Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Historical Hiking Series: Hike 1

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to join a hike with the “Take a HIKE” Caledon Ladies Hiking and Meet up Group.  But I have enjoyed the past times I’ve met up with the ladies to hike, and do yoga! So I was thrilled when a few weeks ago Mira, our group organizer extraordinaire, posted the Facebook Group about how the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club  had created a Historical Hike Series to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.   It is a series of 5 hikes you need to complete, either on your own…or in a group and taking photos at certain spots along the trail.  After completing all of the hikes you will receive a Canada 150 Historical Hikes Badge. Now the girl-guide in me was like…this will be fun, and I get a badge…even better! I quickly signed up along with 14 others our ‘Take a Hike’ group.  (I will have to do 2 of the hikes solo or with other friends since I will be on holidays and not available to hike with the rest of the group…but that’s not going to stop me!)

If you are looking for details of the hike…here is the instructions (more can be found on the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Website (link above).

McLaren Road Side Trail Loop Hike: Maps 14 &15 Distance: Approx. 11 km loop

Park: Roadside parking on Forks of the Credit Road near Dominion Street (km 8.8)

Hike:
• Along Dominion Street to km 10.0
• Take the Dorothy Medhurst Side Trail to km 15.7 of the main Trail
• Follow the main Trail to km 16.8 and then take the McLaren Road Side Trail to km 5.1 of the main Trail
• Follow the main Trail back to the roadside parking along Forks of the Credit Rd.

Optional: If you are interested, check out the Ring Kiln Side Trail before heading back to your car (km 8.2).

Photos Required: Photo from Dominion St. Bridge; selfie with the Lime Kiln (optional)

It honestly was so much fun to head out and go for a hike.  I’ve been on holidays since the beginning of the month and it was fun to go and explore a new part of Ontario that I haven’t spent much time in. I can’t wait to go back and explore some more of this area.

Our first group photo at the Dominion St. bridge!

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

Off we went… I know with hiking there’s hills involved, but man oh man…this first hill nearly did me in.  I have been running fairly consistently this year…but haven’t started to do any running or training on hills…I hate them! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…) 

Stops along the trail…are always welcome after a hill climb! 

It was so lovely to talk and get to know some of the other ladies in the group. I look forward to getting to know everyone a bit better on our next 4 hikes together for this challenge and beyond. 

It was really nice as soon as I got to the starting point and jumped out of my car…there was a “Hi Sarah, good to see you…been a long time!” I realized it really is nice to belong in a group and it had been too long of a time since I’ve hiked with the group. 

Near the end of the hike… the group was faced with more stairs!!! But to be honest…it was worth the effort to see the Hoffman Lime Kiln.

A break between the stair-master-climbing-session…was a photo op on the railroad tracks!

Then more climbing…but one awesome thing hiking on the Bruce Trails is how marked the paths are, and often had wooden stairs and sometimes rope hand rails to help make it so much easier to get up and down the hills!

Mira is awesome and stopped us a few times for group photo ops! (Which always makes me happy…because I love a good group photo!)

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

“The Hoffman Lime Kiln was constructed in 1896 with 12 draw kilns and was approximately 30metres long and 15 metres wide.  The chimney base supported a chimney that reached over 30 metres into the sky, and the entire kiln complex was housed in a protective outer building.”

Below you can see the remnant of the chimney on the left and the ring kiln on the right.

” How did the Lime Kiln work? Blocks of dolostone (a type of limestone) were loaded into the kiln through the large openings, called wickets, around the outside of the kiln. The internal ring was divided into 12 burning chambers that operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the temperature inside each chamber could be individually regulated.

Each chamber within the kiln was at a different stage in the processing of the limestone. One chamber could be loaded with fresh limestone while another chamber could be emptied of the lumps of lime ready for sale.

The lump lime extracted from the kiln was loaded onto trains at a siding beside the kiln and taken to local markets for use in construction industry and agriculture.”

“Sandstone quarried at the Forks of the Credit during the late 1880s and early 1890s was used to build the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Building of Queens Park in Toronto.”

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

The look of pure happiness to have come down 1/2 the stairs…but so happy to have explored a cool site!

This was a really cool house, that was converted school house from 1884 into a home…and there had been an addition that happened in 2015 but they matched the brick perfectly.  Seeing bits of history like this restored and repurposed always makes my heart smile.

It was a fabulous evening hike that took about 2 1/2 hours.  Thanks so much Mira for organzing these hikes with the “Take a Hike” group…and to the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club for making a fun hiking challenge for Canada’s 150 Birthday!

Mira also blogged some photos from the hike on her Lifeology 101 Blog check it out here! 

Goodbye 2016…Hello 2017!

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s December 31st… this year has flown by!  I must admit 2016 has been a year of ups and downs…so many great things happened.  So many great travels…Family weddings combined with a trip to Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore with my mum. Two weeks in Winnipeg visiting old friends.   2016 also had a lot of really great long weekend road trip visits: visiting cousins in Montreal for a weekend!  Going to Colorado and finally seeing first hand the beauty of that place. Visiting my friend in Trenton a few times!!!  Weekend trips to London to visit friends… so many memories and lots of fun and adventures.

Here are my top 9 liked posts from Instagram… made at https://2016bestnine.com/

I’m not going to lie and tell you the whole year was perfect…because it wasn’t. Part of me can’t wait to kick 2016 out the door and welcome 2017.  I think the thing I learned this year is that you sometimes can’t control circumstances or things that happen…but the one thing you can control is your reaction to them.  You can let that one ‘bad’ moment/circumstance/thing cloud the rest of that day…and then it might turn into a week and even a month…and before you know it you’ve had a bad year!

