Bruce Trail: Niagara

Niagara Heading

Let’s get something out of the way before we delve any deeper. Unlike the Iroquoia Section, I did this one in a weird way so hear me out a minute. I decided to do this section in reverse of the guide (Forty Mile Creek to Queenston) but on a given stretch I hiked it in the orientation the Bruce Trail Guide outlines (east to west in this corridor) except for the last hike where I ended at the southern terminus. Confused yet? I’m also doing this log in order from southern terminus to Forty Mile Creek meaning the last hike of Niagara I did will be the first in this log.

At this point with that mess out of the way you should probably go on a Wikipedia binge and learn something new and random which will be far more rewarding in the end instead of reading this.

ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE…

Firemen’s Park to Southern Terminus

Date: October 9, 2020
Distance: 7.54km in 2 hours
Notes: This feels weird writing this already but done. Completing this last stretch made up for the fact that on the two occasions I was at Firemen’s Park I didn’t get to hang out with any dogs at the dog park. Condolences.

Don’t lie – you were expecting a picture of the southern terminus with my pack and trekking pole dramatically leaning up against it in a victorious fashion. You’re correct in that I got a picture of that, but there’s also like 10,000 pictures of that. Instead you get this picture of the last quarter of the daunting switchback. Ka-pow.

Firemen’s Park to Taylor Rd.

Date: September 19, 2020
Distance: 10.02km in 2 hours, 34 minutes
Notes: The ups and downs through Firemen’s Park getting to Mewburn Rd. were more of a challenge than I was anticipating. Throw in the lovely chorus of air cannons and this is why I carry a roll of toilet paper in the pack. I didn’t need it, thankfully. It just made me happy to have it just in case.

Taylor Rd. to Glendale Bridge

Date: September 25, 2020
Distance: 2.97km in 50 minutes
Notes: This is a short make up hike. On the last one I was originally planning to hike from Firemen’s Park to the mighty Welland Canal but my knee started acting up around Woodend so I tapped out at Taylor Rd. This was a nice reminder that sometimes my mind and heart enjoy hiking more than my body does but that’s why I do this. If it was easy I’d just stay home and eat donuts kind of like I’m totally not doing right now but I could be since I have donuts here yeah fine I’ll go get one.

Glendale Bridge to Tremont Dr.

Date: September 15, 2020
Distance: 4.07km in 1 hour
Notes: Plans are a funny thing. The original plan was to hike from Woodend to here but the Glendale Bridge was closed for a couple days due to road work. I decided to work with what I could and just did a half hike. Is a half hike like when you get soup from a diner with a half sandwich? What’s the deal with half sandwiches? This sort of terminology bothers me. It’s like calling those mini chocolate bars around Halloween “fun sized”. Are you kidding me? There’s nothing fun about less chocolate.

So anyway…

Tremont Dr. to First Nations Peace Monument

Date: June 15, 2020
Distance: 7.65km in 1 hour, 32 minutes
Notes: This was my first hike since October. I was hoping to have finished this section of Bruce Trail by now and then the pandemic happened and I decided to pack on another 87lbs and eat candy. Hope you guys coped a little better than I did.

Oh, and this first hike back out on the trail again was nice. Very nice.

First Nations Peace Monument to Short Hills

Date: June 25, 2020
Distance: 6.58km in 1 hour, 38 minutes
Notes: It rained the whole time and it was awesome. It was in that weird point of June where it’s hot and muggy but the rain also cooled me down and then I got the shivers and then I put the poncho on and sweat like crazy then I took it off again and was cold. Yeah, there’s just no pleasing me.

Short Hills to Effingham Rd.

Date: August 6, 2020
Distance: 8.74km in 2 hours, 10 minutes
Notes: Let’s talk about open meadows in the heat. There is no worse thing. I mean there are and I’m being hyperbolic but let’s pretend there are no worse things than open meadows when it’s hot. When hiking I can cope with a lot of things. I can handle the cold, the wet, the dry, the snow, and the ice. Hiking through open meadow that’s been baking in the sun then the heat in the tall grass radiating inward toward the trail – hellish.

Effingham Rd. to Rockway

Date: August 13, 2020
Distance: 3.17km in 58 minutes
Notes: Another make up hike as I was originally planning to end here on the previous hike but tapped out because of the heat and humidity. It should be illegal for anyone to hike in August because no one likes August.

Rockway to Ball’s Falls

Date: October 9, 2019
Distance: 12.14km in 2 hours, 56 minutes
Notes: You know what? I don’t even really have anything funny or clever to say about this one and I’m sure you’re grateful for that. This is up there as one of my favourite stretches of Bruce Trail I’ve done.

That’s all.

Ball’s Falls to Quarry Rd.

Date: September 17, 2019
Distance: 11.84km in 2 hours, 54 minutes
Notes: Let’s gloss over the fact that this hike kicked my ass, especially that last climb up to Cave Springs.

What I do want to talk about is the lunch I had at Megalomaniac Winery. The main trail crosses Cherry Ave. right beside the winery and I decided to check this out. They had a food truck there and I made the genius hiker decision to buy a couple bottles of their wine as gifts for people and carrying them in my pack for the last 4km or so is probably why this hike kicked my ass. Look, no one’s to blame here at all.

Moving on…

Quarry Rd. to Kinsmen Park

Date: April 2, 2019
Distance: 2km in 45 minutes
Notes: This is a rare example of where I actually hiked with someone else. For the most part I do these stretches of trail solo so I can be as weird and gross as I want to be as hiker trash but this was a sort of introductory hike to a friend who isn’t a regular hiker like I’m totally not but pretend to be. It was also surprisingly snowy for early April.

Kinsmen Park to Mountainview

Date: January 5, 2019
Distance: 4.3km in 1 hour, 25 minutes
Notes: Two consecutive hikes with more than just myself!? Shut your mouth and get the hell out of town. Yeah, it happened. It also never happened again after this and I’ll write a dissertation on that at a later date.

We made a valiant effort to scale the incline at Mountainview but given that it was January we failed miserably but what it did achieve was both of us covered in mud and having to line the seats of her car with garbage bags to protect the upholstery from actual garbage – us.

Mountainview to Ridge Rd. at Russ

Date: September 7, 2019
Distance: 8.44km in 2 hours, 4 minutes
Notes: Can you even consider yourself a hiker if at some point you don’t totally eat it and hurt yourself? Hi, I’m John.

Somewhere between Thirty Rd. and Park Rd. I took a pretty epic fall on some loose rocks. To avoid completely face-planting I put my hands down to break my fall. In the process I ended up breaking a bone in my left hand and smashing my right knee as well. This is why I tapped out at Ridge and Russ. My hand wasn’t too bad at the time but my knee was swollen to the point that it limited how much I could bend it which sucked all the fun out of this one. Some would say I’m a legend for pushing on after this fall another few kilometers. Others would say I’m an idiot and these people would be correct.

Ridge Rd. at Russ to Forty Mile Creek

Date: July 24, 2020
Distance: 2.66km in 50 minutes
Notes: Yet another make up hike with a whole bunch of time in between this one and where I left off but that’s alright and doesn’t matter at all.

I’d triumphantly say done here but I did that already at the start of this so… bye? Thanks for reading (if you’ve made it this far)?

That’s All, Folks

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.