Bruce Trail -- Iroquoia -- Wilson Street to Hermitage Gatehouse -- June 26, 2004

From part way down the escarpment, we continue right from where we left off last week. The total route was 5.9 km each way (11.8 km total) and at the furthest point we were not yet fully below the escarpment. And, of course, we did some ascending and descending.
Today's hike: about 2 hours out, 1.25 hours return. Moderately easy, with a few trickier bits.

We brought Jennifer along, the one with the field research training. On the first short stretch, the terrain was tolerably level, with lots of flora. Jenn is looking up just what we're looking at. Despite the easy terrain, I managed to (slightly) fall over into the brush on the return trip.

One of many wildflowers. This one is in the rose family. That's as much as I remember.

A grape leafed something or other...

Around here we heard the creepiest noise that sounded like a door with squeaky hinges swining open and shut. It didn't ruin the view though.

Dave only looks startled because the camera is pointed at him! You can see the trail heading out of his right pocket. These are NOT groomed trails. The Bruce Trail Association makes sure that major deadfall is removed and occassional aids to passage (like stairs and simple bridges), but that doesn't make it easier.

That pale streak across the middle is Ancaster Creek. We're about to cross Old Dundas Road, just where Lower Lionsgate turns off. We've never noticed the Bruce Trail crossing here.

Tracking up Ancaster Creek. We've lived our whole lives in this area and never knew the falls we're about to see even existed.

Sherman Falls. It looks like something out of Tolkien.

We hike past the falls and start a wicked ascent to the top of the escarpment. There we pick up a track that leads to nearby conservation area. But first we pass Canterbury Falls, feeding a creek that runs past Canterbury Hills Retreat.

Another unnamed creek. The track is fairly groomed from here on.

We're walking though Carolinian Forest. The Niagara Escarpment in this area is known for having an odd ecosystem, including many flora species that normally grow further south.

Jenn is hungry. The track is now gravel and part of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. That doesn't mean the track is EASY, just well maintained.

This shows a notable feature. For about 150 feet huge chunks of rock simply cleft away from the escarpment face. The one in the shot is about the size of my living room. This is not typical for the area except where the face has been undercut by water. It wasn't. Earthquake (we have them occasionally)? Work of trees?

After a truly evil sequence of descent, ascent, descent, ascent, descent, we arrive at our destination, the Hermitage Gatehouse. It's just off Mineral Springs Road in Ancaster. It has a bathroom! After a short rest we return to the track, homeward bound.