Monday, July 20, 2015

Silent Valley Hike

A couple of weeks ago I went exploring the Bruce Trail's Silent Valley property with a friend.  It's been on my list for a couple of years, but I discovered an actual booklet on it at the Grey Roots Museum 3 weeks back, and after reading the story was anxious to try out the trails.  It's located a short distance north and a bit west of the village of Walter's Falls.

The main Bruce Trail goes through the property, but they have also laid out two looping side trails.  We followed the Avalanche Pass Side Trail, which curves up through the talus slope below the Niagara Escarpment cliffs.

As you can see, there's almost no visible trail, just a marked route through the enormous moss-covered boulders.  We were checking for trail blazes like the one here constantly.

A typical moss-covered boulder, decorated with several species of ferns.

The 'Avalanche' Pass Side Trail is named because all the boulders on the talus slope look like an avalanche of rocks, now covered in mature Cedar forest.

This huge boulder was almost totally covered in rich growth of Maidenhair Spleenwort, one of the typical limestone loving ferns on these shaded slopes.

And there was quite a bit of Northern Holly Fern, another typical species of this habitat.

And even some small specimens of the rare Hart's Tongue Fern.  Though it's very rare in North America, these shaded slopes along the Niagara Escarpment are its main habitat.

Eventually the side trail ended when it joined the main Bruce Trail just below the cliff.  A set of steps helped you get started up the slope, where the trail continued on top.  We went up but didn't pursue the trail; our hike already ended up being 3.5 hours.

 There's a lot more to Silent Valley yet though, and this old cedar rail fence in the forest is a big hint.  Yes, this was an old farm, and large parts of it were once cleared fields, with a large barn and house.  Tomorrow we'll look at the Wilson homestead, dating from about 1861.

 Linking to:

16 comments:

  1. A beautiful place for a hike... and so lush and green!

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  2. That hike looks so energizing.

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  3. I sure didn't see anything that looked remotely like a trail! What a great adventure. I look forward to more! :-)

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  4. Lovely place to hike and lovely photos of it to ! Thanks for sharing have a good day !

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  5. Very beautiful place, filled with all kinds of greenery!
    Loved your photos of the moss, fern and the trees!!
    Have a Great Week!!
    Peace :)

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  6. What a beautiful place. It seems so untouched. What a treasure.

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  7. Nice variety of ferns, thanks for posting the photos.

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  8. All those ferns and moss look like you're in the Pacific NW! Nice hike.

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  9. Looks beautiful, but a really tough hike!!

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  10. Mossy woods reflective of a cooler clime than mine.

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  11. What a pretty spot for a hike. I love the mossy covered boulders and all the pretty ferns. Thanks for sharing your hike. Have a great week ahead!

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  12. Any day on the Bruce is a great day. Nice fern shots.

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  13. That looks like a tricky hike through those boulders but it's beautiful all the same. I'll be interested to see your next post on the old homestead.

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  14. Your post reminds me of a time when I was young. A college friend took us on a trail in Colorado and got us lost. We finally found civilization but it was touch and go. Your trail looks that rugged also.

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  15. Thanks for sharing all the beauty of your part of the world.

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  16. This is amazing but I am happiest surrounded by natural beauty.

    Thanks for visiting. It was a hard job and I have many more to do.

    Have a blessed weekend.

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