July is generally the high season for hiking, and I didn’t waste any of my weekends in 2016. A lot of exploring, and a lot of non-planning went in to this month. Looking back, I can definitely do these trips much more efficiently with my current resources. And I will be visiting again, as these trips were also eaten by the photo monster. Instagram once again helps me with some memories from the Oak Ridges Trail Western Terminus, York Regional Forest Bendor & Graves Tract, treetop trekking at Heart Lake CA, Kortright Centre for Conservation and the Silent Valley Nature Reserve.
Oak Ridges Trail Western Terminus
I didn’t know it at the time, but I ended up finding the Western Terminus of the Oak Ridges Trail. I had actually planned to go north from Coolihans in to Glen Haffy CA but someone arrived at the same time I did and went that way.. I don’t like following people on to trails, as I typically hike faster but I also stop to take a lot of pictures and it’s just awkward passing people time and time again.
Anyway, I headed south along the main Bruce Trail and then took a turn on the ORTA. I didn’t go far, as I had no clue where I was going. But it’s a very nice trail and I do recommend it.
York Regional Forest Bendor & Graves Tract
This area of the York Regional Forest has an off-leash dog park, which essentially means the entire Bendor & Graves Tract is an off-leash dog park. So if you don’t like dogs, I suggest staying away from this area. But if you do like dogs, this is the trail for you.
I parked by the actual dog park and got some weird looks because I didn’t have a dog. Oh well. I had fun wandering around the maze that is Bendor and Graves. Also, catching Pokemon, because Pokemon GO was a new thing and yes I’m a 90’s child and I grew up with it and was supper excited about it dontjudgemeok.
Heart Lake CA Treetop Trekking
My first attempt at Heart Lake CA might have failed fabulously, but our second trip out definitely hit the mark. Treetop Trekking is now among my favourite things. I just wish it didn’t cost so much.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Kortright Centre is maybe 20 minutes north on Islington from where I live, and ironically is the only trail on which I’ve seen wildlife above and beyond the usual squirrels. Everything happens close to home.
The Humber River borders the west end of the Kortright Centre. On the other side, you can hike the Humber River Trail, at this point known as the William Granger Greenway.
Silent Valley Nature Reserve
Silent Valley is definitely one of the more interesting trails I’ve been on. The Bruce Trail side trails take you around the old Wilson Homestead, and a plane crash that claimed the lives of 4 people. There are also fossil imprints to be found on the rocks, so keep your eyes peeled.
This is a short loop, about 4.5km. You can extend it by following the main Bruce Trail to the left at the end of the Wilson Homestead side trail, in to the Bognor Marsh. There are some steep climbs along the Avalanche Pass, so wear sturdy shoes.
Check out my Never-Ending Bucket List of Trails to see where I’ve been and where I’m going!