Today is a there-and-back trip, as opposed to my usual loops. I took to the area of Scotsdale Farm to pick up the Bruce Trail and follow it down to Duff Pit side trail – where there is a loop.
As it turns out, there was also a loop around Scotsdale Farm, via the Bennett Heritage Trail, but when I was looking at the app it wasn’t zoomed in far enough to make that one appear. Ah well, guess I’ll have to go back.
Anyway, I started out at the parking lot on 8th Line and took the Maureeen Smith side trail in to the main Bruce Trail. I didn’t know what the situation was going to be like at the parking in Scotsdale Farm proper, so I passed on it.
The trails in this area are all very rocky, and well-trodden. Mind your ankles, as it’s easy to twist them on this terrain.
The side trail hooks along the back of Scotsdale Farm fields. These are still active; be mindful of the farmers and keep out of their way.
When I came to the junction at the main Bruce Trail, I took the right and headed southwest through Scotsdale Farm. You’ll pass over a little stone wall, and into a forested area. Then there’s this interesting bridge over the creek.
The trail makes a lot of twists and turns on the edges of fields. There are also additional trails unmapped trails, so be sure to watch the blazes, especially at these tight corners.
I guess when it rains the trail gets a little mucky. It has been dry for the last little while so nothing to worry about for me. There are a lot of boardwalks along the trail to help with this when the rain has come as well.
This is the turn for the Bennett Heritage side trail, just before Trafalgar Road. This is what I should have taken on my return trip, but I didn’t because reasons. Keep left here to continue on the main Bruce Trail.
I made friends with a squirrel along the way. Maybe “friends” is a bit of an exaggeration, but he did let me get close enough to take his picture.
The entire trail from this point on to the crossing at Trafalgar Road is all boardwalk. This is a marsh/bog area with a lot of cattails and water.
And a lot of interesting turns. It takes a sharp right just before crossing the road.
On the other side of Trafalgar, the Bruce Trail continues along a soggy, mossy path between evergreens.
This soon goes back to the rocky trail you’ve come to love, with additional greenery.
The trail makes a gentle left and meets up with Highway 7. This is a busy street with a lot of traffic, so it might take you some time to cross. Just be patient.
At this point, you want to go left to find the Duff Pit side trail with the stile (that you can easily walk around). If you go right, you’ll continue on the Bruce Trail to 6th Line and beyond.
The Duff Pit’s first drag is pretty long and uneventful. You’ll pass the same creek twice; one has a bridge crossing, one is just rocks.
Past the second crossing, the trail follows the creek for some time before make another right, which then brings you to the loop junction.
The loop itself was high and dry on the right side, which I took first. Then it descends near that same creek again, and crosses over without a bridge. The rocks here are wet and slippery! The overgrown bush around it does not help.
Back to the junction, and down along Duff Pit side trail to meet up with Highway 7 again. Keep left to find the trail leading back to Trafalgar Road and the boardwalks again.
Again, I should have taken Bennett Heritage side trail, but instead I traced my route back along the main trail from which I came. The butterflies were out playing now.
By this point the sun was high in the sky and the temperature had significantly picked up. I was thankful to be mostly under the cover of trees and almost done. This is the rock wall just before the junction for Maureen Smith side trail.
While I was avoiding the sun, this little guy was more than happy to get some. He didn’t budge as I passed by.
The last leg, and more rocks than anywhere else. Then I was back at the car, and giving my AC a good work out.
184 elevation gain
Have you ever looked back at places you visited and found that there was some alternate or additional trail you could have explored?