• morningside park and birkdale ravine
    Birds,  Nature Trips

    Morningside Park and Birkdale Ravine

    I’ve been trying to make use of the extra hours of daylight as we move towards summer and have spent a couple of evenings at local parks. First up, on Monday, I had intended to hang around the feeder area at Morningside Park, but it appears to have been taken down. I’m not sure if this is Covid-19 related (people congregating or perhaps people breaking into the park when it was closed during the peak). I walked westwards through the park following the path of Highland Creek. The manicured areas of the park were busy, so I hastened onwards. Shortly before the metal bridge that crosses the creek, I saw…

  • east point park and edwards gardens
    Birds,  butterflies,  Nature Trips

    East Point Park & Edwards Gardens

    Over the course of the weekend, I took a couple of nearby trips to Toronto parks here in the east-end. I am looking forward to getting up to Algonquin to hang-out with an Instagram-friend of mine named Malcolm who works at the park. It wasn’t to be this weekend, as the weather north of Toronto was poor. Next weekend is pencilled in and I’m excited to see what the park might throw at me, especially in the hands of an expert. No pressure on Malcolm! On Saturday, Sara and I went to Edwards Gardens. It is still early for butterflies but it is always interesting to check out the flora…

  • trip to presqu'ile provincial park
    Birds,  Nature Trips

    Trip to Presqu’ile Provincial Park

    The wife and I took a trip to Prequ’ile Provincial Park last weekend. Parks had been open for a week or so following their Covid-19 related closures and I was thirsty to try to catch some of the late-May migrating warbler activity. I’d never been to this park before, but knew it was a good spot for migrating warblers, shorebirds, and butterflies. We arrived around 9am and were thankful that it was fairly quiet – we had been to Darlington Provincial Park the week before, a couple of days after Provincial Parks had opened, and it was rammed. On that occasion, practically everyone had descended upon the beach which left…

  • bruce trail short hills provincial park header brithikesontario
    Bruce Trail,  Hiking

    Bruce Trail 03b Short Hills

    Muddy Spring I decided to get back on the trail quite quickly, two days after my last visit, so that I could get in a little more progress before impending rainstorms arrive in the area over the forthcoming days. What better welcome to Spring than potential thunder and lightning! I parked exactly where I left off last time, at the 35.2km mark in “Parking Lot C” at Short Hills Provincial Park and began today’s hike by heading due-south for a while. Short Hills Provincial Park is unattended and free to use (including parking). The park is occasionally closed during November/December while the First Nations people hunt deer. Birds were quite…

  • The Bruce Trail End to End Map 03 A Thorold brithikesontario
    Bruce Trail,  Hiking

    Bruce Trail 03a – Thorold

    Better Progress I woke up early on one of those grey overcast days where you’re not quite sure whether to prepare for a wet and cold day or for the sun to burst through, such is the weather in the approach to an Ontario spring. I have to admit that I have underestimated this challenge so far – in particular, the need to hike back to my car each time I progress, doubling the distance I have to walk. So today I decided that I would push myself much further than I had been, and then take an Uber back to my car! This was a big help psychologically and…

  • orchard header brit hikes ontario
    Hiking,  Rouge National Urban Park

    Rouge National Urban Park Orchard Trail

    Similar to The Vista Trail, parking is possible on the side of Zoo Road – but not on weekends from May to September. Between these months you’ll have to pay to park at the nearby zoo. Or you can do this trail in the opposite direction to me and read this article backwards, by parking in the lot on Twyn Rivers Road. Expect the lot to be busy on summer weekends. Turkey Vultures I parked on Zoo Road and then continued on foot past the metal gates down the paved decline. It was early morning and I was surprised to see half-a-dozen Turkey Vultures roosting up in the trees beside…

  • rouge national urban park vista trail header
    Hiking,  Rouge National Urban Park

    Rouge National Urban Park Vista Trail

    As you might guess from the name of this trail, there’s a nice lookout platform that affords a view down towards the valley through which Little Rouge Creek flows. Parking Nonsense Bear with me. Let’s get the parking nonsense out of the way. I like to park at the north trailhead, but the parking is a little restrictive because of the nearby zoo. You head north along Meadowvale Rd past Sheppard Ave, turn right onto Zoo Road and make sure you keep going right. Park on the side of the road. You are good to do this from October to April. Outside of these months, you can only park here…

  • rouge national urban park mast trail header
    Hiking,  Rouge National Urban Park

    Rouge National Urban Park Mast Trail

    I like to begin this trail at the northern trailhead located near the parking at Twyn Rivers Road. At the east of the Twyn Rivers parking lot, near the creek, there is a sign for The Orchard Trail. Take this trail initially, cross the bridge, and then The Mast Trail is on your left. Ship Masts I began by walking along a stretch of an old logging trail where White Pine trees were cut down en masse a couple of hundred years ago. The trees grow tall and straight and so they provided ideal timber for ship masts in Europe. There are no longer many mature White Pines remaining. As…

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 06

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here. I didn’t do an update last week, so the progress I have made covers two weeks worth of distance. Also, going forward, I am only going to update my progress on this “Virtual Walk” every month. This is mainly because I hope to do some REAL hikes and better spend my time writing about those! In the last two weeks I walked 237km (118km a week, 17km per day). This is a little lower than I was doing because…

  • bruce trail welland canal brithikesontario
    Bruce Trail,  Hiking

    Bruce Trail 02b – Welland Canal

    A Year later Somehow it has been more than a year since I last visited The Bruce Trail. Perhaps an explanation of my personal circumstances might be in order, especially since, if you read the introduction to this adventure on my main Bruce Trail page, I talked about the issue of mental health. After losing a much-loved job and promising career a few years ago I have had, to put it mildly, a hard time of things. The great news, which I eluded to at the end of the previous hike, is that I have found a new job that I greatly enjoy. Despite this good news, and with consideration…