Local Southern Ontario Treasures
We and our pooches just love our hikes, and try hard to find adventures wherever we go... in one week, we can find at least three different places nestled into tiny communities locally. Little treasures found here and there, right under our noses!
I like to use the app that I spoke about previously (Alltrails Canada), and search out official trails as well, and this is how I came across Brant's Crossing's SC Johnson Rail Trail. I myself did not get to the rail trail itself, as I was too busy foraging through the wooded areas and up and down the steep and rugged terrain that I so enjoy! What a treat to find! Walking on old abandoned train paths can be lovely and relaxing, but investigating hill and vale and haunted-looking forests - awesome!!
The woods were so dense, I could almost forget that I was close to town! And the scent in the fresh air reminded me of being at camp with my family as a child - I just took a deep breath as I typed this. Ha! Isn't that what we miss so much, living in our fast-paced city lives? Well, put on your hiking boots, and drive the few minutes to these places! SOOOOO worth it!
My ears hungrily picked up on the sound of the lapping water down below, and I was thrilled to come across this large sandy slope to the Grand River. Doesn't it look so peaceful and make you feel as if you are being transported back in time to simpler days? Maybe I'm a hopeless dreamer, as well as a romantic, but I was captivated by this place, and couldn't wait to share it with others! The fairies from the Eastern Townships of Quebec would love it here! :)
I would definitely rate this part of the trail as moderate, and probably not for the unsteady walkers, but it isn't a mountain ;) Give yourself the afternoon, at least, and if it is warm outside, pack a picnic and park yourselves by the river. Enjoy!
We went out of our way for this next trail, as it was tricky to find regardless of the online map, and I have to admit that I was quite disappointed - mainly because it was rated as a 10 kilometer hike that is difficult...no such thing! The McNiven Trail, in Ingersoll, is a flat and somewhat dull walk between hydro towers and farmland, and cannot be any more than maybe 2.5 km in length. (I did have fun taking the pictures, though.)
I can say that it could be an enjoyable walk with small children, as you could see horses nearby in the fields, and explore a lovely little bubbling creek running alongside the path. Another positive was that we met up with friendly people on this trail, which always makes our day. I do so enjoy the friendliness of small towns!
I found the Short Hills Loop in Pelham purely by accident! But it was a fun break while I was waiting for my husband to finish a "quick" job. (That wording alone would bring groans from our family - they understand from experience...)
Being spring, it was a muddy experience, and the park itself was closed for the winter. My fur babies and I snuck past the gate, onto the path, and over the first hill, only to find this:
My grandchildren are sure it is a pterodactyl skeleton.
For me, coming over the hill without my glasses on, I had a split second of panic that I had come across the scene of a murder...hehe...
The name of this Provincial Park is quite fitting with the trail winding between and over hilly terrain - fields on each side - like being in Calgary, Alberta. There have been dinosaur skeletal finds there...
Once again, my ears tuned in to the lovely sound of rushing water, and so I went to investigate the source. It was surely worth the search! Beautiful, rushing waters in between tree-laden hills. Very picturesque!
The dogs were in their glory, too. What a peaceful place! Another treasured find in our pretty province!
Hiking can be ultimately rewarding - a place of calm, a respite from the business of life, enjoyable exercise, and a benefit to your body! Enjoy all your local area has to offer! And don't forget to share :) I would love to hear from you!