Things I Like – Kelso Conservation Area

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Yes – this is a place I really like.

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Adventure, Around Toronto, Nature, Outdoor Stuff, Things I Like and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Things I Like – Kelso Conservation Area

  1. jannatwrites says:

    There’s no way I would go in the narrow spaces between rocks. Can hardly breathe just thinking about it!

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  2. Oh that’s beautiful. I wish we would have something like that close to where we live. Ohio is flat and boring in every direction. 🙂 The first picture is stunning. I wish I could go there and hike with my dogs. Oh I miss hiking (how in the word did I ever end up in Ohio?)

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  3. Lael says:

    I love the photo that shows how the trees are growing, clinging to the rock. We are lucky to live in an amazing world!

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  4. Oh, I hope I can get pictures like this out of my camera one day! Love, love, love the last one. (Of course, I’ve broken the golden rule of not taking an unfamiliar camera on holiday but I’m hoping the Auto settings are going to help me out at this stage and I’ll get back to the rest down the track.)

    You have to take me here when I come to visit. I’ll bring a headtorch. 🙂 (I was wondering if I would go into such a place and then remembered how much I loved the tunnel at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress in Peru. We didn’t have any light. You had to walk with your left hand on the wall and your right hand on your head. As long as you kept your left hand on the wall to guide you, you would find the exit. The hand on your head was to make sure you didn’t hit it.)

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    • joannesisco says:

      When you come to visit, I will take you anywhere and everywhere you would like to go 🙂

      … but then again, if that Sue Slaght gets to you first with adventures in the Canadian Rockies, my adventures will be a poor second!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne so caving is out when you come to visit? 🙂
    What a gorgeous area. Is there rock climbing that happens on the rock in the first photo?
    I wonder how the bench came to sit where it does. I’m sure a story to be had there.

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    • joannesisco says:

      I’ve actually been in many caves. My issue is tight, confined spaces like you showed with the laundry chute.

      We were told yesterday by this group of high school student that they were rock climbing at a place called Rattlesnake Point about 5km away. It’s not on the main trail of the Bruce so we didn’t see it when we did our end-to-end. Helen and I decided to rehike this section and check out Rattlesnake Point next week.

      There are signs that imply there is rocking climbing on the Escarpment at Kelso but I’ve never seen anyone doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You really get some great shots of the gnarled roots of the cedars growing from the rocks – I’ve noticed it in previous posts too. I admire your feistiness and adventurous spirit but exploring crevices is something I don’t get – I’d be waiting with Helen!

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    • joannesisco says:

      hahaha! well, I can be brave at this time of year when I can be reasonably certain no self-respecting snake will be around.

      I’m continually in awe of the tenacity of nature to survive. These trees fascinate me … not to mention how often I trip over their roots on the trail!!!

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  7. Nancy says:

    What a beautiful area and the photos are wonderful. I would not have likeed the cave at all, I’m not even crazy about spending time in our basement! I wonder what the school kids found? Do you think there was another exit or did they have to come out the same way?

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    • joannesisco says:

      Actually I do know there is an exit point – about 30 metres further down the trail. We chatted for a bit with the instructor who was there with the teens and he described what it was like in this rock cave.
      I’m glad I didn’t go further!! It explains why they had left their backpacks behind.

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  8. Mrs. P says:

    What a great place. I don’t mind caves as long as they are small. Some go for miles inside rock walls. I’d be afraid of getting lost.

    We have this national park in California called Pinnacles with fabulous geographic formations and small caves. The park is very hot and so the best time to go is in the spring or late fall. We went in the spring and their was still run-off from a little creek that went into the cave. We weren’t long in the darkness and could see enough to navigate the cave and water with flashlights. My daughter was four when we did it and she had no problem. We had a blast! I found some pictures which give you a hint of the park through this link. http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos
    /pinnacles-national-park-paicines?userid=nx7hGb1sjJFtmdNh5RHYQg

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  9. No narrow caves. Please. Gorgeous place, Joanne. Stunning pictures. Thank you for sharing. 😆 ❤

    I went to Ermosa Kaarst again hoping for some fabulous fall pictures but no much was still green. At least the mosquitoes were gone.

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  10. bikerchick57 says:

    What a cool and beautiful place. I would love to hike there or just hang out.

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  11. Nice to have a place like that for escape and adventure.

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  12. That area is so beautiful! I don’t blame you for following the kids into the cave – I probably would have done the same. But, when it got too narrow to comfortably pass through, I’d chicken out too.

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  13. mickscogs says:

    Thanks so much for showing us your neck of the woods. I haven’t posted for awhile and I’m home today to cut grass. I think I better cut some grass first. It seems I’m not the only one who recognises your penchant for writing.

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  14. Looks like a great place!
    Caves are ok… as long as there isn’t a large light coming towards you 🚂

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  15. Heyjude says:

    1. Those trees look gprgeous!
    2. Thank you for mentioning me and the bench 🙂
    3. Are you mad going in to a cave? I always dream of getting stuck in a cave tunnel, which is weird because I’d never go in one in the first place!
    4. Love, love, love your last photo. Beautiful light through those trees creating shadows and shade. Nice.
    5. I can see whay you like it 🙂

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    • Heyjude says:

      Groan… why doesn’t WP allow you to preview and edit a comment!

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    • joannesisco says:

      1) yes – it was a sunny day and the colours were magnificent.
      2) whenever I see an interesting bench or one in an unusual place, I think of you. Do your ears ring a lot? 😉
      3) Yes – I think I might be a bit ‘touched’. I’m terrified of being stuck in tight spaces, so I didn’t get very far into the fissure. I hadn’t realized it was going to get so narrow and quickly retreated when it did!!
      4) I simply love the look of sunlight filtering through the trees. It was a perfect day for that 🙂
      5) Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, I like it too! And how wise Helen is knowing you’d eventually come back and having that camera poised! Also, must say…while I always enjoy your photography, this time what struck me was your writing! This little tidbit…”….which quickly burned off in the sun, and the only sound was the hum of the highway far below.” Wonderful, Joanne.

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