I hadn't joined a Bruce Trail hike since my heart surgery, and this one was labelled 'leisurely', so I thought I'd try it. And I'd been stuck inside far too much recently. It was a snowshoe walk in a loop up onto the Bayview Escarpment northwest of Meaford, and it was a bright beautiful sunny, if cold day.
Driving north along the way to Meaford I actually stopped to take a picture of the escarpment where we'd be hiking. We walked up onto that bluff in the distance over to the left; someday I'd like to walk all the way out to the corner looking over the bay to the north.
There's still lots of snow, but we've had enough above-freezing sunny days that the snow is now all hard and crusty, or what I believe the Inuit call 'sillik'. You could just walk right across the top without sinking in at all.
But there was a somewhat strenuous (at least for me) uphill stretch at the beginning, where the cliff disappears for awhile and you can walk to the top. This is the rocky upper edge of the bluff.
Then it was simply a beautiful walk through the woods, mostly along the Bruce Trail. In early spring a 'well' melts around each tree in the woods first, but the snow is still 8" thick. The shadows were nice on the bright sunny day.
Then we got to the views over Georgian Bay to the east (from which 'Bayview' Escarpment gets its name). Here we're looking slightly southeast; Meaford is along the shore on the right.
This view looks somewhat further north, and you get a good look at Georgian Bay in the distance, still all completely solid ice. The spring melt is proceeding very slowly; it will be a while before the bay is open at all.
After 45 minutes we came to a large fissure in the cliff face where a natural ramp had formed, allowing the trail to head back downhill past the cliffs. I was a little slower than the rest, but all in all it was a great hike.
These two pictures I couldn't resist adding are from a walk I did a little earlier in the winter with two friends on the same trail a year ago, when the woods was a fairy land of fresh snow.
We actually haven't had a single day of snow like this all winter this year. Temperature has to be just right for it to stick to the trees; this year has been too cold!