Autumn Hiking on the Bruce Trail
The slight crisp in the air, the last rays of summer filtering softly through the autumn leaves … there hasn’t been a more perfect time to discover the natural beauty of the Bruce Trail and Niagara Escarpment. It’s a hiker’s paradise, with almost one thousand kilometers of continuous trails that run from Queenston all the way to the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula. There are several accessible points to access the trail that are just a short drive from Mississauga or Toronto, but wherever you choose to get on or off, call Airlift Limo to drop you off and pick you up. Having your own driver will allow you the flexibility of extending or altering your course on a whim: you won’t even have to worry about getting back to where you’ve left your car! Book Airlift Limo through their handy mobile app, enter your pickup location and they will meet you there, wherever you wind up!
One of the most interesting parts of the trail is where it meanders through Hamilton. You might know about Hamilton because of its steel industry, but it’s also known as the City of Waterfalls, boasting almost thirty waterfalls of varying heights and depths, many located along the Bruce Trail. An easy and beautiful hike that features several waterfalls begins at the Felker’s Falls Conservation Area, in Hamilton’s East Mountain area. Head west from the parking lot and follow the footpath along the edge of the escarpment. Trails are well marked with Bruce Trail signs so you can’t possibly lose your way. Felker’s Falls’ namesake is a twenty-two metre high ribbon waterfall, a dramatic display that you’ll need to get off the trail to fully experience. Some hikers enjoy being able to climb in behind the sheets of falling water, making for some great potential photo ops if you’re so inspired. From the trailhead at Felker’s Falls, you will hike approximately four kilometers over mixed terrain, where you will see Glendale, Albion, and eventually Buttermilk Falls. At that point, you can choose to hike back down to Felker’s Falls, or summon your ride to come pick you up.
Whether you decide to strike out on your own or go with a guide, you will be amazed at the breathtaking natural beauty that lives just on the periphery of our urban centers. For those who prefer something a little more in-depth, consider a two-day guided hike, where you’ll experience nineteen waterfalls in all, or a whopping twenty-eight waterfalls on the more extensive five-day excursion. Grand Experiences is a popular canoe and kayak outfitter in the Hamilton/Halton/Bruce region, offering several excursion options for all levels of fitness. When you book your hike through Grand Experiences, you will be led by an expert guide, the price of your package inclusive of quality hotel accommodation and all meals along the way.
Another great way to spend an afternoon on the Bruce Trail is geocaching. If you’ve never heard of geocaching before, it’s part discovery hike and part treasure hunt. It’s a great activity for families, couples or groups, and the best part is that it’s free! The object is to find secret ‘caches’ of items that have been hidden by other hikers. Using a map marked with cache locations, you will navigate to specific points using your GPS. Locate caches that others have left, or create your own by hiding objects and uploading their GPS coordinates so that other geocachers might hunt it down. For more information on geocaching on the Bruce Trail, visit Explore the Bruce and browse their interactive maps of current caches.
No matter where you jump on or jump off the Bruce Trail, your autumn hike will surely be filled with natural wonders. Choose whatever level of difficulty you feel comfortable with, and spend an hour, a day or even several days exploring the escarpment. One thing is certain, you won’t be far from some of the most spectacular beauty that can be seen anywhere in the world. And don’t forget to call Airlift Limo for a drop off and pickup, it’ll make your day of hiking that much more special.