Day Trips, Greenbelt, Hiking, Nature, Weekend Getaways

Hiking the Bruce Trail: Sydenham, Tews + Webster's Falls

Waterfalls, featuring: WINTER

Waterfalls, featuring: WINTER

I'd been planning a weekend getaway so I could contemplate future life possibilities and decided to go to Dundas. It's cute, it's close, it's great for hiking and it was easy to get to/from on GO transit.

Jed and I got an autoshare and spent the afternoon hiking close to my airbnb, which was super ideal. The place was located in historic Dundas in a renovated basement of a limestone house. The place was surprisingly airy, bright, and extremely comfortable in the cold weather - mainly due to the presence of a gas fireplace. Dreamy!

We hiked up to Sydenham falls - the closest falls to Dundas. It happened to be - actually - the coldest day of winter thus far, at a crisp -39 with windchill. Luckily it wasn't too windy in the trees and we heated up pretty fast going up and down the trails. 

After a very enjoyable coffee from the wonderful Detour Cafe, Jed packed up the dog and left for Toronto; despite this being Valentine's Day weekend, I was there for a solo retreat.

I won't tell you how many episodes of The Gilmore Girls I watched, or how many gummi bears I ate, but I will tell you about this epic waterfall hike I went on Sunday morning.

I wasn't crazy about getting out of the warm house and into the brisk cold, but the weather helped out a little by making it the most beautiful winter's day you could ask for. I started hiking up to Dundas Peak, where I was disappointed to find that the primary view looked straight out into the developed suburbs of Hamilton. Because urban sprawl is what I want to be looking at?

The side which overlooked the valley with the two waterfalls I'd be hiking to - Tews and Webster's - was decidedly more scenic. I started off towards Tews Falls, hoping that I'd find the path that leads to the lower view. I didn't find it amongst the snow but I will. One day.

I must be super lucky because I can imagine that with the very unseasonably warm winter we've had, this was the first and only weekend where the waterfalls were both frozen and covered with snow. Tews Falls looked incredible, with enormous icicles hanging down, and a fine powder of snow forming as soon as the water struck the rocks below. The updraft carried the snow up to the viewing platform and I felt like I was in a magical, sunny blizzard.

I kept on hiking the next half kilometre to Webster's Falls, which looked spectacular. While coming from the Bruce Trail, I saw some people down at the base of the falls, where I imagined some pretty awesome views could be had. When I crossed the bridge over the falls I saw that the pathway was gated and blocked - for safety.

But......

I went down anyways. Can you get a ticket for that? I am fully prepared to assume responsibility for my own health and safety when I go into nature, though I appreciate that most gates, fences and rules are for the irretrievably stupid people of this world (to my estimation, around 15%).

I carefully walked down the staircase, which was encrusted with ice and snow, and was wowed by the winter wonderland below. 

Around 2pm I decided it was time to get going on the hike back. I made it back to Dundas in time to get the last piece of chocolate raspberry cake and a chai latte to celebrate V-day. The total hike took around 4 hours (with lots of photo taking) and I guess it was around 9-10km total loop.

I spent the rest of the weekend thinking exciting thoughts about the future and planning how to make it my job to go hiking and photograph nature. 

Day Trips, Greenbelt, Nature, Provincial Parks

Hiking the Greenbelt: Belfountain & Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

The first time we went to Belfountain and were charmed; the second time we were at a sugar bush nearby in late March and found an excellent book called 'Loops and Lattes' by Nicola Ross. We returned on Canada Day & later in August with Jed's parents to explore some of the great trails in the area. So, in no particular order...