Sydenham BT, The Bruce Trail

Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve – July 28, 2021

45.4 – 55.2 When I planned today’s hike two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure that the weather would play along. The nastier weather came through two days early and tomorrow there is a new weather system brewing. It turns out today is the perfect day to go out after all!

We drive through fog for two hours and it lifts as we arrive in Meaford. After some coffee while enjoying the view of the lake we get dropped off at 9:40am.

We start walking through a meadow with some cattle on the other side of the electric fence. It is sunny and 17 C. The humidity is 90%, but by the time we are done it should be about 24C with a 70% humidity.

We reach the treeline and see a wide all-purpose trail that is not too difficult. We can hear some birds, but we don’t see any. After a short little while we see the turn-off for the Bruce trail with a map of the area where we are walking today.

Straight away we are transported into a fairy tale forest with lots of ferns and moss. The air is pretty humid and we navigate over tree roots and around interesting looking escarpment rocks. We can still hear some birds in the tree tops.

We are steadily climbing uphill, but the going is good and we are rewarded with a nice cool breeze when we reach the top.

The trail parallels the edge as well as some impressive crevasses. We only need to step over one that is not very wide, but it is very deep. I had been worried about it, but it turns out not to be scary at all. There are too many leaves on the trees to get a good view, but we do see two huge turkey vultures soaring by!

We run out of energy about 2 km from the end and have to take a break. We haven’t done much walking lately and the longest distance we would occasionally do is about 6 km. So we didn’t come very prepared either. I only brought one bottle of water instead of the two bottles of Gatorade. AJ brought two bottles of water but left his water bladder in the car. We did not have enough energy to go to the look-out point at the end and missed out on the view over the lake! We will have to go back for that. It is just a short distance and a very easy hike from the parking area at 55.2.

We did this trail on a Wednesday and it took us 4 hours. There were not many people on the trail today. We saw one guy in the beginning, a couple that made the loop with the Bayview Escarpment Side trail and two guys just starting out when we were done. By then it was about 25 C with a 70% humidity.

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