It’s the last day of 2018, which means this is the last hike of the year. I decided to spend it on the Bruce Trail, in Mono, Ontario.
I also tried to get up to watch the last sunrise of the year. I did mange to get up, put a jacket on and head out the door. But I also took my dog, and well, Stella had other ideas in mind. So we didn’t get to the bridge in time to view the very, very pink clouds, but the clouds were still pretty pink.
I thought I had missed it entirely. The photo on my phone is MUCH brighter and MUCH LESS colourful. Good ol’ (d)SLRs for the win. Anyway, time to hit the trails now!
Parking is in a corner along 4th Line EHS, about 4km north of Highway 9. It’s a gravel road, so expect some bumps – but well maintained, they were sanding it as I was leaving. There’s a stile to get over (and a hole in the fence for your dog to get through), and then some stairs. This is the Peter Beecham side trail. I took a right at the bottom and followed the main Bruce Trail north.
I was instantly in love this section of the trail. The light dusting of snow probably helped. There were two sets of boot prints, plus a dog, that came through before me, heading in the opposite direction. And it was quiet. Not sure why all the trees are fallen though?
Not too far up you’ll come to a junction for the Griffith Ravine side trail. The main Bruce Trail continues northeast to Glen Cross (which is still on my list). I take a left for the side trail.
A very pretty portion of the trail. You’re in a valley here and the trees just soar above you up the hills surrounding you. This used to the be the main trail before they revamped the section some years ago.
And what would a side trail named after a ravine be without a ravine? Well, still a side trail, and there’s probably many out there that don’t actually run by their namesake, but – this one does!
It’s about here that I run in to my first encounter of people – likely the people, and dog’s, prints I saw on the main Bruce Trail.
Griffith Ravine side trail is a short one, and I’m back on the main Bruce Trail again. This area seems to be a favourite of the birds. Many, many trees stripped of their barked and holed right out along this strip.
I tried to clear some snow off of this boardwalk so it wouldn’t ice over so bad. Hopefully it helps someone. Also, fun story here: the boardwalk is tiered and I took this photo at the second last tier. In some little piece of my brain I KNEW there was a step here. But I still had a mini heat attack in that 0.008 seconds where my foot was free-falling, looking for ground, while I looked at the photo I just took.
The sun was making a valiant effort to get through the overcast, but it just wasn’t enough with all the rain slotted for tonight. This section of the Bruce Trail is probably a pretty muddy one when it’s not a frozen slip and slide.
On the other side of 3rd Line EHS you’ll find yourself on the Hockley Valley Resort driveway. They have allowed the Bruce Trail to cut through their property for 1.1km, up over the ski hills and skirting the golf course.
For a winter hike, I had no trouble through here. But in the golfing season, you cross several Golf Cart Roads. Pay attention and yield to them.
Just to the left of these hills is the golf course. I pity anyone that manages to put themselves in this rough!
Past Hockley Valley Resort, you’re back in to a wooded area with very red trunks. I’m terrible at IDing things, but in my mind these are Red Spruce and it’ll take a lot of convincing to make me think otherwise now haha.
On to more familiar forested areas as we near the end of this there-and-back. Or well, this piece of the Bruce Trail that I’ve decided to do today, at least. There was an open field just before 2nd Line that I didn’t quite like any of the photos so it’s been left out.
Back we go to Hockley Valley Resort – this is a shot of the farming land to the west, with the golf course to my right.
This cheap replacement battery I got for my camera started blinking its last life at me just as I got back to 3rd Line, so I turned my camera off for the few kilometers I doubled back on the main Bruce Trail. Saved me enough power to catch the last little loop before the car.
It also allowed me to play with some longer exposure on the water. The overcast helped a bit, too. Still needs some work, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. And no tripod – not bad for these shakey hands.
My breath caught when I looked up and since this portion of the valley in front of me. My photo doesn’t do it justice. I don’t know what it is I love so much about this place but it fast became one of my favourite pieces of the Bruce Trail.
Even some interesting debris around here! There are plenty of wrecked and rotting cars along hiking trails. Some make you really wonder how they got there. I thought maybe there was a road up above, and this was just one of those corners people were not careful about…
But once I got up these stairs, I could see it was just the back of some farm field. Which means the people that live(d) there just decided the ravine was best place to “dispose” of them (there were two for sure, possibly a third). Ugh. Humans. We don’t deserve this planet.
488m elevation gain