruce Trail Bridge built recently over the Q.E.W. Highway in Niagara Falls. This was our first time over the brifge as the old trail went over Mountain Road several years ago.
Crossing the bridge we walked over more sharp stones which slowed us down, and then over a gully filled with nasty charcoal colored sludge, which Merlin had to walk through. We joked that he was now two-toned as as his entire bottom half was black and white. From there we headed along the highway with the road of traffic beside us until the trail hooked into some woodland and brought us more PUD (pointless up and down). We followed through that for a while to come to a road which we used to jump our trucks over at high speed, as it is a steep railroad bridge. Sadly the bridge has two concrete barriers over it stating that it is now closed. We went up the road and hooked back onto the Bruce Trail into some woods. This is where we stopped and turned around back on the hike we did on April 10th, 2009. The new trail here was covered in old horse poop, which felt very grainy to walk through, like walking on sawdust. We headed along the trail until we came to a farmers field and stopped to relax and make some lunch. Chuck had some sandwiches and Tori cooked us some Chicken and Noodles freeze-dried food. We gave the dogs their food, but they were more interested in the quiet solitude of the area, coupled with new smells and some wind.
After lunch we packed up and crossed into Firemans Park, then onto some side trails towards St. Davids, Ontario. Funnily enough we came across that trio who was complaining about our two Jack Russell Terriers being loose on the trail, but this time they were quite friendly. A good portion of the trail has been re-routed since our last visit several years ago, including exposing a large storm drain which looked interesting to explore some other time. The trail here was a soft beach like sand which was such a joy and pleasure to feel underfoot.
Heading slowly down Four Mile Creek Road in St. Davids, we tiptoed through the sharp stones towards the next entrance of the trail which is at a trailer park. I wasn’t sore at all from the trip, except the stones on Four Mile Creek Road. Thankfully my leather-soled feet protected me from cuts.
Passing behind the trailer park we came to a set of stiles which is a form of ladder over a fence on the BT. We navigated through the stiles and headed up a set of stairs onward to km 0 of the trail. Around 16:00hrs I started to run out of energy. We navigated our way through some switchbacks as we slowly ascended the escarpment and came upon a chainlink fence which concealed some limestone kilns from the old Queenston Quarry. We headed down the cool feeling packed dirt “Donkey Path” towards the Queenston Mines, but some recent high winds knocked over trees and blocked the pathway to the mines. We decided to keep going to the truck.
18:00 After a long, enjoyable but slow journey we arrived at our truck and loaded everyone in.
The Garmin 650CSX GPS unit gave us a reading of 16.5km. A sizeable section of the Bruce Trail, and 16.5km less trail I have to do when I leave in early June, 2009 for an end-to-end hike. As usual I wore my green MEC rip-stop nylon pants & long sleeve shirt, Canadian Forces military backpack with hydration kit, ESS NVG Goggles, bush-hat and fingerless gloves. I decided to start using my hiking poles to ensure I got a bit more mileage on the trail. Luka wore her Ruff-Wear Pallisades pack with hydration bladder and carried some dog food for everyone.
The next day I changed my Facebook and Myspace to read “Wolfmaan hiked 16km on the Bruce Trail Sunday. So sore… can’t move… too fat…”