Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Claybanks

The other day I finally got a chance to visit the Meaford Claybanks.  I knew they were there, but I didn't know how to get in and see them until I mentioned them to a friend.  We were looking for a destination during the week of the deer hunt here that would be safe for walking.  Turns out there is a great easy walking trail in to see them, running off the Georgian Trail.

The Claybanks are a stretch of shoreline on Georgian Bay east of Meaford, where tall clay cliffs overlook the water.  You walk east on the Georgian Trail from the east end of town, and there is a clear sign where the trail begins out to the shore.  It's easy walking all the way, and we saw numerous cyclists on the Georgian Trail portion.  This view looks east.

And this view looks west, beyond the headland east of town across the bay to the far shore on the west.  There's another stretch of clay cliffs along the shoreline over there too.

And of course you can look straight out over Georgian Bay, 100 miles to the far north shore!

It was a real challenge getting any sort of picture showing the claybanks, because they face north.  With a bright sky and bright water, the cliffs just looked dark, almost black.  So I lightened this photo up quite a bit to show them.

And this photo looks straight down to the shore, down what looked like 200 feet of VERY steep slopes, entirely made up of small broken bits of shale, with absolutely nothing to hold onto or provide a footing.  If you started sliding down here you wouldn't stop til you hit the bottom!  This huge thick grey-blue shale layer is the Georgian Bay formation, a major geological layer below the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment.

In any case, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful view!  The property the trail is on is County Forest, and there's an observation deck at the end.  Unfortunately it's 30 feet back from the edge, so I expect most visitors trespass beyond it, as we did.  But you certainly need to be VERY careful near the edge!

I could have stayed for a long time just taking the same pictures over and over again.  A warm sunny day in November - bonus!


It's church and hospital bazaar weekend here, among other things.  So we rushed up to the Hospital Bazaar in Meaford first thing this morning, and then hurried home to go and help out at our own church bazaar here in Markdale.  Then later a drive around chasing the clouds that were blowing over all day, with intermittent rain and hail showers.  Maybe some pictures to share later in the week.

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  1. That's quite the impressive set of views; would have been an exciting trip to the bottom -- too exciting. Glad to hear it's in public ownership so anyone can enjoy the view.

  2. What a gorgeous place, we also have to be careful during hunting season, I guess everyone has to be!! The color of the water is really beautiful!!

  3. The last shot is amazing. My husband is a geology buff and we look for all kinds of rocks and formations on our trips. - Margy

  4. Thats a beautiful landscape, how cold does it get there in winter?

  5. Beautiful scenes, and steep banks, look at the shades in the water below, I, too, could be there a long time with camera in hand.

  6. Today, thanks to you Furry, I learned something new. The next time I am in you part of the world I am going take a trip to the clay banks.

  7. Lovely photos . There are clay hills in the Village of Inglewood Ontario near the forks of the credit that I used to play on as a kid as I grew up in the area of Caledon Ontario , they are now a very popular tourist attraction as is the forks of the credit river with it's train track and winding roads , fly fishing and hiking trails . Chilly here today had a touch of frost this morning I think our warm weather has been taken over by our true November now but the sun is still shining so that's a good thing . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  8. Impressive views from on top of the banks!

  9. An awful lot of drama...breathtaking and I know why you wanted to go!

  10. What a beautiful spot. And if you had the lovely warm weather that we had up until yesterday, I'm sure you had a amazing day exploring the area. It screams Lake Huron!

  11. Amazing views!

    Regarding your comment at my blog, there's a book out there on waterfalls in Ontario... eastern Ontario has some, but nowhere near the amount along the Escarpment. Hog's Back is marked in it as the Prince of Wales falls.