Bruce Trail -- Iroquoia -- Filman Road to Wilson Street -- June 20, 2004

At this part of the escarpment we are about 90m above the lower city. We reckon our total descent to have been maybe 1/2 of that at best. About 100 to120 feet. Of course what goes down must come back up and there are not alternates means of transport.
Today's hike: about 2 hours. Moderately difficult.

We picked up the trail just west of 403. Nothing significant about the flowers except that they're pretty. There were lots of them.
This section starts with a long boggy section, heavily wooded. In some areas rocks or wood had been thrown down to keep feet more or less dry. A "stairway" assisted on one of the nasty bits of descent.

After the first short descent the trail is a bit flatter. It hasn't been cleaned up this spring. Lots of deadfall. There was little wildlife along this stretch. When we did it last there were dozens of cheeky chipmunks and squirrels.

The canopy of trees is just glorious. I'd love to know them all. We saw several varities of maple, some oak, elm and pine for sure. There were some with trunks about 20" in diameter.

At this level we are at the same height or higher than the tops of trees below this part of the escarpment. Peeking through we can see the pond that the stream we're approaching feeds. The trail is relatively easy so far, with rock and tree branches aplenty. Only a few places of dicey footing.

We turn uphill again for a while. Just beyond the deadfall in the bottom of the picture is the bridge. This is the furthest we came on our last jaunt to this area. The stream is rushing pretty fast, about eight feet below the bridge.

Looking from the bridge to the stream. The light shining through the leaves and into the water is amazing. We continue on and completely miss the turning, which is quite clearly marked. But we follow the water upstream on a path that appears little used. Before we lose sight of the bridge and our last marker I wonder how many others have seen this spot where the stream turns into the escarpment face and its source.

Retracing our steps we find our turn and a grueling two stage climb up to the top of the escarpment. There is no suggestion of stopping partway as the footing is too precarious and still slidy from spring rains. This shot back from where we came doesn't begin to do justice to the beauty.

Going down the escarpment again after a lovely walk along the edge. I thought this niche in the escarpment face was fairly interesting. Many different kinds of moss are growing. Then I thought about how the rocks above were hanging unsupported and very nicely cracked over the space where I was standing. I decided to move.

This is the "stair" that we've just descended from those interesting rocks. Yes, actually, it was a little steep!

Dave insisted that this couldn't be natural. Then we got to the far side (seen in the photo), we realized that a tree had toppled from the rock above and the roots are here resting against a lower tree. Weird or what?

We continue along a stretch of trail mostly like this -- always sloping and I have sore ankles to prove it! A glade of deep grasses follows, then a quick drop through wooded stand to real stairs that take us the last twenty feet down to Wilson St. See the "stairs" in the next box.

Rather than the narrow side of the road, we chose to cross Wilson to where the Bruce Trail continues -- and we could sit down for five minutes on the roadside barrier. A readjustment of socks, time to catch our breath and drink some much appreciated water from our packs, then we hit the trail again to return back the way we came. This time we are almost constantly ascending and breathless.