This whole social distancing thing is really putting a “damper” so to speak on getting outdoors for some serious outdoor adventure. All Provincial and National Parks, as well as most Conservation Areas, are closed for use at this time. This includes the Bruce Trail as well.
Closure of all parks and such certainly has polarized the outdoor community. Most understand the reasons behind the closures. Unfortunately, there are very vocal outdoor enthusiasts who almost take a form of bizarre pleasure in boldly stating, the social isolation and distancing measures do not apply to themselves.
I’ve dropped out of or muted(not sure what the correct phrase is) a number of FB outdoor groups I belonged to, due to the pure and unadulterated viciousness that some members directed to others in these groups.
Although Lynn and I certainly do miss with great sadness our ability to hike through Algonquin Park or a day out along the Bruce Trail, we’re not having a mental breakdown, as some are suggesting they’re having because they can’t go winter or spring camping, let alone the opening of spring trout season.
But, enough about this. I’ve come to realize, it is simply natural for some to be selfish and focus solely on their own needs and desires. On the other hand, it is also good to remember that karma can be a bitch.
Just about a year ago, Lynn and I hiked along the Georgian Trail through Collingwood and along the shores of Georgian Bay. To say it was a sloppy and wet hike, would be a gross understatement.
From April 10, 2019
One place or trail that we’ve talked about getting to over the years, is “The Georgian Trail” along the pristine shores of Georgian Bay. The trail runs approximately 34 kilometres between Collingwood and Meaford.
The trail as we experience it today was originally The Northern Railway Line that connected Collingwood and Meaford. It was constructed in 1872 and used extensively hauling rail goods until the line was deemed unnecessary and abandoned by the Canadian National Railway(CNR) in 1984.
In 1988, a feasibility study recommended keeping the abandoned rail corridor in public hands and to be developed as a recreational trail. In October 1989, The Georgian Trail officially opened to the public.
Leaving the “old homestead” mid-morning, it was a leisurely drive over to Collingwood with us arriving close to noon. We parked our car at the south-west corner of a large commercial plaza putting us pretty much adjacent to an entry point for the trail.
Collecting our gear, we headed off for another afternoon of discovery and yes – fun.
As the name suggests, it was originally a railway corridor. As we all know, railway lines are generally flat and run for the most part in a straight line. The Georgian Trail is no different. One of the neat aspects of the trail, however, is it connects with other trails within the Town of Collingwood and other communities along the way, creating a myriad of options for a day’s adventure.
There had been a fairly significant spring snowfall a couple of days before we headed over to Collingwood. Although the trail was well packed-down, the snow and ice started to turn to slush as the afternoon wore on. In addition, with it being spring and that ever welcoming rise in temperatures, there was significant standing water in the low areas adjacent to the trail.
The following was the route we took for the afternoon. In the top part of the photo above the yellow line, is one of the many resort developments in the area. This one is the Living Stone Golf Resort, formally known as Cranberry Village and one of the original resort developments in the Collingwood area.
To the south, there is some industrial development. Noise from heavy machinery and trucks was quite loud at times. The potential for noise in a semi-urban/rural environment should be anticipated. Although loud, making the choice to ignore it and enjoy being outdoors, maybe the best and only option available along this part of the trail.
We kept trucking along, with Lynn madly taking pictures at every available moment and of every object worth capturing with her camera.
As I mentioned, a tad wet in some areas.
Trying to look regal and dignified. Not sure if I achieved it or not.
Along the length of the trail we covered, there are numerous signboards with information regarding the trail and as well benches to stop and have a rest if you need to.
I think this is the best picture of the day.
At one or two points along the trail, you can connect to other trail options. This one took you up and through the Living Stone Resort golf course.
After 2 or 3 kilometres along The Georgian Trail, we came across the “George Christie Nature Trails.” It is a series of trails looping through a mixed forest of hardwood and cedar and appears to be a favourite go-to spot for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and hikers.
We did about a 3-kilometre loop through this part. There were many low areas that were flooded or at least heavily saturated with water as we found out. So did our boots and socks, unfortunately.
Even the woods were smiling at us today. Made the day all that much more enjoyable. We all need a happy and cheerful log.
The trails starting to melt and get sloppy as the afternoon wore on.
Lots of texture and opportunities to compose some interesting and effective shots.
Woodpeckers have had quite the go on this tree.
Spring hiking does have its drawbacks. Water and wet boots are certainly one of the somewhat negative results.
After coming out of the forest portion, the trail followed this fenceline before turning right at the trees in the background of the picture. It all seemed simple enough, other than the field was flooded and flooded for several hundred metres to the right of what is in the picture.
We actually had to gingerly maneuver several hundred metres down the field to find a slightly higher location that wasn’t quite so wet as everything other spot in the field.
Slowly and carefully working our way across. Not that it mattered much, as our boots were pretty much soaked by this point.
An abandoned jeep just before we turned right onto the 11th Line to head the 1.5 kilometres north to eventually re-connect with the Georgian Trail.
Wet and still wet areas.
The story of my life…just a blur in someone else’s existence.
While heading back along the rail trail, Lynn became obsessed with taking pictures bulrushes or cattails.
We spent 3 to 4 hours out and covered approximately 8 kilometres in total.
Although the day was dull and gloomy, it was still a great afternoon outside. As Lynn often says, it is our attitude that will determine how the day goes. You can get all pouty and miserable because of the weather, or be thankful that you’re outside, while others may not have this opportunity.
If you’re in the area, make a point of checking out some of the trails in the Collingwood area, especially The Georgian Trail. As it is also a bike trail, one could make a wonderful day trip from Collingwood all the way to Meaford or any location along the way.
Thanks for reading.
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