Our previous hike can be found here: Finding new sights in my own backyard. The Ganaraska Trail! Maybe I can walk to the Bruce Trail?
When we noted the weather forecast looked gorgeous for the next week, Anita and I decided it was time to travel a bit further from home. I’d long been wanting to visit the Blue Mountain area and now was our chance so we booked a lovely bed and breakfast in Markdale and started planning. Packing is so much easier when your one bag has to fit in the over head bin of an airplane.
Google maps said we could get there in about 3 hours but we had time and took the back roads. It was a lovely drive through areas of Ontario we’d never been. Mark greeted us upon arrival at Markdale manor and showed us around his gorgeous, historical home. We dropped our bags and headed out to walk the railroad trail he’d told us about. Watching the time so we got back before dark, we turned around and went back to town and Steven’s restaurant, another recommendation from Mark. Good choice! After a wonderful meal of souvlaki, we enjoyed a tea in the sun room of Markdale manor before an evening of relaxing in our large and comfortable room.
Mark provided us with a very substantial breakfast so we had lots of hiking to do to wear it off. We drove the 15 minutes to the parking area for the Eugenia Falls conservation area. There was one car there and it appeared to be a woman walking her dog. After studying the maps we headed off. The trail is marked as moderate and actually IS, it was muddy and slippery in places and there were many hills. It made for slow progress but that was fine. We had all day and enjoyed the beauty of the Beaver Valley area. For the most part we saw very few people. At Hogg’s falls there were several, all being careful to maintain a social distance. We spent quite a while taking pictures and enjoying the area around the falls before heading off again on what we thought was the “loop” and a total of 12.6 km
We were wrong. Apparently we were on the 22 km trail. Oops. That’s not what we signed up for. The last couple of hills just about killed us and we were never so glad to see Anita’s van, just as it was getting dark.
We seriously earned dinner and knew the food at Steven’s was good so, after finally getting to use the bathroom and cleaning up a bit, we walked there for dinner. We weren’t disappointed
After another hearty breakfast prepared for us by Mark, we headed out to find Inglis conservation area. Upon approach it said the road was closed so we parked on the side of the road and walked in to see what was up. It was actually open so we moved the van from the no parking zone. Inglis falls is gorgeous! I snapped a photo of the map and we started on the trails. Our plan soon flew out the window as we found different trails to follow and ended up in Harrison park. The trails were in great shape with very little mud and lots of great hills to keep the heart rate up. At Harrison Park we found another waterfall. Weavers creek falls is easy to miss as the path to it is tucked behind a big swimming pool but is a beautiful spot worth the visit. We worked our way back without too much trouble and found the van. Yay!
It was still early and we weren’t quite exhausted so found another park to visit. The Pottawatomi Conservation area is home to another beautiful waterfall. The trail to Jones Falls is only a half a km so after visiting that we did another loop. The blue trail is quite flat and very easy. The disadvantage to this park is that you can hear the highway noise throughout.
By then we were pooped so headed back to Markdale Manor and a nice cup of tea before walking to Fire and ice for dinner. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our delicious meals and being VERY hungry certainly added to that enjoyment. Anita even treated herself to a scoop of ice cream. Chapman’s is made right here in Markdale.
Our intention was to do a hike in Pretty River Valley Conservation area but every parking lot was full of vehicles at 10 am. So we kept going. At the sign for Wassaga Beach, I noted that I’d never seen it. Well that’s a good reason to see it now. There was lots of room there and the beach goes on forever so a good hour walk along the beach was nice. On November 7, the temperature was 20 degrees and there were kids SWIMMING in Georgian Bay! A brief chat with their father had us agreeing that 12 year olds have no feelings.
Most people we passed were friendly and one family we greeted suddenly stopped us and said “HEY!” He pointed and said “ALPINE?!”
“Um yeah” we replied.
“I’m Kevin! We stayed in the Basswood!”
Anita and I both recognized him then and laughed at the coincidence of both of us being there! “We’ll be back next year!” he said and we all said good bye. Too funny!
Our drive back was uneventful though we did treat ourselves to a McDonald’s ice cream 😉 What a wonderful trip! Ontario IS ours to discover and has SO much to offer!