Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winter Wonderland on Bayview Escarpment

Enjoyed what turned out to be a spectacular snowshoe walk on the Bayview Escarpment west of Meaford today.  With the temperature hovering near zero, two or three inches of wet sticky snow fell last night, and it stuck to everything, so every tree trunk and twig was partly coated in white, creating a beautiful winter wonderland. We headed across a field or two, then up the steep hill into a beautiful deciduous woods on top of the escarpment.  

Following an old woods road for quite a distance north, we headed through a beautiful sugar maple forest.  I could hardly stop taking pictures.  Then, much to my surprise we came to the southern boundary of the Bayview Escarpment Nature Reserve, and the Bruce Trail.  As we joined the white blazes, the trail angled out toward the edge of the cliff.  Already this was the nicest walk I have had all winter.  And the snowshoeing was easy, in fairly dense packing snow.

Then, to top it off we came out to the edge of the cliff and a series of spectacular views through the trees out toward Georgian Bay.  Just little windows between the cedar trees that lined the cliff edge, these views (below) look east across the towns of Meaford and Thornbury to Blue Mountain, the significant but hazy hill on the right in the far distance. Beyond that you can faintly see the far side of Nottawassaga Bay at Wasaga Beach - nearly 25 miles away. And looking over the edge of the cliff you could see a deep straight drop down the limestone bluff into the forest below.

This had quickly turned into one of the most spectacular winter snowshoe walks I've ever enjoyed.  After a time along the cliff edge we came to a very convenient break in the cliff, down a wide crevice, and then down a slanting trail right beside the vertical face of the limestone, making a very easy descent from the escarpment.  This is definitely a place to go back and explore again!

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