Island Lake

With the long cold month of February behind us, I finally came out of hibernation to go for a hike. March started as a cold and crazy windy day but it was a little calmer and slightly warmer for a walk with my friend Linda today.

A curvy line

We met at Island Lake Conservation Area and decided to start our hike along the boardwalk portion. As we passed the first boardwalk section and entered the second one I noticed these small open areas in the ice.

Holes in the Ice

We were stumped as to why these holes might be here. We also noticed by one of the holes that there were some tracks. It’s possible that some small critters were using these to get in and out of the frozen lake. 

Ice Hole

It was a beautiful sunny day out but the winds were still pretty strong. There were a few spots that were quite open and we were glad to make it back into the shelter of the trees. Winter is a beautiful time of year but it’s the cold winds that get me running back indoors as quickly as possible.

Deep in the Forest

I’m back in Claireville today with my friend NIgel. We met at the east entrance and decided to take a different path. We hoped to find some interesting things to photograph on this unused trail.

Deep in the Forest

Deep in the Forest

The trail is overgrown and I’m not sure if that’s because the main path is much easier to walk or if its because they have taken this trail off the map. It wan’t one that was well travelled in the past and with COVID and the parking lot shut down for a few months things that may have been the cause of this trail’s state.

New England Aster

New England Aster

When I first shot this photograph of the New England aster I thought it was a new flower that I haven’t come across before. I didn’t realize that this is how the aster grows. It’s prettier all curled up then when its open. LOL

Small Milkweed Bug

Small Milkweed Bug

Wandering into a large meadow in a small valley I decided to shoot a specific milkweed pod that came to my attention. It wasn’t until I was photographing it that I realized that there was this small milkweed bug making its rounds on it. It was a stroke of luck to catch this guy on this particular plant and we took full advantage of the situation. This was my favourite shot from our hike today.

How Things Can Change in 4 Days

In the autumn months, it always amazes me how quickly things can change. Only 4 days ago, Nigel and I were here hiking the Splitrock Loop trail. You can read more on The Grandmother Tree here.

Orange Valley

Orange Valley

Since our last hike, the colours have deepened towards orange, and in some cases brown. This means that autumn is on its way out, to be replaced with a sea of brown until the first snowfall comes. Until then I’m going to squeeze in every possible bit of autumn I can until it is no more.

Paper Birch

Paper Birch

It was a gorgeous day to be out hiking. These beautiful paper birches were glowing in their small patch of sunlight. I think I spent way too much time here but I couldn’t get enough of how pretty they looked.

Grandmother Tree

Grandmother Tree

You can see that the grandmother tree still welcomes us to continue along the trail but has lost some of her leaves. It won’t be long now until she sheds them all and waits through the long winter to get her green leaves again.

The Grandmother Tree

My friend Nigel suggested a hike at  Splitrock Loop trail and now that the fall colours are at their height up north, it was the perfect opportunity to check out this trail. 

Country Road

Country Road

On the way there we pulled over quite a few times to take some photos of the country roads. This one in particular caught our interest.

Splitrock Trail Loop

Splitrock Trail Loop

After navigating to the parking lot for Splitrock Loop trail, we were greeted by the scene above. Talk about an inviting entrance to a trail. The trail itself is only about 5km and is a loop which makes it a fairly easy trail to hike. There isn’t a lot of up and down on this one either.

Grandmother Tree

Grandmother Tree

My favourite part of this trail is the gorgeous tree that we passed towards the end of our hike. Like a grandmother with her arms open, inviting us further along the path. What a great trail. I highly recommend this one if you’re in the area of Mono Cliffs. I will definitely be visiting this one again soon.

The Bear Den Trail

I’m out hiking again with my friend Nigel and this time we are in Guelph hiking the Bear Den Trail. Nigel found out about this trail from the Loops & Lattes: Caledon Hikes book. It’s supposed to have some wacky Alice in Wonderland type boardwalk but first we have to hike most of the the 6.6 kilometre trail until we find it. I am a little curious to see what else we find along this trail.

Beware of Poison Ivy

Beware of Poison Ivy

This is the only trail I’ve been on that has a sign warning people to beware the poison ivy. Is it going to jump out an attack us? Is it going to creep along the ground and reach out with its roots to infect us with its poison? LOL Absolutely love it.

Rock Wall

Rock Wall

We came across some small stone walls during our hike. I found out later that these were built by early pioneers who farmed this land. The trail was pretty easy to hike with a lot of flat areas but we got a little confused when we ended up at the scout camp and had to turn around. We did find the right path pretty quickly after that. Have you noticed that we seem to be having a lot of navigation issues lately?

Crooked Path

Crooked Path

Towards the end of the hike we finally came across the weird and wacky boardwalk we had read about. This “whimsical” boardwalk (as described in the book) zig zagged here and there with no rhyme or reason.  It even went “through” a tree. Very strange and fun to navigate, especially since it was a little slippery.

End of the Trail

End of the Trail

Coming off the boardwalk we turned onto the last stretch of the path before we were back at the start of this loop. Another fun trail to check out just watch out for times when it might be slippery – that boardwalk could be dangerous!