Wednesday, June 5, 2019

An Exciting Day for the Furry Gnome!

Guess what!  They've named a new side trail off the Bruce Trail in my honour!  You can now hike the Stew Hilts Side Trail in to see a previously secret waterfall.  [There, I've given away my real name.]  And to top that, this is an as yet un-named waterfall as far as we know, so someone suggested that we call it 'Hilts Falls'.  Imagine having a waterfall named after you!

Me and some of my Bruce Trail friends.  They let me hold the new sign for the side trail for a few moments, just for pictures.  An astonishing 46 people showed up for the opening ceremony, including of course Mrs. F. G., my sister, my cousin, and a close friend from Toronto.

My sister, with the sign after it had been mounted at the beginning of the side trail.

Most of the trail is a nice walk through some beautiful woods.

My grand-niece, age 3, heading down the trail.

The first glimpse of the falls through the trees, not much water, but very pretty.  As it's downright unsafe to approach the base of the falls too closely, they plan to build a viewing platform, as well as a bridge across the stream.  The side trail may eventually be extended south and back uphill to meet the main trail again, creating a loop.

A closer look.  You can clearly see the two geological layers that characterize several of the falls along the trail in the valley - the hard Manitoulin dolostone on top, and the softer Queenston shale that comes in both grey and reddish colours below.  This and all of the above pictures were taken by my sister.  Knowing that this is what they'd find at the falls, I suggested the label 'Stew's trickle' might be more appropriate than 'Hilts Falls'.

My volunteer job in past years has been to scout out new properties acquired by the Bruce trail Conservancy, find the survey markers, and assess the property.  When I saw this falls, not visible from the trail, I knew we had to find a way to get there.

These are the two pictures I took when I originally went in on snowshoes in the winter of 2012 to find a route to below the falls.  It turned out that the very steep side slopes of the valley make it unsafe to approach the falls very closely.

I think this is one of the most beautiful waterfall pictures I've ever taken.  The main Bruce Trail skirts the top of this waterfall on the right, but you cannot see the falls as it drops over the edge.  Once I had hiked to the bottom and found an easy safe route, I started recommending this as a location for a new side trail.  Now it's there for anyone who wants to walk in and see the falls.

For any local reader, you hike south on the Bruce Trail from Johnson's Sideroad, 3rd road south of Hutchison's Corners, for about 10 minutes and you'll see the blue sign on your left.  Allow about an hour total time, in and out.  Small parking lot if on the north side of the road, in the corner of the hayfield.

28 comments:

  1. How exciting,Congratulations!!! It's nice to be honored, and in this case, it's fitting. You have worked at being a blessing to that group, now God, and they,are blessing you.-Mary

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  2. That is a wonderful tribute to you.

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  3. Yeah! What a wonderful way to recognize your Volunteer efforts!

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  4. This is a wonderful thing indeed! Congratulations!

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  5. A well deserved honor Stew! So many times when we are researching something about the Bruce, your name is referenced.

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  6. Congratulations, FG. You will always be FG to me and your wife will be Mrs. FG.

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  7. A Honour that is well deserved after all the years of Selfless Time on behalf of the Bruce County Conservation Group. Congratulations for being so recognized.
    Figured out your real name years ago but you'll always be the Furry Gnome.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the Recognition.

    It's about time.

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  8. Congratulations !!! what an honour to behold. Such beautiful place to explore and you are truly remembered right there in that area.

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  9. Congratulations. This is well deserved.

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  10. A well deserved honor -- please add my congratulations to all the others you've received.
    "Figured out your real name years ago but you'll always be the Furry Gnome." Yes indeed, your real name has been obvious for quite some time, but you will remain "The Furry Gnome" to many of us..

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  11. that's just awesome stew and so well deserved!! i did not know your name was stew!!

    the winter falls are stunning!!

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  12. Congratulations! Well deserved!

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  13. Many, many congratulations, and so deserved. Stew's Trickle, that leads to many mind -boggling possibilities!!!! Lovely final photo, that capture was prefect. Just the right exposure and setting. What a grand day with so many there, I am thrilled for you both.

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  14. Oops, spelling error, " Capture was prefect" should be " perfect" maybe I was going back to secondary school days when I was a prefect!!!

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  15. Oh, how beautiful! Congratulations on being honored!

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  16. Congrats, what an honor! The waterfall in the winter is beautiful. Enjoy your day!

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  17. Congratulations Stew, that is a real honor! Great to have so many people there to celebrate with you.

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  18. That's quite an honour Stew which I'm sure is well deserved and I hope they figure your name into that waterfall as well. If we ever get up that way again some day I will be sure to find your trail and walk to the waterfall.

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  19. I am a fellow retired blogger based in the UK. I landed on your blog via the Elderbloggers list, which my own “GrumbleSmiles” blog is also included on. I was impressed with the quality of your photography and the accompanying stories of your travels. Many congratulations on having a Trail named after you.
    I am sure there are many more people here in the UK who would love to see your blog.

    I have worked with older people for a large part of my career and when I retired in 2010 I started my blog which focuses on the everyday issues of getting older. I am currently preparing a thread about travel which hopefully will appeal to people who can no longer get out and about, but can cloud-surf and appreciate other travellers’ experiences.

    I would like to include a link to your blog and use a few of your photos as a teaser to encourage people to follow the link. There’s no commercial aspect to this and there are no adverts on my blog. Would you have any objections to my doing this?

    Regards
    John Graham

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    1. Checked out your blog and the Elderbloggers list. I don't consider myself elderly though, I've only been retired ten years. And my photography is certainly very limited since I ended up in a wheelchair. I don't actually post very often about our travels, but if my local posts are of interest, that's great. I think our last big trip actually included a stop in London for a wedding, before spending most of our time in Italy. If you think my posts are of interest feel free to link to them.

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  20. You deserve it, FG! Some of us knew your "real" name from the watermark on your pictures, but never fear, the Stew Hilts Trail will be a wonderful place for many to visit, whatever its name. Congratulations on this well deserved honor. And thanks for sharing it with your fans, of which I am one. :-)

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  21. That's so wonderful- and well deserved! Some day I'll have to journey your way and hike it.

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  22. Oh that is indeed an honor to have the trail named after you. Congratulations!!

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  23. How appropriate to have the trail named in your honor! May all who trek there be blessed.

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  24. I didn’t realize you were sharing a secret falls. Getting a part of a trail shows people have appreciated who you are and your joy from the trail that you shared with others.

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  25. Amazing, but undoubtedly deserved, Stew! I din't realise I was communicating with someone famous, though!!

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