Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Outdoor Adventures

I'm falling behind on reporting my hikes this fall.  I've been working hard to finished the Bruce Trail within the Beaver Valley, and the sunny November weather has really helped.  I"ve got about 5 hikes to share, starting with this one which was way back on Oct. 14th, when the fall colours were still around.

This is a section of trail on the east side of the valley, south of the hamlet of Ravenna (home of one of the best coffee/lunch spots around).  We started off into this tunnel of trees in an old fencerow that had grown about 20 feet wide.

We quickly came to a viewpoint over the valley to the west, with all those old farm fields like a patchwork quilt marching up the far slope.

This was the unusual viewpoint - a bench built up on a 2' high platform.  Never seen one like this before.

And this was one of the most unusual blazes I've seen along the trail.  A 6" cyllinder painted white, and hanging from an outer branch over the trail.  Quite clever I thought.

More tunnels of trees, here a line of Basswoods reaching out for the light.

And then we headed uphill and came out along the edge of a ploughed field.  We got a great view north over Georgian Bay.

And shortly after, another valley view to the west.

Lots of old cedar rails, these four covered in moss, highlighted in bright green by the sun.

And then we came to this sign.  I had heard of the discovery of this short stretch of the Old Mail Road, which still exists as a tractor trail through the woods here.  A pioneer trail, it ran about 20 miles diagonally across country from Duntroon to Griersville, and only three concessions of it remain as gravel roads.  But this is a hidden section in the woods further southeast.  A short bit of the Bruce Trail was rerouted here to highlight the history.

And here is the Old Mail Road today, a trail through through the woods.

At this point the trail passed through quite a long and beautiful section of deciduous forest.  As you can see, in mid-October, it was still mostly green.

But we got to the edge of the woods, and found a beautiful Sugar Maple in brilliant orange.

The last section of the trail was along the fence through a pasture, and we could look over to see the cattle mostly just standing or resting.  I thought this guy with his white mask was kind of neat.

And we finished at another stile over the final fence.  On this hike there were several stiles still in use, because they were over fences keeping cattle in.  I often find older ones that serve no further function as the fences they covered have fallen down!  Lots of aches and pains for me after a hike like this (about 4 km), but I think I'm getting able to handle the hiking more easily.

And still another beautiful November day today.  Got almost the last of the fall chores done today as the lawn tractor came back, with the mower deck removed and the snowblower attached.  That enabled me to store several things like tires and chairs away, and we can now get the cars in the garage if we have to!  We're almost ready for winter - but hoping this great weather continues instead!


  1. I love these old pioneer trails. I managed to follow one in Bala, in the old days. I'm thnking I ahve one in our back 40 here, too! Great shots!

  2. The views are amazing. It's remarkable how nature reclaims an old roadway like that.

  3. Such a great trail, FG.

    Let's hope the great weather continues for another few weeks. It will snow soon enough!

  4. With beautiful treks like this, I can understand why you would be out hiking rather than sitting at a computer writing posts. I'm very far behind on our travels as well, but we're going to keep going. I also hope Old Man Winter is in no big hurry to pay a visit.

  5. The tall bench seat, was there a fence there sometime? Beautiful colours, and what views. Let your weather stay calm and warm for a while yet.

  6. Thanks for another great walk about.

  7. Marvelous colors! I like that cow too.

  8. Wonderful photos , It has been years since I walked the Bruce trail . I am enjoying this lovely weather this month so far to . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  9. Yeah, I'm behind on blogging my fall hikes too. Our leaves are just about done. But it's nice to see your posts from October - and looking forward to enjoying more of your fall hikes.

  10. this was a beautiful walk!! you will have lots of time to catch up when the pretty leaves are gone and the skies are gray! i like that clever bench!!

  11. That's beautiful country and a nice looking and interesting route for a trail.

  12. What a great hike and finding the mail trail is so interesting. We've come across a few old marked pioneer roads in some campgrounds in Ontario. I honestly can't imagine getting wagonloads of supplies along some of these rough roads. I doubt they were in any better shape in the old days than how the parks maintain them now. Pioneers were certainly some hardy folks! Wonderful views of your valley. Those overhanging trees are gorgeous. I'm happy that November is still mild too :)

  13. What a lovely collection of photographs, I really enjoyed the post.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

  14. Great hike---love the treed trails. Some of those trees are so tall and skinny but make for beautiful images.
    Keep hiking

  15. I'm surprised you have a chance to get any hiking in, considering the vast number of posts you write, and I'm always working to catch up! :-)