June 25, 2011. This was our first day hike. A bit more complicated for transportation than when we had Dana as chauffeur. This time we arranged to meet at Hilton Falls Conservation Area, left one car there, and drove together to our starting point at Crawford Lake in the second car. Seems like a lot of car use – I’m wishing that part weren’t necessary.
It meant we needed to be wise about how estimating our ability in advance! Altogether we hiked 16.2 km along the Trail itself, plus side trails that added an additional 1.3 km. So 17 1/2 km altogether, and probably about just right for that balance between challenge and enjoyment. Early days – we’re still figuring out how to do this.
The day felt very different from the two we had in Lion’s Head. The sky was overcast, threatening rain. We passed through 3 conservation areas so saw lots of people – people ambling, people on dirt bikes, people hiking. Noise from traffic reminded us how close we were to civilization. Our trails were a mix of rugged and rocky, and wide and smooth. And of course, no views of that beautiful Georgian Bay this time!
Yes, different from the remoteness of the peninsula experience, but I loved the day just the same and feel eager to do more. I continue to be impressed by the very fact that the trail exists to be enjoyed, and that its beauty is so accessible – so many parts are within an hour’s drive from home, and it doesn’t require any complicated gear or skill.
Highlight of the day? For sure the trail along the edge of the cliffs at Kelso. The views were amazing, but so were the fissures and sink holes and other rock formations.
Places I’d like to go back to: There were some lovely gift shops in Campbellville, and Guelph Line in that area is lovely. I didn’t have time to see the Iroquois Village at Crawford Lake or do the walk around the lake itself. And I’d love to hike the Rattlesnake Point side trail sometime. magdalena