This blog post follows a series of Bruce Trail Hikes as I attempt to hike the entire Bruce Trail, 900km of preserved trail paths in Southern Ontario, Canada.
To catch up on my past hikes and adventures, please check out my Bruce Trail Hiking Page.
On this Bruce Trail hike, I picked up from where I left off on the last one on Glendale Avenue in St. Catharines. This time, I hiked with my sister, Robyn. She had just purchased a mirrorless camera and was looking forward to trying it out. I’ll be posting a few of her pictures too, where noted.
This hike was actually quite different from the one before it. Thankfully, after walking through a small residential area, the trail led back into the forest. We were really happy about this as it was a very hot day outside, and we were eternally grateful for the shade. The shade definitely made the hike bearable.
This map details our hike for the day. This ended up being the longest Bruce Trail Hike of mine to date, spanning 16km in length! The hikes always end up being double the distance shown on the map as we walk as far as we can in one direction knowing full well that we have to turn around and make the same walk back to the car. In the Bruce Trail trail guide, I’ve made it from Map 02 to Map 03 now!
We hiked along an area that the guide described as, “a beautiful, mature woodlot.” Some portions of the Bruce Trail are technically considered to be private property. In order to connect sections of the trail, private landowners have given permission to the Bruce Trail Conservancy to allow the Bruce Trail to travel through their property. All that the landowners ask is that you stick to the trail and don’t wander away from it. Exploring too far off the trail would be considered trespassing, so please be respectful of the signs when you see them.
We came to a clearing with a sign for the Glenridge Naturalization Site. Unfortunately, the Bruce Trail only runs through a small section of this area and we didn’t explore any of the side trails. Perhaps we’ll come back here another day. The lake and trails there look really interesting and it would be nice to enjoy a picnic there. You can read more about it on the sign posted below.
Soon enough, our trail was following along the edge of the Brock University campus. Foreshadowing here: this would come in very handy later. We kept walking the edge of the escarpment and towards the outer city limits of St. Catharines.
The trail took a turn along a hydro chain-link fence and got quite narrow. We noticed that there were seemingly more pesky bugs flying about, so we were thankful that we applied some bug repellant before the hike. And sunscreen. I was very thankful for applying sunscreen.
We started walking through some scrub land and the plants were a bit overgrown here. There were still some pretty spots to admire….quickly. If we stopped for too long, the bugs might start to bite!
The hiking trail followed around a small lake called Lake Moodie. We crossed a small bridge. The trail grew increasingly muddy. Even though it was a really hot day and the sun was shining brightly, these muddy patches remained.
We saw a clearing where we were able to walk down near the lake to admire the view. Lake Moodie is actually a smaller segment of Lake Gibson, a man-made lake created as a reservoir for hydroelectric power generation. The lake was created by flooding the nearby shallow valley of Beaverdams Creek. Mostly all of the water here comes from Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, via the Welland Canal.
We headed back to the trail where it looked particularly muddy. I was walking in front and called back to Robyn, “Be careful, it’s really muddy here!”. It wasn’t two seconds later that I lost my footing completely and my legs went flying out from under me. I landed on my side, completely in a mud puddle. This was also the side that my DSLR camera was on. The camera hit the ground and the lens cap went flying into the forest. I was completely covered in mud but was not concerned about my own body in the slightest. In a panic, I looked over the camera. Thankfully, it was completely okay, with only a little bit of mud on it! I stood back up with my legs completely caked in mud. Robyn and I hunted through the forest for the lens cap. After about five minutes of searching, I found it on the opposite side of the trail a little ways down. That lens cap flew really far!
We were so close to the place where we had planned on stopping to turn around and head back to the car. Unfortunately, I had about 8km to hike back as a muddy mess. The mud started to dry as it was really hot outside. By the time we reached our stopping point, Decew House Park, the mud had dried into my clothes and my skin. I was hoping that Decew House Park would have a washroom facility, but sadly, it did not. I used a couple of leaves to wipe the chunks of mud off my skin. I’m really grateful that other than being a muddy mess, I wasn’t hurt in any way.
On the hike back, we walked past Brock University. It was a Saturday, so we weren’t sure if the school would be open or not. We approached one of the doors that had a sign on it, “Open Saturday 9am-3pm”. It was 3:10pm. I pulled on the door handle anyway…and it opened! Hooray! I went into the bathroom and started to splash water on my face, arms, and legs. A lady who was cleaning the washroom found some paper towel, which was super helpful! All cleaned up, we hiked back to the car. And I was happy to not get my car muddy, too!
Of course, we kept up our tradition of going for drinks after the hike! We went to one of our favorite spots in St. Catharines, the Merchant Ale House to get some of their craft beer, some vegan nachos, and some meatless hot wings! Justin was jealous so I brought him home some meatless wings, too. Because I’m a really nice girlfriend like that.
|Date||July 11, 2015|
|Location||Map 02, St. Catharines & Map 03, Thorold|
|Distance||7.9km (x2 = 15.8km)|
|Total Trail Distance||29.8km (864.2km remaining)|
|Start||21.9 Glendale Ave.|
|Finish||29.8 Decew House Park|
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Where are you hiking this summer?