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Out to Pretty River park yesterday. The trails are a combination of icy caps and mud. But I did find a sunny dell beside the lake to soak up some sun and watch Winter melt away
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Anyone want to meet for a Spring hike?

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Pretty River section in Winter
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Short hike in Pretty River, Lilly gets tired of the street walks and I really like this place
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2015-08-03
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View atop Blue Mountain along the Bruce Trail.
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2015 03 07 Duff Pit Side Trail

I have been eager to hike this side trail for a long time, many many years ago I worked at this Gravel Pit as a summer job (J.C. Duff Sand And Gravel Limited - Silvercreek Pit, if I recall correctly); it now appears to have been retired and the BT has a side trail extending south to near where the BT was 40 years ago.

Started out with Snowshoes from a Google Maps GPS coordinates 43.677848, -79.987955 from roadside parking on Trafalgar Road where the #BruceTrail  crosses and headed Southwards through thick cedars and evergreens at first before the trail emerges into a somewhat older growth hardwood forest.  The trail navigates tight forest and rocky outcrops before emerging at Highway 7; here the main trail heads west along the highway then south on 6th line, but I wasn't going that way today.

I crossed the highway and went east a few metres to the start of the Duff Pit Side Trail.  This side trail heads in a SE direction along what remains of the old Toronto Radial Railway bed and past the old Georgetown Water Reservoir then does a loop around what appears to be mature hardwood forest (around 43.665715, -79.978127) and returns along the same path to the highway.

After the Antarctic temperatures of February, this day was a balmy and cloudy -7c or -8c (17F to 19F) with low winds and this hike was pretty short at 6km total.  But with the temperatures in February routinely colder than my arbitrarily set lower limit of -20c (-4F), my legs would have complained about anything much longer.

Of course, I went snowmobiling for a couple of hours later in the day and I wanted to be able to walk, so there was that.  Even such a short trip with snowshoes can be a vigorous workout, the snow was likely less than 50cm (18") deep in most places but there were some drifts that were much deeper.

#Hiking   #Snowshoeing   #Winter   #Conservation   #Ontario  
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2015 03 07 Duff Pit ST
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2015 03 11 Hilton Falls

Started out from a Google Maps GPS coordinates 43.536754, -79.978699 from a Halton Managed Forest parking lot off Sixth Line (Parking Lot might be a stretch, but you could get 7 or 8 cars in there if you had to).  It's maybe 30 metres (yards) in to where the Hilton Falls Side Trail (of the #BruceTrail ) passes by.  So we veer off the old logging road paralleling 6th Ln in a southerly direction for a bit through forests on over rocks before angling west (right) to meet up with another old logging road.  This area seems riddled with old logging roads, which is cool, but makes for an easy hike when the trail follows one of them.

On this day, the weatherman suggested nearby Toronto (T.O.) might hit 9c (48.2F), so under the bright sun and perfect blue skies, I set out around 11:00am (not realizing that I hadn't set the time to Daylight Savings time on my camera, but I did partway through my hike, so knock an hour off the time expired between first and last - lol) hiking on what felt like several inches of snow, maybe a foot deep in spots, but it was firm enough that I carried the Snowshoes on my pack.  Later as it was turning greasy and slippery from the heat, I considered using the snowshoes but rejected the idea.  Truth is they're heavy and I didn't want to lift them every step I took.

This was another warming-back-up-to-hiking hike, trying to exercise the legs before a real hike, and was only about 4 kilometres each way, I was out for 4 hours, but then, having found two burning campfires, I decided to rest by the fire (so to speak) at each of them.  One was above Hilton Falls and the other was closer to my starting point.  On the return trip I spent 30 or 40 minutes chatting with Andy, just another hiker enjoying Hilton Falls Conservation Area... and watching the snow melt.  With slightly slippery snow that 'gives' a little when you step on it, the effort required was a little more than a normal dry hike so I did get a workout, but it felt good.

And..... AND... I returned home with a sunburned face (just a little bit... you could see the slight redness), I guess when you doff the hat you get the sun on your head.... maybe I shoulda' worn the helmet.  It never got close to the weatherman's prediction for T.O. as the area around Milton seemed to be closer to 5c (41F), but that did not stop me from walking around hatless, coatless and gloveless most of the day.  It was gorgeous!

#Hiking #Ontario #Conservation #Winter
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2015 03 11 Hilton Falls
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