Jokers Hill & Thornton Bales

Jokers Hill and Thornton Bales Conservation Area

Today’s trip is brought to you by the University of Toronto Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill. We started out at Thornton Bales Conservation Area, which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea.

Jokers Hill to Thornton Bales

From the parking lot on 19th Sideroad, the trail follows the road for a short jaunt, and then immediately drops 54m. This is called 99 Steps, but we counted and there’s only about 78.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

The hindsight that kicked in after descending this, was that we would have to go back up at the end of the hike.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

The area is known for its ups and downs. This stretch is only recommended for hikers that are in shape.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

Apparently a lot of in-shape lovers have made their way down here to carve their names in to this tree.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

There are some deceptively flat sections of the trail, and we were grateful for those.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

I’m not sure if we were in Jokers Hill or Thornton Bales when it dawned upon me, but the trail made me realize I was probably not as “in shape” as I wanted to pretend to be.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

We found a really fun looking tree, and might have used it as an excuse to stop and catch our breath. I wanted to climb it, but there was a family passing by and things like that are apparently frowned upon.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

Another flat section of trail through Jokers Hill. Apparently I didn’t take too many photos of the ups and downs, as I was trying to concentrate on getting oxygen in to my lungs. I also wasn’t bright enough to bring water with me (it was in the car).

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

If it wasn’t for all the algae, and yet another passing family, I might have considered sticking my feet in the pond with these ducks.

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

Back in Thornton Bales and it was time to go up – and up and up and up!

Jokers Hills & Thornton Bales

1h 19mins
6.09km
205m elevation gain

Jokers Hill & Thornton Bales

Have you ever seriously under-prepared yourself for a hike? Share with me in the comments below.

Happy trails,
-Mia

About Mia

I'm a weekend warrior, escaping the bustle of Toronto by exploring a new trail in south central Ontario nearly every weekend. Hiking, camping, backpacking, crafting, baking and beer are a few things you'll find here.

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