Alright, so what happened to the snow and cold weather? This is January and Canada isn’t it? Those two sentences may be true, but in central Ontario the middle part of January has been unseasonably mild with not much of any new snow for a while now. Not, that I’m complaining, in fact it’s been a good thing. Since the snow started, let’s say mid December, there’s been more days of either driving to work in poor weather and road conditions; driving home in the same; or both as compared to driving in decent weather.
Regardless of weather conditions and lamentations on the commute to work, any time is a good time to get outside for a hike and a day’s adventure. I just read someplace that for the outdoor lover types there is “no bad weather – only bad clothing choices.”
If you read my post from a couple of weeks ago, one of the realizations I had exiting 2016, was the need to be more definitive in planning outings. Leaving it up to chance, just wasn’t cutting it. So, not wanting to feel any misguided guilt or shame, I bodily told Lynn that on the Friday of my days off, we’d head out for hike. The weather was forecasted to be 4 C with sunny breaks in the afternoon. Not too shabby!
As such, we decided to head over to the Bruce Trail that passes through Walters Falls.
Walters Falls(the village) and Walters Falls(the falls) are located about 20 to 30 minutes more or less south of Meaford. I supposed technically Walters Fall can be found off Grey County Road 29 just north of Grey County Road 40. Once in the village simply follow the signs to the falls.
Our hike consisted of hiking the main Bruce Trail on both sides of Walters Creek and using the Walters Creek Side Trail to form a 6 kilometre loop.
Starting for the parking lot at “The Inn at the Falls”(and a great spot to my understanding), follow the Bruce Trail signage and in a few minutes you’ll hike down a short series of switch-backs that take you down to the valley bottom.
This part of the Bruce Trail gets a fair amount of traffic throughout the year from both people staying at the Inn and heading out for a hike, as well as those who come; park and hike in the area. Nevertheless, we found the main Bruce Trail well packed down. Even with the warm temperatures and rain over the previous days, the trail wasn’t covered in ice so we found ice cleats or micro-spikes weren’t necessary. Compare this to February 2015 when we hiked here; snow up to the middle of your thighs. That year, snowshoes where a necessity.
One of the great things about hiking along the Bruce Trail is you never know what surprises there could be along the way. We’ve come across waterfalls we weren’t expecting; old farm and house foundations from a by-gone era; abandoned farm machinery; to just about anything else you can imagine.
Because the trails where well packed down, thus making for reasonably good walking, we found literally hundreds of deer tracks along the trail. The snow was still quite deep off the trail, so the deer utilized the well packed path to move around through the bush. I thought we had taken a pic of the deer tracks, but I can’t seem to find any. We did find PLENTY of this though.
The afternoon made for a great day out. The sun didn’t come out as much as forecasted, which is a good thing because I forgot my sunglasses at home. Bright sun reflecting off the snow, would have made for a miserable time.
Here’s a few of Lynn’s pics from the hike:
On our way back the trail passed along a short rock face. What was very neat was a small stream that came out of the bottom underneath a vertical crack in the rock. There was a fair volume of water flowing from it and noise from the stream coming through the rock was quite loud. The first pic is the water flowing out from the bottom of the rack face. The second one is the path the stream made as it flowed down slope to the creek and valley bottom.
Some days you just need to get and be in nature and I’m always thankful once we get out there. This was no different. Warm temperatures; a great trail; and the best person with me – made for a great afternoon.
Although the hike wasn’t long in distance(6 km) it made up for it in soul nurturing that we all crave. Sun on your face; the sound of water flowing along the creek; the crunch of snow underneath you feet as you step along the path – heaven!
The Bruce Trail throughout this area has plenty of great scenic hikes to go and make a day of it. Do a little research and head over to this section of central Ontario. You won’t be disappointed!
A couple of last pics!
Thanks for having a look!