Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Historical Hiking Series: Hockley Valley Hike #2

Last week our ‘Take a Hike Group’ tackled the first hike and this week’s hike was in the Hockley Valley.  Last night our group of 12 started and finished Hike #2.  It was a fun hike, even though it was longer than we all expected…thank goodness for snacks that I brought along and was able to share!

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).

Hockley Valley Hike: Map 18

Distance: Approx. 10 km loop (but was more like 14 kms–that was a ‘fun’ surprise!!)

Park: In the parking lot on Hockley Road, just east of 2nd Line EHS.

Hike:

  •  West along Hockley Road using the Hockley Road Side Trail, to meet the main Trail as it enters the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve
  • Follow the main Trail to km 62.5 and then take the Tom East Side Trail to the main Trail at km 64.7
  • Follow the main Trail to km 65.7 and take the Isabel East Side Trail
  • From km 66.5 of the main Trail, head back along the main trail to km 62.5
  • Return to the parking lot via the Hockley Road Side Trail

Photos Required: ’39 Chevy sedan; William Thomas Allen’s bench; Jeju Olle Trail Marker

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The funny thing about this hike was we kept looking for the “Jeju Olle Trail Marker” the whole time we were hiking…and NEVER saw it.  

However, once we were done and went through the photos Mira let us know that the marker was actually at the bottom of the photo that is below– in that blue frame close to the ground! (I even unaware snuck a selfie of it!) 
After all the rain we have been having it was a nice GREEN hike… so nice to see the flowers starting to pop up along the trail.

Some Historical Information about this hike was provided by the CHBTC. “This hike follows the route of the Jeju Olle Bruce Trail Friendship Trail, which is twinned with Route #2 of the Jeju Olle Trail in South Korea. Officially opened in September 2011, this friendship trail consists of the Tom East Side Trail, Isabel East Side Trail, Glen Cross Side Trail and the main Trail to form a 9.6 km double loop.”

We had a few ladders to climb up and over the fences. Usually a rule of thumb when hiking is not to touch nature when you don’t know what the little creatures are… turned out this little orange fellow would have caused problems for anyone picking it up!

This hike had heaps of UPS and DOWNS…guess that goes with the hike being in the “Caledon Hills”… LOL

The one thing I’ve come to love about hiking on the Bruce Trails is all the signage and maps along routes!  What an awesome place to hike with the trail marked so clearly.  …starting to get dark but this hike isn’t finished yet!  The rivers or probably more like creeks in the summer months were full of water… we have gotten so much water later!  Love me some moss on a tree.  

…this random photo below was a happy surprise when I edited my photos from my camera.  Mira was getting everyone lined up at the William Thomas Allen’s bench for our required photo! 

Some more historical info about this spot on the trail.

“As you travel along the Isabel East Side Trail be sure to take a few minutes to pause and sit on the bench that overlooks the meadow. A few years ago Laurence Christie, long-time Caledon Hills volunteer, built this bench because it was one of his favourite view spots, especially in the late afternoon. It was also constructed to honour the farmer who worked on this land in the early 1900s. William Thomas Allen, along with his wife Minnie, bought the farm where our trail passes through in 1914. William operated a threshing machine business for over 40 years and was regarded by many to Photo: Hockley Valley Nature Reserve Trailhead Sign be a good friend and a wonderful neighbour. All that remains of the farm now are the foundation stones of the old barn; a depression in the ground where the house likely stood, beside which are a few lilacs; and out in the farm meadow beside our trail, the remains of the old binder rusting away in the sumacs. The dedication on the bench is to William Thomas Allen (1873-1947).”

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

Walking along this path, and sitting for a moment on the bench really made me think about the farmers that worked to clear this land and farm it.  What a hard go they must have had to make a life…but with views like this it was sure to be rewarding!

We were all excited to see the ’39 Sedan on the trail (because that meant the hike was almost over!) 
Here’s some info around the car…

“The abandoned car that you’ll come across as you return on the main Trail has long been a topic of discussion amongst hikers. Where exactly did it come from, and how did it get to where it currently rests? Thanks to club archivist Helen Billing, we’ve recently come across an article penned by Bill Taylor, which reveals the origins of this ’39 Chevy sedan. Prior to the creation of the Hockley Valley Nature Reserve in the 1970’s, this part of the Nature Reserve was owned and farmed by the Nevett family. The car in question was purchased by the family in approximately 1951, and was used until it broke down on the way home from a family vacation in the summer of 1956. Stored in the barnyard for a few years, the car came to its current resting place sometime between 1959 and1961. With ways to dispose of unwanted vehicles limited at that time, moving cars and broken down machinery out of sight and out mind was a common practice (which you’ll notice as you hike the length of the Bruce Trail).”

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

We were so excited to finish this 14 km hike… instead of taking 2 hours…it was more just over 4 hours! However, I wouldn’t have wanted to hike with anyone else but my “Take A Hike” friends. Hike #3 & #4 happen when I’m on holidays in Newfoundland…so will have to do those ones solo away from the Take A Hike group…but with other friends!

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