Hiking on the Bruce Trail in the Burlington - Oakville - Hamilton Area.
There is an international treasure in our own backyards and it beckons quietly to nature lovers from around the globe.
The Bruce Trail, starts in Queenston, Ontario, near Niagara Falls and ends in Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula.
Stretching just over 900 km ( 560 miles) from end to end, it is the oldest continuously traveled footpath in Ontario.
The Bruce Trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment and here in the Oakville and Burlington area, we are blessed to have this World Biosphere Reserve within sight of our own communities.
Winding and green, it shelters many ancient trees and threatened species of plants and animals.
For those who enjoy hiking, the Bruce Trail holds many unexpected surprises as it snakes it's way along the escarpment.
While hiking along the Bruce Trail, we’ve enjoyed lush valleys of beautiful wildflowers, glistening brooks that ramble down hillsides and old stone ruins from those who came before.
Giant old trees and thousands of wildflowers remind us of what used to be.
Along the rocky outcrops of the escarpment, many caves and crevices intrigue hikers. Some of them, such as this one in the picture, even have natural steps leading down and into a long cavern-like hall beneath the ancient rock.
Numerous people have tried to run the trail from end to end.
My brother, Clayton Smith, is one of the few solo runners who have run the entire Bruce Trail. In 2005 he broke records when he completed the trail in just under 15 days raising money for the Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
As a Biologist and an avid hiker, the Bruce Trail is one of my favourite places to go on long excursions.
This short article marks the beginning of a series I will be writing covering the flora, fauna, historical sites and geology found along the trail.
If you're new to the Oakville/Burlington/Hamilton area, or are planning a move or visit here, I hope you plan on visiting one of the many parks along the Bruce Trail.