So as hard as it is sometimes the best thing is to let it go…and try to look for the positive… because every year has it’s ups and downs.  It’s the valley moments in life that make the mountain top view so much more memorable.

Counting my blessings and wishing you more. Hope you enjoy the New Year in store. Have a joyous New Year! 

Merry Christmas

Christmas brings family and friends together; it helps us appreciate the love in our lives we can often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings.

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer. May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you joy that lasts throughout the year.

luv, Sarah

Hamilton Waterfalls Hike

This morning I got up early and headed to Hamilton.  I had plans to meet up with the “Take a HIKE” Caledon Ladies Hiking and Meet Up Group.  The plan was to hike a 9km loop on the Bruce Trail, Robert MacLaren Side Trail and the Iroquoia Heights Side Trail and to see a bunch of waterfalls.  However, the waterfalls were just a trickle or all dried up (wrong time of year) but that didn’t stop the fun we had hiking! hamilton-hike_0015

Here’s everyone from our hike today…minus me!  Today the group invited their partners to join the hike…

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We started at Cliffview Park and went down the stairs…(lucky for us we didn’t have to come back up these stairs…). But we did see lots of people doing circuits up and down the stairs… what a workout!
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Below is a little make of our adventure.. (my app tracker said we did 8.38kms…but others in our group said we did more like 8.45-9kms).  All in all it was an awesome 2 hours…and didn’t seem that long at all. hamilton-hike_0002

The first surprise of the day was a runner coming towards us and saying “there’s a bear up there”…so what do we do? Walk faster towards what we think is a bear…(I’m thinking it can’t hurt us that much after all it’s not a polar bear.) Someone in the group kept saying “if it’s a bear why are we going closer?”… To our surprise it wasn’t a bear…something even cooler…a deer!! Faster than a blink the two doe ran across the path… and the buck stayed high on the trail.  hamilton-hike_0003There was one spot that was filled with Inuksuks… I can’t believe that it’s November 13th, because the weather was so awesome, sunny and warm perfect for a hike.
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…even though most of the leaves had fallen…it still was a gorgeous walk! hamilton-hike_0005

We did see this cool photo of all the cool waterfalls… I need to visit next spring when there’s water running.
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As we were hiking it was a wee bit weird… here we were in nature but all we could hear was the cars from the highway. It was weird to be in such a beautiful nature spot…but having the city so close.
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…this was my first time hiking on the Bruce Trail-–it was so well marked (see the white marks on the trees)…and there were so many other people out enjoying the day.

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“I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until
I took in what Nature had to offer.”-   Raymond Carver, This Morning

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It was fun chatting with new people along the trail–this was much easier in the daylight and our trail was easier to walk two-by-two…and just jump the side for a biker or runner to pass.
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Princess Waterfalls still had a bit of water…but just a trickle. hamilton-hike_0010

Thanks for snapping this photo of me Mira!!!

You need to keep your eyes open for roots on the trail… just like in life, they can be hidden under leaves and if you aren’t watching can trip you up!
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…I really wish I had stopped and gotten someone to take a shot of me along this ‘road’! hamilton-hike_0014

When hiking remember to take the time not only to look down for roots and rocks, but also up… you might see something worth it.

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This trail today had a gorgeous view of Hamilton! hamilton-hike_0029

Sometimes you need to take a bike ride with your dog in your backpack!
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The kid in me couldn’t pass up a fun photo shoot of throwing leaves…I made everyone stop and throw leaves all over the place! hamilton-hike_0023

I think it was worth getting covered in leaves….and them stuck in our hair! hamilton-hike_0027

“It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure–they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come.”
–   Edward Abbey

hamilton-hike_0026 …in the 2nd part of the hike along Scenic Drive…it was fun to also see some of the houses! (and a child care centre….wow! it would have been amazing to work there, with so much nature around!) One of the houses had this cool tree house—around an old tree trunk…perfect for late night dinners and watching the sunset.
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At times you could see the traffic as well as hear it! hamilton-hike_0017

It was awesome that others offered to snap shots of the group as we hiked!
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…it was great way to spend a Sunday morning!  I’m glad I found this group on Facebook and actually went out to join them on a hike…not sure how many more will happen before winter…but looking forward to joining in the next one.

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Mira also blogged some of her amazing photos from our hike…on her blog, Lifeology 101…go check it out! 

What’s Not to Hike?

Tuesday evening I drove over to Caledon to go to a book signing and talk.  Nicola Ross shared some photos and stories from a hiking trek she did in the Sierra Norte Mountains, Mexico earlier this year. It was so awesome to hear about her adventures… travelling and hiking in another country. Nicola is a born story teller, and I loved seeing her photos too.  But I must admit made my inner traveller starting thinking and dreaming of my next adventure outside where I leave the country! booking-signing-1

The awesome reason for the evening was a book signing of Nicola’s new book Halton Hikes “Loops and Lattes”.  I picked up a copy of it as well as her Caledon Hikes “Loops and Lattes” as well.

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It was a really fun night…and nice to see some of the ladies I hiked with the week before. I can’t wait to start exploring the area a wee bit more…these books should help! Any of my friends in the area let me know if you’d like to go for a hike at some point.

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