After an early morning wake up call to take the parental units to the airport I was ready to tick off the next bit of my journey on the Bruce Trail. I headed back to the Woodend Conservation Area to retrace a little of my path from last weekend before continuing on further. Parking in the first parking lot I wandered along the Paul Naray Silurian loop to catch the Bruce trail on its decent along the edge of the escarpment.  Coming out to the entrance of the conservation area you will need to cross the street to continue along the trail. Two options are given here – cross the stile over the fence or walk 2m to the right and go around the fence. Well, I just had to go over the stile…I’ll save the walking around the fence for the walk back. The trail remains flat for a short ways before once again climbing up the escarpment.

Paul Naray Silurian Side Trail & Bruce Trail

Since I did not get as much sleep as I had intended due to the aforementioned trip to the airport, I kept tripping, sliding and twisting my ankle on rocks and tree roots along the way. (And they say hiking is not a risky sport) Not so graceful when one is carrying a large camera bag on one’s back and has a tripod swinging from one shoulder. The first trip I almost landed on my face, but luckily I recovered, oh so ungracefully, but I recovered. Luckily I was the only one on the trail so no one was laughing at me as I grumbled about my stupidity.

Bruce Trail, Niagara region

As I continued to walk, aka stumble my way along, I came out of the trees to be greeted by a large open area, with shiny new green grass and funny dressed individuals zooming around the paved paths in golf carts. As you can guess this part of the trail wanders in and around some of the holes of a golf course. As I was walking along I had thoughts of golf balls bouncing off my head and the surrounding trees. I thought people were supposed to yell out “fore” every time they swung at the ball. Not so apparently, as it was very quiet except the clang as the club hit the ball (which made me want to duck every time).

Fore!

The path continues through a narrow area of trees barely separating the hikers from the golfers.  When you finally make it around this portion of the course you head up a short hill and are greeted by a river down below you. Finally! The old Welland canals can be seen from this part of the trail. As you travel downstream on your left is each of the locks of the 3rd Welland canal and on your right is the golf course. Soon you leave the golf course behind and enter a more forested part of the trail. This day I had the pleasure of almost stepping on a little snake that had come out to bask in the sunlight. Luckily they are quicker to move than we are to spot them.

Third Welland Canal lock

Many people ask me what there is to photograph once all the leaves have fallen off the trees but let me tell you there is so much out there. With some creativity and a sharp eye one can find many different things to photograph. 

Leaf detail

If you think about it when the trees are full of leaves they tend to hide things from our view so this is the perfect opportunity to get out there and find the hidden gems in nature.

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