I’m sure most of us have a spot of nature’s beauty within a short driving distance of our homes. One of those spots near me is the Kelso Conservation Area which features a massive wall of the Niagara Escarpment easily seen from the highway as you approach Toronto from the west.
This was one of the sections of the Bruce Trail we had hiked in the winter of 2013 and I really wanted a return visit. With the countryside still ablaze in autumn colours, it seemed like a good time to re-hike this section.
The last time we came this way, the ski hill was buzzing with activity as we went past … the trail buried under a few feet of snow. This time there was only an early morning frost on the ground, which quickly burned off in the sun, and the only sound was the hum of the highway far below.
This day we encountered a group of high school students in the 15 to 17 year old range enrolled in a Leadership program focused on outdoor activities. Their day in Kelso was going to consist of mountain biking, caving, and rock climbing. There certainly wasn’t anything like that available when I was in high school.
As we watched them disappear into one of the fissures in the rock, I was curious and quickly scrambled to join them … but I admit I chickened out. The fissure became VERY narrow – the stuff of my nightmares – and while they had headlamps on, I was following in the growing darkness as their lights quickly disappeared ahead of me.
Helen was wiser and simply waited at the top for my sanity to eventually prevail.
When I saw this stone bench, I immediately thought of Jude at Travel Words and her ongoing series on benchs. Clearly I had not noticed this beauty in winter, but unfortunately it didn’t offer much of a view with a wall of trees in front of it.
The Bruce Trail winds through Kelso – often hugging the edge of the Escarpment – for about 6 km in one direction, but Kelso actually boast a web of over 20 km of trails.
Yes – this is a place I really like.