Having had and continuing to experience a very busy fall, I decided last Friday to head back over to the west side of the Beaver Valley and hike a section of the Bruce Trail that we never completed back in June. Lynn didn’t make this time as her back was still bothering her a bit, so a solo trip for me.
Having kind of “fallen’ in love” with this area over the past year or so, Lynn and I have hiked a fair bit on both the west and east sides of the Beaver Valley. My adventure for today was going to take me north from the Bruce Trail parking lot on Concession Road 12A in Grey County and through to the top of the Beaver Valley Ski Club.
Back in June, Lynn and I had hiked portions of the trail south of the parking lot, as well as a significant portion to the north of the ski club.
Today felt like a good time to fill in this missing section.
Actually, my goal was to be at the Epping Lookout located on Grey County Rd. 7, located about 3 or 4 kilometres north of here to catch the sun rising up over the east side of the Beaver Valley. Unfortunately, rain and cloud cover sort of put a “damper” on that plan, but it did make for an earlier start to my day.
Sometimes, one just needs to get out whether it be on a hike or paddling a canoe. Being in nature, out in the bush or on some quiet lake or river someplace simply soothes my soul. It nurtures and heals my mental well-being.
The start of the trail as it entered from the road. Wet and muddy!
Given all the rain we’ve had, I was a bit surprised when I came upon a somewhat “dry” stream bed.
This was an interesting information board that I found early along the trail. I would have assumed like in most areas of southern and central Ontario, that most of the forests we encounter would have been cut at some point in the past, either due to settlement or for logging operations.
Needless to say, I was kind of pleasantly shocked when I read this. Sort of made me feel good that for some reason there is at least one area in south-central Ontario that still retains some old growth forest.
This is a picture of the dominant trees the information is describing. I should have taken my pack off and place it against the trunk to give some idea of the diameter of these mature specimens. Being in here was very impressive while humbling at the same time.
And of course being the Beaver Valley and the Bruce Trail, there were a number of pretty little streams cascading down the escarpment slopes.
Not only are there smaller streams flowing down the slopes of the Beaver Valley, on occasion you came across streams and rivers that are much larger. I find that if you’re quiet when hiking along, you can always hear the water rushing long before you see it.
I always anticipate a surprise………
This time I wasn’t disappointed.
Although the pictures don’t capture the terrain very well, I was about 100 metres from the house in the first shot. The waterfall as it cascaded down through the vegetation and rock was actually quite steep.
This is one of the wonderful discoveries that happen every so often that get me excited and eager to get back out there. Lynn and I plan to head back there so she can take proper photos of the waterfall and area in general.
The watercourse actually continued to cascade down through the valley for a fair distance.
The trail eventually crosses the riverbed and started to climb upwards to Grey County Road 30 and the trek up the slopes of the Beaver Valley Ski Club.
After crossing Grey Road 30, the trail weaved its way through some fields and scrub brush to finally this ladder to cross into the Beaver Valley Ski Club grounds.
The trail continued down one of the ski runs….
This is looking back up the run……after remembering that if I hike down them….at some point in the near further(say within an hour or so) I would have to hike back up them.
The trail passed under underneath a chairlift and then started the slow climb up one of the slopes to the top of the ski resort.
A couple of shots from the top of the ski resort looking east across the Beaver Valley.
After getting to the top and re-starting my heart(lol), I took a short Clif Bar break before I headed back the same way. As difficult as it is climbing hills, I find the real problem for me is downhills. Steep downhills tend to wreak havoc on my knees and ankles.
Approaching Grey County Road 30 on the return.
A couple of final pictures of the stream seen before as it flows down through the valley bottom.
I covered a distance of between 8 to 9 kilometres in just under over 3.5 hours. The trail was very muddy and slick in most sections due to the early morning rain and fallen leaves. In addition, there were several steep long sections, not including the ski hills that where certainly taxing.
But, overall it was just the type of outing the “doctor” ordered.
Cool temperatures; excellent scenery and a perfect half day spent along the Bruce Trail. It’s always a great feeling to know you’ve been able to refuel your soul if even only for a little bit, with just a day outside soaking up what the outdoors has to offer.
If you’ve never been along the Bruce Trail or certainly hiking it over in the Beaver Valley, take some time in the next couple of weeks to get out there while the leaves are still on the trees. Even if the leaves have fallen by that point, still take a trip out there.
You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading!