It’s a beautiful sunshine-y day out there which makes it a lot easier to get out of bed to explore. Today I head out to Hamilton to check out Borer’s Falls Conservation Area, and Rock Chapel Sanctuary.
I parked Sully on Valley Road. There’s a small road side area, for maybe three vehicles if the first two park properly. I did, the guy that pulled in when I was leaving did not.
Trail access is about 20m down the road. You can see the distance in the photo – not far at all. (You can also follow the Bruce Trail on the other side of the street for a different adventure that I’ll be doing sometime in the future).
In to the forest we go! Once you descend from road level, you come across this little bridge over the Lower Hopkins Cascade.
There are several water crossing along the Bruce Trail in Borer’s Falls Conservation Area and all of them have sturdy bridges.
Shortly, you’ll come upon a fork in the trail – to the right continues to Borer’s Falls. I went left because I like to cover all the trails and I know if I don’t do it now, I won’t do it on my way back.
The trail to the left is a side trail called Ray Lowes. It will lead you to York Road, crossing a dog park on your way. You can continue here to the Royal Botanical Gardens and Cootes Paradise – which are more future adventures for me.
So I turned around and head back to the fork in the trail to continue on to Borer’s Falls. And of course the path is up. I hate up. But what is to b expected when you’re heading towards a waterfall? You go up!
Once you’re up the path levels out and it’s fairly easy going. There are a couple more access points along here, though I’m not certain about their parking situations.
And here it is – Borer’s Falls! In case the sun was throwing you off, it’s actually pretty cold out today, as is evidenced in this photo of a half frozen waterfall.
On we go around the falls, and on to the Rock Chapel Rd a bit. This is a short run from the Rock Chapel parking lot, which is the main access the this area. If you are looking to avoid those stairs above, park here.
Straight ahead from the parking lot we come to this lovely lookout with some signage explaining the escarpment.
The Bruce Trail continues through Rock Chapel along the escarpment, on a wide level path.
I assume this is the “Rock Chapel” but I could be wrong. I was a little distracted here.
Do you see it yet? Look closely at the doorway, behind the twigs.
Apparently I was trespassing and this guy was not letting me through. First instinct is “So fluffy!” but then I remember this is a wild animal and I should probably keep my distance.
I thought maybe I was in his way for escape, so I backed off. But he followed me. Around the building. So I let him be, and he watched me leave down the trail. I’ve never seen raccoons show such assertion? Maybe there are little ones inside.
At the end of the Rock Chapel Loop (a hop, skip and a jump from my buddy) there’s a stairwell descending in to the valley. This is the Armstrong Trail and doesn’t appear on any of the maps (except Google). It’s a small loop, and explains some of the different layers of the escarpment as you descend.
Back up on Rock Chapel Loop, I keep right to avoid ending up in Niagara along the Bruce Trail, and head back to Sully on the other side of Borer’s Falls.
I do love the long shadows through forests of bare trunks so one more here before we finish up.
And here’s that first little bridge we crossed. You can see the guardrail of Valley Road above – my last climb for the day!
307m elevation gain