It’s a section of the Bruce Trail we’ve never walked before, so we decided to hike the 7+km loops using the Main Trail, the Keyhole Side Trail and the Hamilton Brothers’ Side Trail. Spectacular!
Starting from the north car park, there were a few interesting bits with some Christmas ferns and some very large cedars, but, for the most part, the walk to the Keyhole Side Trail was pretty unremarkable.. I did manage a great shot of a freshly exploded milkweed pod. After all, what’s autumn without some milkweed shots.
At the Keyhole, though, it became a whole lot more interesting! Great crevices that we could walk through, examining close-up the mosses and ferns growing on the wall. The Keyhole itself is pretty unique, but there is more than just one, although the others are not exactly along the trail. It was cool down there, too; we could see our breath even thought he temps up top were a gorgeous 15° or 16° (wonderful for November).
Up top, we were back to pretty mundane, immature deciduous forest, but we could tell there was “an edge ahead”. The view from the Nottawasaga Bluffs is beautiful. Looking across the glacial spillway to the next ridge south with the warm sun streaming in and the last few brilliantly coloured leaves – perfect! It’s a great place for lunch, too, so out came the sourdough, meat, cheese and apples.
The trail only got better from there as we encountered what must be a dozen slit caves, some wide and bright, others deep and narrow, still others completely inaccessible except to the young and skinny! We carried on along the bluff then inwards to the side trail that took us back to the car park. Amazingly we saw a couple of hart’s tongue ferns along the way, surprising because the forest wasn’t mature or dense, but there they were.
A great day out both for the hiking and the weather!