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! 

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