This was the second hike for a growing group of wonderful wayfaring women to which I belong. At the time we were contemplating climbing Kilimanjaro, and saw this as initial training. Over time sober thoughts prevailed, along with more realistic planning. We changed our goal to hiking the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. But in the process, we enjoyed the local hiking so much that it took on a life of its own, no longer just the means to an end.
We met up near the ferry docks in Toronto for the one hour drive, which went smoothly. The four and a half hour, 13.2 km hike in Dundas Valley follows the Niagara Escarpment edge for some distance with views of 5 lovely waterfalls along a well-marked trail.
We encountered a few hills and steep sections and there were some busy roads to cross, necessitating leash sections for our four-legged leader, Oatie.
It is a popular trail system in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, and we encountered some trail traffic, including, at one point, a heard of mountain biking kids and their frazzled chaperone. The Trail Centre at about 8 kms provided indoor washrooms and a snack bar – a good place to enjoy our healthy snacks and a hot cuppa as the weather was chilly. The weather forecast had been grim, but the rain kindly held off until we were happily ensconced in a cozy café in Ancaster for lunch afterwards.
We saw a few deer off in a valley at one point, but the real highlight was a close encounter with a large, handsome buck towards the end of the hike. He stood his ground on the trail not too far ahead of us. We finally figured out that he was protecting his mate who was hidden behind a bush to our right….so once they found a route around us together, they bounded quickly out of sight.
Date: Saturday Nov 8, 2014
Trail Guide: http://www.torontohiking.com/tohi/dundas-valley-ancaster-waterfalls.html
Distance: 13.2 kms
Who: Mary, Sari, Liz, Charlotte and Oatie
Highlight: Close encounter with a big handsome buck (deer, not human!)
Link to photo album